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Interagency Expert Alan Mangan Joins PNSR as Distinguished Fellow

August 14, 2009 in News by admin

WASHINGTON– PNSR is pleased to welcome former Marine Colonel Alan Mangan as a Distinguished Fellow. Col. Mangan brings a wealth of expertise to PNSR, with extensive experience in the U.S. military, government and private sector. He has worked on policy issues in senior positions in areas such as interagency integration, strategic planning and military operations.

Col. Mangan’s eminent career includes, most recently, service as Deputy Team Leader of the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Al Anbar, Iraq. From 2006-2007, he was Chief of the Interagency Integration Branch at the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In that capacity, he led the Pentagon’s implementation of the interagency segments of the Quadrennial Defense Review. After leaving the Marine Corps, he was Vice President of Diamond International Logistics, Inc., a private company. While there, he led the organization from sales of $4 million to $6 million in a single year.

Col. Mangan holds a Master of Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College, a Master of Business Administration from the London School of Business, and a Bachelor of Science from the United States Naval Academy.

In announcing Col. Mangan’s arrival at PNSR, President and CEO James R. Locher said, “Alan brings to PNSR a wealth of first-hand experience and expertise on interagency issues. PNSR will benefit tremendously from his intellect and know-how.”

Frances Hardin
(703) 387-7613 (o)
(202) 640-9387(c)

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This Week in Defense News – Reforming U.S. National Security

August 9, 2009 in Video by admin

James R. Locher III, executive director of the Project on National Security Reform, talks with Vago about changing the structure of national security.

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Senate FY10 Intelligence Authorization Bill Cites PNSR on the Urgency of National Security Reform

August 3, 2009 in News by admin

WASHINGTON– The Senate FY10 Intelligence Authorization bill cites findings of PNSR that point to the urgency of overhauling the country’s national security system. In its recently released authorization bill, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence quotes a section of PNSR’s preliminary findings entitled “Enduring Security in an Unpredictable World: the Urgent Need for National Security Reform.”

Title VI of the Intelligence authorization bill establishes the “Foreign Intelligence and Information Commission,” which would evaluate the collection, reporting and analysis of foreign intelligence and information and provide recommendations to improve or develop such processes or systems to include the development of an inter-agency strategy. The bill’s findings, which support the need for the commission, quote from PNSR’s preliminary report of July 2008:

(A) “The lack of a national security strategy that clearly links ends, ways, and means and assigned roles and responsibilities to each department has encouraged a proliferation of department-level strategies. These department strategies are uncoordinated and do not systematically generate capabilities required for national objectives.

(B) The resource allocation process is not driven by any overall national plan or strategy for achieving broad objectives, and the results or effectiveness of the budgeting process cannot be measured against such objectives.

(C) The national security system tends to overemphasize traditional security threats and under emphasize emerging challenges.”

PNSR Executive Director James R. Locher III said, “It is very gratifying to see that PNSR’s findings are bolstering these legislative steps aimed at reforming national security. PNSR is poised to assist both the legislative and executive branches as they move forward with this effort.”

Frances Hardin
(703)387-7613 (o)

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PNSR Marks the 62nd Anniversary of the Signing of the National Security Act by President Harry Truman

July 26, 2009 in News by admin

WASHINGTON — July 26 marks a signal event in U.S. history, the signing of the National Security Act by President Harry S. Truman in 1947. World War II had ended and as the Cold War was beginning, President Truman and his advisors began laying the foundation for a national security system.

The 1947 act created the National Security Council to integrate the policies and procedures of the departments and agencies concerned with national security; established the precursor to the Department of Defense, unifying all military services under a single entity, and established, for the first time, a permanent peacetime intelligence capacity, the Central Intelligence Agency.

The framers of the ’47 act were visionaries who anticipated the national requirements for a Cold War strategy. What they established was right for the time, but 62 years later, the national security system is not only showing its age, recent catastrophic events have shown that the system is broken and the nation at risk.

