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PNSR partners with PRTM Management Consultants LLC

May 11, 2010 in News by admin

WASHINGTON, DC – PNSR is pleased to announce a new partnership with PRTM Management Consultants, LLC, the government-oriented subsidiary of PRTM Inc, a global management consulting firm based in Washington DC, that possesses special expertise in national security, high-performance management and business transformation. PRTM focuses on bridging the gap between business strategy and execution through operational strategies that help its clients achieve their desired results.

PRTM’s partnership will enable PNSR to become a center of excellence and a “living example” of best practice in action, in the domains of management and information science. A blended PNSR-PRTM team will be formed to provide best-in-class strategic problem-solving services.

To cement this relationship, PNSR is delighted to announce that Rahul Gupta, a partner with PRTM Management Consultants, LLC, has joined PNSR as a senior advisor. Rahul’s expertise lies in strategy, policy, and best practices implementation related to national security and other domains. Before joining PRTM, Rahul served in the government in several capacities in both the legislative and executive branch and with several commissions. Rahul was an Assistant Director and Senior Legislative Advisor at the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), professional staff on the Congressional Joint Intelligence Inquiry on the events of 9/11, and Chief of Program Analysis for the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI), Community Management Staff. He is the recipient of several GAO and DCI awards—including a GAO Meritorious Service citation. Rahul has also received official recognition for outstanding contributions and performance from several members of Congress, the NIMA Commission, and the 9/11 Intelligence Inquiry.

In welcoming Rahul and PRTM Management Consultants, LLC, PNSR President and CEO James R. Locher III said, “PRTM’s track record and expertise along with Rahul’s impressive career, first-hand knowledge, and experience in the very problems we are working to solve will prove invaluable to PNSR. I am excited that they have joined our effort, and I look forward to harnessing their intellect and energy in pushing our mission forward.”

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Dr. John A. Nagl, President of the Center for a New American Security, Joins PNSR’s Guiding Coalition

April 7, 2010 in News by admin

WASHINGTON, DC – PNSR is pleased to announce the addition to its Guiding Coalition of Dr. John A. Nagl, recognized national security strategy expert. Dr. Nagl serves as President of the Center for a New American Security and as a member of the Defense Policy Board.

Dr. Nagl is a subject matter expert in counter-terrorism, counter-insurgency, national security strategy, organizational learning, and adapting U.S. military forces and operations to the changing security environment. He served as an armor officer in the U.S. Army for 20 years, leading American forces, training Iraqi and Afghan units, teaching national security studies at Georgetown University and the United States Military Academy, and staffing senior leaders at the Pentagon, eventually retiring with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

Dr. Nagl earned his doctorate from Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. He is the author of Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife: Counterinsurgency Lessons from Malaya and Vietnam and was on the writing team that produced the U.S. Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual. Dr. Nagl is a leading contributor of ideas in finding new approaches to confront today’s national security issues.

In welcoming Dr. Nagl, PNSR President and CEO James R. Locher III said, “Dr. Nagl’s keen intellect, distinguished career, and understanding of key national security organizational issues make him a valuable addition to the Guiding Coalition. I am very pleased to have him on board as PNSR works towards reforming the national security system for the 21st Century.”

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PNSR Commends U.S. Rep. Jim Langevin’s Call for a Quadrennial National Security Review

April 1, 2010 in News by admin

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Representative Jim Langevin (D-RI) has introduced a bill to require a Quadrennial National Security Review (QNSR). The Project on National Security Reform (PNSR) commends this effort to establish overarching goals to create unity of purpose among departments and agencies pursuing national security objectives.

The bill (H.R. 4974) states that “the President shall, in consultation with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Congress, and the heads of other appropriate departments and agencies responsible for national security, conduct a quadrennial national security review… to set forth the security goals, including long-term and short-term security goals, of the United States.”

Co-sponsors of the bill include Reps. Ike Skelton (D-MO), Silvestre Reyes (D-TX), Bennie Thompson (D-MS), Steve Rothman (D-NJ), Bill Owens (D-NY), Jane Harman (D-CA), Geoff Davis (R-KY), Mac Thornberry (R-TX), and John Carter (R-TX).

