During its five-plus years (September 2006–December 2011), PNSR had significant accomplishments:
1. Elevated the issue of national security transformation, set the terms of the debate, and envisioned the national security system required to ensure America’s security and prosperity in the 21st Century.
2. Became widely recognized as the leading voice on U.S. national security transformation.
3. Developed an explanatory framework for understanding the national security system and an integrated strategy and implementation plan for transforming that system.
4. Produced voluminous, high-quality reports and presentations on national security transformation at a fraction of the typical cost for government-sponsored commissions.
5. Promoted a broadened concept of national security to include new dimensions of security and prosperity.
6. Advanced the now widely-accepted concept of whole-of-government and sparked development of the whole-of-nation concept.
7. Promoted the end of the artificial division between national security and homeland security.
8. By applying systems thinking to the national security enterprise, promoted the recognition of the need to see and manage the components of national security as a system of systems.
9. Developed the concept of an end-to-end set of strategic management processes for the national security system: policy formulation, strategy making and presidential planning and resource guidance, aligning resources with strategy, interagency planning, oversight of execution, and assessment.
10. Influenced the national security organization of the Obama administration.
11. Stimulated ongoing political interest in, and research on, national security transformation.
1. Prepared 107 case studies of interagency operations since 1947 to show the high price of organizational dysfunction in real-world situations and the long-term nature of organizational problems.
a. Released a first volume of case studies (Case Studies, Volume 1) in September 2008.
b. Prepared a second volume (Project on National Security Reform – Vol. 2: Case Studies Working Group Report) published by the Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College, in March 2012.
c. Conducted thirty-six presentations and public discussions on individual case studies.
2. Conducted a major two-day conference, “Integrating Instruments of National Power in the New Security Environment,” in July 2007.
a. First-day seminar sessions held at the Hudson Institute, Hoover Institution, Institute for National Security Studies at the National Defense University, and Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).
b. Second-day plenary session held at CSIS with the keynote address delivered by Lieutenant General Brent Scowcroft, a former national security adviser.
3. Prepared an analysis of how the United States organizes for integrated effort at the embassy (country team) level and identified problems in these arrangements and practices, with the analysis summarized in a Joint Force Quarterly article (Robert B. Oakley and Michael Casey, Jr. “The Country Team: Restructuring America’s First Line of Engagement.” Joint Force Quarterly, Issue 47 (4th quarter 2007)).
4. Published a report on preliminary findings, Ensuring Security in an Unpredictable World: The Urgent Need for National Security Reform (July 2008).
5. Through the efforts of its Legal Affairs Working Group, analyzed twenty major constitutional and legal issues on national security transformation.
6. Co-sponsored three conferences on national security transformation with the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University and the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College: “Reform and the Next President’s Agenda (March 2008); “Leadership and Government Reform” (June 2009); and “2010: Preparing for a Mid-Term Assessment of Leadership and National Security Reform in the Obama Administration” (April 2010).
7. Examined for the first time in a detailed report, The National Security Council: A Legal History of the President’s Most Powerful Advisors (November 2008), how presidents have used legal instruments to determine the form and influence of the National Security Council since its creation in 1947.
8. Produced Forging a New Shield (December 2008), the most comprehensive analysis ever conducted of the organization and functioning of the national security system and recommended thirty-eight major solutions directly tied to organizational problems and their causes.
9. Through the efforts of its Vision Working Group, tested those recommendations against nine future scenarios.
10. Prepared draft executive orders, presidential directives, legal opinions, and a national security act for the Obama administration.
11. Influenced the Obama administration’s early thinking on national security organization as the administration announced its intention to implement the following ten ideas recommended by PNSR.
a. Transform the National Security Council system to meet realities of the new century.
b. Focus interagency processes on the interests of the nation as a whole rather than individual department equities.
c. Expand the role of the national security adviser.
d. Eliminate the division between national security and homeland security.
e. Recognizing the need to expand the scope of national security, invite more Cabinet members to National Security Council meetings on an issue-by-issue basis.
f. Focus the National Security Council system on strategic matters.
g. Establish directors for national security affairs in departments and agencies.
h. Create a common alignment of world regions in the regional organizations of departments and agencies.
i. Emphasize monitoring of strategic implementation.
j. Create “action groups” (like interagency teams).
