PNSR Envisions National Security in 2026

November 9, 2011 in News, Report by admin

WASHINGTON, DC – The Project on National Security Reform (PNSR) today released “America’s First Quarter Millennium: Envisioning a Transformed National Security System in 2026,” a paper prepared by Christopher Holshek, PNSR Senior Associate. Holshek will present ideas from the paper at today’s National Defense University symposium, “Forging an American Grand Strategy.” The paper encompasses many transformative concepts developed by PNSR and its partners over the past five years.

The paper may be found here.

To view the website for the paper and post comments, click here.


“America’s First Quarter Millennium” finds the United States no longer the dominant power and standing at a crossroads. Of the two roads in front of the nation, the paper notes, “One way lays the path of inertia and declining returns from an aging national security system. The other way is the ‘road less travelled by,’ leading to greater security and prosperity for future generations.” Given the magnitude of required institutional changes, the paper observes, “To commit to this road, we must first envision its destination: a transformed national security system. A clear vision of a newly created system will point the way ahead for change, reduce fear of the unknown, attract commitment, and demonstrate that transformation is doable.”

PNSR envisions “an anticipatory, collaborative, agile, and innovative system capable of combining all elements of national strength, integrating intelligence, making timely and informed decisions, and taking decisive action.” It would be characterized by “whole-of-government and whole-of-nation approaches, unity of purpose and effort, and prioritized investments emphasizing strengths and opportunities.” Many changes would model organizational reforms successfully adopted by the private sector.

This short, modular paper seeks to inspire a true “national conversation” to envision this future. It is a public-working-draft, casting a wide net among stakeholders to capture the best of America’s collective wisdom. Written in the past tense, it looks back in order to look forward. Components of the envisioned system include: comprehensive strategy; foresight and anticipatory governance; strategic management; interagency high-performance teaming; integrated and flexible national security resourcing; role of Congress; public-private partnering and global networking; and our greatest strength – human capital.

About the Author

Col. Christopher Holshek is a retired U.S. Army Reserve civil affairs officer. After leaving the Army, Holshek took an 8,000 mile tour of the country on his Harley-Davidson and created a blog, “Two Wheels and Two Questions,” where he reflected on America’s place in the world and experiences from his career. Over the years, he has had significant input to the development of civil-military policy and doctrine in the U.S. military, NATO, and United Nations. Effectively fusing his parallel civilian and military careers, he is a rare American who has served in United Nations peace operations in both civilian and military capacities.