This year has seen an unprecedented number of narrower reviews, including the Quadrennial Defense Review, Quadrennial Homeland Security Review, Quadrennial Intelligence Community Review, and Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review. Congressman Langevin’s bill would integrate these efforts and finally institutionalize a whole-of-government approach to setting our national security priorities.

The bill notes that PNSR “similarly recommended that the United States needs to develop an overall strategy to provide timely resources and adequate authorities for supporting our national security goals.”

PNSR’s President and CEO, James R. Locher III, praised the bill, saying, “PNSR is pleased to see Congressman Langevin’s leadership on this issue. Production of an interagency National Security Review every four years will be a significant step along the path of national security reform. It will provide the whole government – and Congress – with a common strategy to guide planning and resource allocation across departments and agencies.”

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Integrating National Security Missions: Lessons from the National Counterterrorism Center

March 26, 2010 in Video by admin

The Project on National Security Reform and the Center for Strategic and International Studies hold an event on the National Counterterrorism Center on March 26, 2010 after publishing PNSR’s newest report. Participants include:

  • Philip Zelikow, Executive Director of the 9/11 Commission,
  • Juan Zarate, former Deputy National Security Advisor for Combating Terrorism,
  • Lisa Gordon-Hagerty, former Director of the Office of Combating Terrorism at the National Security Council, ,
  • Dell Dailey, USA, former Ambassador-at-large for Counterterrorism and Retired Lieutenant General, United States Army,
  • James R. Locher III, President and CEO of the Project on National Security Reform, and
  • Robert S. Kravinsky, National Counterterrorism Center Study Director for the Project on National Security Reform.

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US National Security and Resilience Expert Steven Trevino joins Project on National Security Reform as a Senior Advisor

March 18, 2010 in News by admin

WASHINGTON, DC – Steven Trevino, well-known national security and resilience specialist, has joined the Project on National Security Reform (PNSR) as a Senior Advisor. Mr. Trevino brings a wealth of expertise to the PNSR team with extensive senior leadership experience in complex problem solving and integrated strategic planning, as well as risk and resilience planning in support of national and global challenges.

In welcoming Mr. Trevino, PNSR President and CEO James R. Locher III said, “Steve is a valuable addition to PNSR, with a distinguished career spanning 25 years in national security and intelligence. His work with many elements of the Executive and Legislative Branches will greatly inform PNSR’s efforts to reform the national security system. PNSR is fortunate to have someone as knowledgeable and experienced as Steve contributing to our organization.”

Mr. Trevino is a former Senior Advisor to the Department of Energy on advanced technology applications in support of global problem solving and also served as a Defense Intelligence Officer and contributor to the President’s Annual Report on National Security Strategy during the Reagan Administration.

Mr. Trevino’s distinguished career most recently includes serving as the Senior Director for National Security with Keane Federal Systems, Inc., a global services firm providing IT optimization services. He leads the Keane Center for Mission Assurance and Resilience, which serves as an advisor to US government organizations with respect to enterprise-level mission assurance solutions, including strategic planning, quality assurance, performance management and independent verification & validation. Mr. Trevino previously served as a Senior Executive Advisor with Booz Allen & Hamilton providing U.S. mission assurance and global resilience solutions.

PNSR was established in 2006 as a non-profit organization to propose and implement reform of the U.S. national security system and has attracted over three hundred current and former senior officials as contributors to its programs. General James Jones, current National Security Advisor, and Admiral Dennis Blair, current Director of National Intelligence, and several other prominent members of the current administration are PNSR alumni.

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PNSR releases comprehensive critique of NCTC’s whole-of-government planning and proposes broader reforms for the counterterrorism system.

February 23, 2010 in News, Report by admin

A new report from the Project on National Security Reform (PNSR) provides an independent, comprehensive, fresh critique of the National Counterterrorism Center’s (NCTC) mission to integrate whole-of-government counterterrorism capabilities. The report, prepared with the cooperation of NCTC and other agencies, examines the Center’s Directorate of Strategic Operational Planning (DSOP). Going beyond the current discussion on information and intelligence sharing, the report identifies long-standing systemic impediments in the counterterrorism community and recommends practical reforms.