Since the end of the Cold War, the United States has struggled to adjust to the 21st Century international security environment, characterized by complexity, uncertainty, and speed. The nature of this environment increasingly demands tight integration of national capabilities, yet the integrating mechanism remain weak and largely unchanged.

As the Guiding Coalition of the Project on National Security Reform notes in PNSR’s landmark report, Forging a New Shield, “The legacy structures and processes of a national security system that is now more than 60 years old no longer help American leaders to formulate coherent national strategy. They do not enable them to integrate America’s hard and soft power to achieve policy goals. They prevent them from matching resources to objectives, and from planning rationally and effectively for future contingencies. As presently constituted, too, these structures and processes lack means to detect and remedy their own deficiencies.”

As we mark the anniversary of the signing of the act that created the country’s national security system, PNSR calls attention to its recommendations for reforming the system (found at, see Forging A New Shield) which, if enacted, would institute a system that can manage and overcome the challenges of our times. The American people deserve nothing less.

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Nancy Bearg – Former National Security Advisor to the Vice President of the United States – Joins PNSR as Senior Advisor

July 24, 2009 in News by admin

WASHINGTON — PNSR is pleased to welcome Washington veteran Nancy Bearg as Senior Advisor. Ms. Bearg brings a wealth of expertise to PNSR with extensive high-level experience in foreign policy, defense, and economic development in the US government, Congress and the non-profit sector. She has worked on policy issues in multiple areas including conflict prevention, management, intervention, and post-conflict peace building; strategic and conventional forces; peacekeeping and humanitarian operations; refugees; United Nations; poverty and development; US-Muslim relations; and public diplomacy.

Ms. Bearg’s distinguished career includes serving from 1981-1982 as Assistant to the Vice President for National Security Affairs to then Vice-President George H.W. Bush – the first woman to do so – and Director for International Programs and Public Diplomacy on the National Security Council staff, 1989-1993. From 1978 to 1981, she worked in the Pentagon, first as Director of Policy Analysis for Near East, Africa, and South Asia, then as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Manpower, Resources and Military Personnel. In an earlier legislative career, Ms. Bearg served as the first woman professional staff member on the Senate Armed Services Committee, 1971 -1975 and worked at the Congressional Budget Office.

After leaving government, Ms. Bearg served as Director of the International Peace, Security and Prosperity Program at the Aspen Institute; as President and CEO of EnterpriseWorks/VITA, an international development non-profit organization; and as Senior Advisor at Search for Common Ground on a US-Muslim relations initiative.

Ms. Bearg, who is currently writing a book on sabbaticals, is the author/editor of five books published by The Aspen Institute as well as earlier publications on tactical air forces, peacekeeping operations, and the Balkans. She is on the Advisory Board of the Alliance for Peacebuilding, is a longtime member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and previously served on the executive board of Women in International Security (WIIS). She holds a BA from Willamette University in Oregon and a Masters in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

In welcoming Ms. Bearg, PNSR Executive Director James R. Locher III said, “Nancy’s impressive analytical skills, illustrious career and wide range of knowledge and diverse experience make her a valuable addition to PNSR. I am delighted to have her on board as PNSR works towards implementation of its recommendations for reforming the US national security system.”

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PNSR Congratulates Our Associate Roger Carstens on His TV Debut as Star of the NBC Series

July 23, 2009 in News by admin

WASHINGTON — PNSR extends hearty congratulations to its colleague Roger Carstens whose TV program “The Wanted” debuted this week on NBC to rave reviews. Carstens, a former Green Beret, counterterrorism expert and authority on unconventional warfare, is one of three co-stars in the real-life espionage series that centers on manhunts.

Carstens was a regular contributor to the PNSR blog site until he was approached by NBC to co-star in its reality-based series. Some of Carstens’ essays on aspects of national security may still be read on the PNSR blog site at

“The Wanted” was given a rave review by Washington Post critic Tom Shales who said that the show’s “. . . substance is strong and the overall effect is a highly charged knockout.”

