Experts Consider Unity of Effort in National Security Operations Abroad
WASHINGTON, DC – On February 23, the second roundtable event in a series addressing legal affairs on national security transformation took place at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. “Unity of Effort in National Security Operations Abroad” examined the practical, political, and legal aspects of alternative means to promote unity of effort in these instances.
The American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Law and National Security, Bingham McCutchen LLC, the Bipartisan Policy Center National Security Preparedness Group, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the Project on National Security Reform (PNSR) co-sponsored the event, made possible through the generous support of the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
Participants included over forty legal and subject-matter experts with experiences ranging from U.S. federal military and civilian service, state governments, law firms, and think tanks. Topics covered the importance of unity of effort in national security operations, how this unity of effort might be achieved and the recommendation to apply the model of an expanded chief-of-mission authority to the problem. Regional frameworks for managing national security affairs abroad and the PNSR recommendation to establish integrated regional centers were also discussed. The roundtable event concluded with a discussion on the use of cross-functional interagency teaming at the sub-regional level.
Roundtable Chair and President and CEO of PNSR James R. Locher III stated: “As part of the discussion today, we answered the question that unity of effort is not only possible, but it is imperative. The experience and expertise of the participants provided great insight as to possible ways to proceed forward in addressing the lack of unity of effort on multiple levels of our national security operations abroad.”
This roundtable event was the second in a series of three roundtables and will include a concluding conference. The final roundtable will take place in May and will focus on intelligence reform. During the concluding conference, a final report will be produced to broaden awareness among participants and stakeholders of the process of shaping the legal instruments required to achieve national security transformation.