The study was informed by a team of renowned experts led by two of the nation’s most distinguished counterterrorism practitioners: Juan Zarate, former Deputy National Security Advisor for Counterterrorism to President Bush, and Lisa Gordon-Hagerty, former Director of Combating Terrorism at the National Security Council under President Clinton.

The study team identified underlying problems that plague the counterterrorism structure. The report calls for strengthening the interagency processes that serve as the connective tissue among government agencies. It serves to elevate the current debate on airport security equipment and “connecting the dots” to more strategic issues related to interagency planning, assessments, and resources that are vital to the long-term success of the mission.

According to James R. Locher III, PNSR President & CEO, “Interagency strategic planning at NCTC is a promising innovation, but important steps are necessary for this innovation to achieve its full potential. Because NCTC is operating in an unreformed national security system, it faces systemic barriers to becoming a more efficient interagency mechanism for the counterterrorism community.”

Philip Zelikow, the 9/11 Commission’s Executive Director, states, “The 9/11 Commission proposed NCTC as a prototype for a novel way of organizing an important sector of national security work in our government. This study is the first really serious analysis of whether the NCTC’s whole-of-government planning effort has met expectations.”

The review, based on the results of extensive research and engagement with government stakeholders, includes steps that the President, National Security Staff, NCTC, and Congress could take immediately to further national security reform.

The report can be found here.

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PNSR Proposes Direct Resources and New Regional Integrated Staffs for National Preparedness System

January 15, 2010 in News, Report by admin

A new study from the Project on National Security Reform (PNSR) calls for systemic reform at the regional level to strengthen the National Preparedness System (NPS). The NPS was defined by the Post Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act (PKEMRA) of 2006.

The PNSR white paper, Recalibrating the System: Toward Efficient and Effective Resourcing of National Preparedness, cites fundamental and interrelated structural and process problems plaguing the current system. It recommends direct funding from the Federal Government—instead of resourcing through grants—for national catastrophic planning and assessments. Resourcing primarily via grants, with their oversight and reporting requirements, fosters intergovernmental relationships that can be more adversarial than collaborative and thus not optimal for unity of purpose.

The study recommends that the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency finance an intergovernmental, interagency Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Staff (RCPS) in each region. State and local authorities would assign representatives to an RCPS for temporary duty and receive federal reimbursements under the Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) Mobility program. There would be no financial onus on the states or locals—a major and legitimate concern, especially with today’s budget deficits.

“It’s only at the regional level,” says PNSR Distinguished Fellow John F. Morton, who directed the study, “where we can get to consensus for that region. These standing regional staffs would be where federal, state, tribal, territorial, local, private sector, and non-governmental organization representatives would come together daily, from the beginning, as co-equal partners to build a bottom-up, collaborative culture of preparedness—or even resilience—and the collaborative regional programs to go with it.”

Standing RCPSs would work with existing planning, training, and exercise units in the states and at the local level to conduct catastrophic risk assessments, catastrophic operational planning and exercise validation, catastrophic capability inventories via negotiated processes through which states could identify gaps for targeting grants and other resources, and regional evaluations and self-assessments informed by regionally determined performance metrics.

To produce the study, the PNSR Homeland Security Team assembled over 20 experts, including former senior representatives from DHS and FEMA, state and local government officials, and the private sector. The report can be found here.


John Morton
(410) 263-0036

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PNSR Recommendations Reflected in New DHS Office of Intergovernmental Affairs

January 7, 2010 in News by admin

The Department of Homeland Security recently announced the creation of a new office of Intergovernmental Affairs, an office proposed by PNSR in a white paper distributed to DHS leadership in the spring of 2009. The aim of the office is to better coordinate homeland security initiatives between state, local, territorial, and tribal authorities, and their DHS home base.