PNSR President and CEO James R. Locher III praised Carstens, saying that “Roger’s experience in counterterrorism and unconventional warfare – areas that came under my purview when I served as an assistant secretary of defense – help in conveying a strong sense to Americans of the very real threats to the national security. It is these threats that the Project on National Security Reform is working to diminish with its mission of national security reform.”


PNSR is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization – funded and supported by Congress – dedicated to the modernization and improvement of the U.S. national security system to better protect the American people against 21st century dangers. To that end, it is working for the recommendations of its report, Forging a New Shield, to become public policy and/or law, as applicable.

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Putting National Security Reform into Action: PNSR Hails Rep. Geoff Davis’ Call for National Security Professional Career Development

July 8, 2009 in News by admin

WASHINGTON– PNSR welcomes the amendment to the Defense Authorization Act offered by Rep. Geoff Davis (R-Ky) on the House floor on June 25. Mr. Davis’ amendment supports the development of a cadre of national security professionals across departments of the Federal government. One of PNSR’s central recommendations in its landmark report, Forging a New Shield, called for the establishment of a national security professional corps. PNSR is encouraged by Rep. Davis’ support for this concept and looks forward to continuing efforts to put these ideas into action.

Rep. Davis cited the need to enhance national security by integrating the military and civilian elements of national power. He noted the current lack of a permanent, institutionalized system for developing required skills and experience and called on the White House to address the issue:

“My amendment, simply put, would require the President to commission a study by an executive agency to develop national security professionals across departments of the Federal Government to provide skilled personnel for planning and conducting national security interagency operations. It is critical that we achieve a transformation in national security education, training and interagency experience to produce national security professionals who are able to work seamlessly together. By requiring the President to commission such a study on an interagency national security professionals program, my amendment lays the foundation for that transformation.”

PNSR Executive Director James R. Locher III said, “I am very pleased to see a major step taken to advance one of PNSR’s key recommendations – the development of a National Security Professional Corps. I salute Rep. Davis for this important amendment to the Defense Authorization Act.”


The Project on National Security Reform is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization –funded and supported by Congress – dedicated to the modernization and improvement of the U.S. national security system to better protect the American people against 21st century dangers. To that end, it is working for the recommendations of its report, Forging a New Shield, to become public policy and/or law, as applicable.

Frances Hardin
(703)387-7613 (o)
(202)640-9387 (c)

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House Armed Services Committee Praises PNSR and Calls on the Administration to Examine PNSR Recommendations

July 2, 2009 in News by admin

WASHINGTON– The House Armed Services Committee (HASC) praises the Project on National Security Reform in its report accompanying the FY 2010 National Defense Authorization Act, passed June 25. The committee report applauds PNSR’s work and singles out its reform proposals to provide an overarching, interagency concept of operations and to create a civilian cadre of true national security professionals.

The FY 2010 Defense Authorization Act authorizes crucial funding for United States servicemen and women and their families, as well as critical military construction and weapons systems. Regarding PNSR, the HASC report accompanying the act states:

“The committee believes many of the PNSR’s recommendations have merit and wishes to call the Administration’s particular attention to those recommendations that suggest ways in which to: (1) Provide an overarching interagency concept of operations; and (2) Create a cadre of civilians that are truly ‘national security’ professionals.”

Congratulating the HASC, James Locher III, executive director of PNSR, said, “The committee members, under the direction of Rep. Ike Skelton (D-MO), have once again showed tremendous leadership in formulating this year’s National Defense Authorization Act. We are encouraged by the committee’s support for PNSR’s proposals and applaud their efforts on behalf of national security organizational reform.”

PNSR is particularly supportive of the committee’s encouraging words for the National Security Professional Development (NSPD) program and the existence of an NSPD Integration Office. “The committee believes NSPD should be a priority for all agencies engaged in national security matters,” the report reads.


