PNSR Calls for Action on Bold Changes Urged by QDR Independent Panel Study

July 29, 2010 in News by admin

WASHINGTON, DC – The Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) Independent Panel, a group of distinguished Americans with deep experience and expertise in the national security arena that includes Project on National Security Reform (PNSR) Guiding Coalition member John Nagl, offered a bold endorsement of national security reform in its report, released July 29. After an intense evaluation of the QDR with a view to the long term, the Panel called for sweeping reforms in the national security system. PNSR President and CEO James R. Locher III said, “I am heartened by the growing chorus for national security reform, especially coming from this high-level group representing the best of the national security establishment.”

The Report stated,”[T]he Panel notes with extreme concern that our current federal government structures – both executive and legislative, and in particular those related to security – were fashioned in the 1940s and they work at best imperfectly today… A new approach is needed.”

The Panel’s recommendations, similar to PNSR’s, included improving integration through legislation, providing education and incentives for personnel to work in “whole of government” assignments, creating a unified national security budget, establishing interagency teams, and instituting a new National Security Strategic Planning Process. The Panel also called for enhanced civilian “whole of government” capacity and reform of international security assistance.

The Panel’s recommendations are the second articulation of the need for organizational reform in recent months. The Obama administration’s National Security Strategy, released in May, gave prominent attention to the requirement for dramatic changes to national security institutions.

The Report used strong words to convey its findings: “The issues raised in the body of this Report are sufficiently serious that we believe an explicit warning is appropriate… The potential consequences for the United States of a ‘business as usual’ attitude towards the concerns in this Report are not acceptable.”

Locher said, “Reaching the kind of system envisioned by the QDR Independent Panel will be a difficult process taking years. The most logical starting points are a roadmap for change that starts with pilot projects and expands them, and an implementation plan for the goals laid out in this president’s National Security Strategy. The Independent Panel has issued a powerful call to action, and as always, PNSR is ready to assist.”


Project on National Security Reform
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