12. Prepared a study at the request of National Security Advisor General James L. Jones on a National Security Staff for the 21st century which prescribed roles for the staff, including the need to strategically manage the end-to-end processes of policy formulation, strategy making, aligning resources with strategy, planning, oversight of execution, and assessment (At present, the National Security Staff primarily formulates policy, manages crises, and staffs the president.).
13. Prepared a white paper that influenced the decision to create an Office of Intergovernmental Coordination in the Department of Homeland Security.
14. Assisted the Special Envoy to the Sudan in his efforts to create an interagency team to assist him in implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005.
15. With the support of the Department of Defense and Office of the Director of National Intelligence, proposed an information-sharing pilot project for the National Security Staff to show the potential of using modern technology to create collaborative environments.
16. Conducted a global roundtable on national security transformation with representatives from the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Australia, and Singapore to exchange information on problems and solutions.
17. Produced a major report, Turning Ideas into Action (September 2009), identifying reforms that could immediately be implemented by the president, national security advisor, director of the Office of Management and Budget, Cabinet secretaries, and Congress.
18. In partnership with the National Counterterrorism Center, conducted a comprehensive study (Toward Integrating Complex National Missions: Lessons from the National Counterterrorism Center’s Directorate of Strategic Operational Planning (February 2010)) of a critical NCTC component, the Directorate of Strategic Operational Planning, which is the most advanced whole-of-government planning organization. Developed the concept of the Directorate of Strategic Operational Planning being an extension of the National Security Staff, performing whole-of-government processes beyond the National Security Staff’s capacity.
19. Through a report, Vision Working Group Report and Scenarios (July 2010), advanced the need for foresight and anticipatory governance at the top of the national security system and developed the concept of a Center for Strategic Assessment and Analysis in the Executive Office of the President. Studied entities similar to the Center for Strategic Assessment and Analysis in Singapore and United Kingdom.
20. Served as the catalyst in the establishment of a 15-member National Security Interagency Reform Working Group in the House of Representatives, co-chaired by Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-CA) and Congressman Geoff Davis (R-KY).
21.Promoted congressional interest in an interagency personnel system, leading to a mandated study of the development and management of interagency national security professionals and introduction of sweeping legislation on this topic by Congressmen Ike Skelton (D-MO) and Geoff Davis (R-KY).
22. Conducted the congressionally mandated study, The Power of People: Building an Integrated National Security Professional System for the 21st Century (November 2010), which proposed an integrated national security professionals system.
23. Influenced the Obama administration’s National Security Strategy – May 2010, which gave prominent attention to transformation of the national security system with twelve organizational goals that parallel PNSR’s major recommendations. Assisted Congress in the formulation of a provision (section 1072 – “Implementation plan for whole-of-government vision prescribed in the National Security Strategy”) in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 mandating that the president submit to Congress an implementation plan for the National Security Strategy’s organizational goals (See pages 12-15 of the National Security Strategy).
24. Delivered a major presentation at the Reserve Officers Association 2011 National Security Symposium, “The Role of the Reserves in National Security Transformation,” a version of which was published in the ROA magazine, The Officer, in April-May 2011.
25. In partnership with the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Law and National Security, Bingham McCutchen LLP, Bipartisan Policy Center’s National Security Preparedness Group, and Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, conducted three roundtables and a concluding conference on the legal issues of national security transformation. Produced a final report on these four events, Legal Affairs Roundtables on National Security Transformation (November 2011).
26. Partnered with the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College to conduct in September 2011 a high-level workshop to examine the role of the National Security Staff in the new security environment.
27. Prepared a paper on PNSR’s vision of the required national security system, “America’s First Quarter Millennium: Envisioning a Transformed National Security System in 2026,” with the first version released in November 2011.
28. Stimulated follow-on research on national security transformation, including the pioneering work on interagency teams at the National Defense University that has led to several notable publications.