PNSR Stands Ready to Meet the Challenge of American Reform and Renewal

December 13, 2010 in News by admin

WASHINGTON, DC – In today’s Washington Post, renowned American journalist and political commentator E.J. Dionne called for President Obama to revive his presidency through a bold and persistent campaign for national reform and renewal. The Project on National Security Reform (PNSR) applauds his rationale and suggests that the key to restoring the faith of the American people, as well as preserving America’s world leadership role, is to engage the nation in envisioning and co-creating the future in a comprehensive transformation effort.

In his op.ed. “Can Obama find his morning in America?”, Dionne asserts that “Obama was elected for many reasons in 2008, but the country’s underlying desire to reverse this sense of decline was central to his victory.” He argues, “Obama’s biggest failures in his first two years lay in not fully grasping the opportunity this intimation of crisis created and in not appreciating that he was being asked to do more than fix the economy.” Dionne advises Obama: “What’s lacking is a coherent call for reform and restoration that is unapologetically patriotic and challenging.”

The preeminent lens through which to develop this campaign is national security transformation. Organized for a world that no longer exists, the U.S. national security system has become dangerously inefficient, ineffective, and myopic. It cannot handle the increased complexity of a radically different security environment; the pace, variety, and interdependence of new non-traditional threats (climate change, failing schools, economic decline, etc); or the rising competition for resources and for leadership of the world community. Our government is adapting too slowly to rapidly changing national security challenges and opportunities, cannot take whole-of-government or whole-of-nation approaches, and lacks a strategy to inform its plans and actions. The transpartisan PNSR has been pursuing a bold transformation agenda for the past the four years, and this work has not split along party lines. Political leaders are beginning to understand that this desperately needed set of reforms could become a bipartisan priority.

Momentum for this change within the Obama administration is already building; it has positioned itself in favor of many elements of the transformation agenda. The administration’s May 2010 National Security Strategy gave prominent attention to the need to “update, balance, and integrate all the tools of American power” in a whole-of-government approach. Its Cabinet officers, including Vice President Biden, Secretaries Clinton and Gates, former National Security Advisor Jim Jones, and former Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair, have expressed strong support for national security transformation. Secretary Gates has called adapting and reforming our 63-year old national security apparatus “the institutional challenge of our time.”

PNSR stands ready to help the U.S. government co-create practical, innovative solutions that will provide the basis for a new national security system and bring about its political realization and implementation. It is focused solely on this mission. PNSR President and CEO James R. Locher III commented, “Reform and renewal of the national security system is not only the #1 national security issue, it is also one on which the two parties can work together. Please join the call for President Obama to forcefully and steadfastly lead this patriotic and historic mission to overcome the nation’s most critical challenge.”

For further comment please contact:
Project on National Security Reform
(646) 662-4092