PNSR is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization –funded and supported by Congress – dedicated to the modernization and improvement of the U.S. national security system to better protect the American people against 21st century dangers. To that end, it is working for the recommendations of its report, Forging a New Shield, to become public policy and/or law, as applicable.

Frances Hardin
(703)387-7613 (o)
(202)640-9387 (c)

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PNSR Salutes Rep. Howard Berman on House Approval of Authorization for U.S. Diplomacy and Development Efforts

June 18, 2009 in News by admin

WASHINGTON– The Project on National Security Reform (PNSR) congratulates Chairman Howard L. Berman (D-CA) of the House Foreign Affairs Committee for his leadership in securing House passage of comprehensive legislation to strengthen U.S. foreign policy efforts. The full Congress has not enacted a foreign affairs authorization since the final months of fiscal year 2002. Foreign affairs authorization bills are essential for effective congressional oversight of the conduct of foreign affairs. The regular passage of such an authorization bill is a key recommendation of the Project on National Security Reform.

The bill (HR 2410) would authorize programs for two years; fiscal 2010 and 2011. About $18 billion is authorized for fiscal 2010, an amount that matches the administration’s request.

The bill includes language that reflects several recommendations found in PNSR’s report, Forging a New Shield, in the areas of strategic management, knowledge management and human capital. In particular, the bill would:
• require the president to present a national security strategy for U.S. diplomacy and development every 4 years, similar to the Pentagon’s Quadrennial Defense Review.
• require the establishment of a Lessons Learned Center (LLC) within the Department of State. The LLC would collect, analyze, archive and disseminate observations, practices and lessons learned by Foreign Service Officers and support personnel at Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The purpose is to increase, enhance and sustain the ability of the department and agency to fulfill their missions.
• authorize the Secretary of State to add 1500 new Foreign Service officers (FSO) over the next two years. USAID would be authorized to hire 700 more members over the next two years as well.
• provide for training in conflict mitigation and resolution as well as in how to proceed in unstable situations. Additionally, members of the Foreign Service would be able to obtain advanced education and training in academic and other institutions to improve the diplomatic corps’ ability to respond to modern challenges.

The Senate Foreign Relations committee has not yet scheduled a markup of a comprehensive State Department authorization bill.

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Project on National Security Reform Congratulates Carlos Pascual on His Selection for Nomination to be Ambassador to Mexico

June 9, 2009 in News by admin

WASHINGTON– PNSR extends hearty congratulations to Carlos Pascual on the announcement by President Obama of the intent to nominate him for the position of U.S. Ambassador to Mexico. Mr. Pascual, a member of the Guiding Coalition of PNSR, is vice president and director of the Foreign Policy Program at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.

Pascual was a career foreign service officer for 23 years. He served as the State Department’s Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization and prior to that as Coordinator for U.S. Assistance to Europe and Eurasia. Pascual was also U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine from October 2000 until August 2003. He formerly served as a special assistant to President Clinton and National Security Council senior director for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia.

Upon confirmation, Mr. Pascual would be the sixth PNSR Guiding Coalition member to join the Obama administration. The others appointed by the President are Gen. James Jones (National Security Advisor), Adm. Dennis C. Blair (Director of National Intelligence), James Steinberg (Deputy Secretary of State), Michèle Flournoy (Under Secretary of Defense), and Ashton Carter (Under Secretary of Defense). Two former PNSR working group leaders have also joined the administration: Kathleen Hicks (Deputy Under Secretary of Defense) and Vikram Singh (Special Assistant, Dept. of Defense).

Congratulating Mr. Pascual, PNSR Executive Director Jim Locher said, “Carlos Pascual contributed importantly to the work of the Project on National Security Reform. His intellect, former experience and expertise make Carlos an excellent choice as Ambassador to Mexico.”

Frances Hardin
(o) (703) 387-7613
(c) (202) 679-6668