Led by PNSR homeland security expert Josh Filler, PNSR proposed the creation of an office with this mission in a white paper distributed to Secretary Janet Napolitano, Deputy Secretary Jane Holl Lute, Under Secretary for the National Protection and Programs Directorate Rand Beers, and Assistant Secretary of Intergovernmental Affairs Juliette Kayyern, along with representatives from some twenty homeland security and emergency management stakeholder associations. Important to the necessary establishment of this office, the paper emphasizes, is “the [current] absence of a robust department-level intergovernmental coordination office… [as it] impedes the ability to ensure national success in meeting homeland security imperatives.” This view was shared by DHS in housing this office within the Executive Office of the Secretary.

Further, In in establishing an Office of Intergovernmental Affairs as PNSR’s Homeland Security team proposed, a key element to success is that the office is viewed as credible by state, local, and tribal authorities. The Office of Intergovernmental Affairs “must have effective, consequential ‘in-reach’ within DHS and across the component agencies,” the paper asserts.

In commenting on the new office, Secretary Napolitano said, “The new DHS Office of Intergovernmental Affairs (IGA) reflects my commitment to strengthening the Department’s engagement with state, local and tribal partners across the country. As a former Governor, I understand the importance of close coordination between all levels of government as we work to ensure the safety and security of all Americans. The new IGA office will integrate outreach efforts across the Department under a single, primary point of contact at DHS headquarters—enhancing our capabilities as we work to create a national culture of readiness and resilience.”

To read more about PNSR’s proposals, download the paper here. We invite your comment and feedback to

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General (Retired) Anthony Zinni, USMC, to Join Guiding Coalition of the Project on National Security Reform

January 4, 2010 in News by admin

WASHINGTON — PNSR is pleased to announce a new addition to its Guiding Coalition, retired four-star Marine General Anthony ‘Tony’ Zinni. General Zinni most recently served as interim President and CEO of BAE Systems and is respected for his foresight and informed opinion on national security affairs.

Possessing a storied military career, General Zinni’s service was highlighted by his tour as Commander in Chief, U.S. Central Command from 1997-2001. General Zinni has also led or been key to several presidential and other diplomatic missions involving conflicts in Somalia, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Israel-Palestine, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

General Zinni’s expertise and vision is a powerful addition to PNSR’s Guiding Coalition, which is comprised of former senior federal officials and others with extensive national security experience. The bipartisan group is helping to communicate to the government, policy community, and public the urgency of national security reform in an ever-expanding world of national security issues. The Guiding Coalition also helps orient PNSR reports, most recently the Project’s update on national security reform, Turning Ideas Into Action.

In welcoming General Zinni, PNSR President and CEO James R. Locher III said, “General Zinni’s impressive military career, first-hand knowledge, and experience in the very problems we are working to solve will prove invaluable to PNSR. I am excited that Tony has joined our effort, and I look forward to harnessing his intellect and energy in pushing our mission forward.”


Michael Drohan

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Center for American Progress Report and PNSR

December 3, 2009 in News by admin

The Project on National Security Reform (PNSR) would like to recognize The Center for American Progress (CAP) for their new report, Integrating Security: Preparing for the National Security Threats of the 21st Century, and to congratulate the Center for its ongoing effort to promote national security reform.

The CAP report rightly highlights some of the most serious threats to our national security and makes excellent recommendations that are congruent with the Project on National Security Reform analysis and recommendations in Forging a New Shield and Turning Ideas Into Action. Among other recommendations, we strongly concur on the importance of issuing an integrated national security strategy and creating a unified national security budget.

Creating and publishing a National Security Strategy is a key task of the Obama Administration. As retired Marine General Anthony Zinni, who is a new member of PNSR’s Guiding Coalition, says in the CAP report, this document “will be the follow-up to the initial speeches and communication and it will be the authority for our own government structure, all the way down because from the strategy cascades the actions and the organization and the allocation of resources to make that [strategy] happen.” It indeed will help in ensuring that the U.S. Government can consider and bring to bear all elements of national power.

American leadership is at the core of many international concerns. Having a strong systemic approach to our own security and having a unified and coherent national security plan only enhances our leadership. Reports, such as Integrating Security, and other related research documents produced by CAP, PNSR, and others, mutually strengthen and promote national security reform efforts.