Executive Summary of U.S. Commission on National Security Report

Washington File

31 January 2001

Text: Executive Summary of U.S. Commission on National Security Report

(Group urges structural, procedural changes to meet new threats)

A bipartisan commission set up to evaluate the current national
security climate and propose changes needed to meet new threats has
issued a report that calls for major changes in governmental
structures and processes.

Included in the report released January 31 by the United States
Commission on National Security/21st Century are a proposal for a new,
cabinet-level National Homeland Security Agency that would combine the
Federal Emergency Management Agency with several other agencies, and a
prescription for recasting a "crippled" State Department and the
Department of Defense.

The 14-member commission, headed by former Senators Gary Hart
(Democrat, Colorado) and Warren Rudman (Republican, New Hampshire),
includes other former legislators, Executive Branch officials,
military leaders and representatives from business, academia and the
news media.

Following is the text of the executive summary of the 140-odd page
report. The complete report can be accessed at www.nssg.gov.

(begin text)

Executive Summary

After our examination of the new strategic environment of the next
quarter century (Phase I) and of a strategy to address it (Phase II),
this Commission concludes that significant changes must be made in the
structures and processes of the U.S. national security apparatus. Our
institutional base is in decline and must be rebuilt. Otherwise, the
United States risks losing its global influence and critical
leadership role.

We offer recommendations for organizational change in five key areas:

-- ensuring the security of the American homeland;

-- recapitalizing America's strengths in science and education;

-- redesigning key institutions of the Executive Branch;

-- overhauling the U.S. government personnel system; and

-- reorganizing Congress's role in national security affairs.

We have taken a broad view of national security. In the new era, sharp
distinctions between "foreign" and "domestic" no longer apply. We do
not equate national security with "defense." We do believe in the
centrality of strategy, and of seizing opportunities as well as
confronting dangers. If the structures and processes of the U.S.
government stand still amid a world of change, the United States will
lose its capacity to shape history, and will instead be shaped by it.

Securing the National Homeland

The combination of unconventional weapons proliferation with the
persistence of international terrorism will end the relative
invulnerability of the U.S. homeland to catastrophic attack. A direct
attack against American citizens on American soil is likely over the
next quarter century. The risk is not only death and destruction but
also a demoralization that could undermine U.S. global leadership. In
the face of this threat, our nation has no coherent or integrated
governmental structures.

We therefore recommend the creation of a new independent National
Homeland Security Agency (NHSA) with responsibility for planning,
coordinating, and integrating various U.S. government activities
involved in homeland security. NHSA would be built upon the Federal
Emergency Management Agency, with the three organizations currently on
the front line of border security -- the Coast Guard, the Customs
Service, and the Border Patrol -- transferred to it. NHSA would not
only protect American lives, but also assume responsibility for
overseeing the protection of the nation's critical infrastructure,
including information technology.

The NHSA Director would have Cabinet status and would be a statutory
advisor to the National Security Council. The legal foundation for the
National Homeland Security Agency would rest firmly within the array
of Constitutional guarantees for civil liberties. The observance of
these guarantees in the event of a national security emergency would
be safeguarded by NHSA's interagency coordinating activities -- which
would include the Department of Justice -- as well as by its conduct
of advance exercises.

The potentially catastrophic nature of homeland attacks necessitates
our being prepared to use the tremendous resources of the Department
of Defense (DoD). Therefore, the department needs to pay far more
attention to this mission in the future. We recommend that a new
office of Assistant Secretary for Homeland Security be created to
oversee the various DoD activities and ensure that the necessary
resources are made available.

New priorities also need to be set for the U.S. armed forces in light
of the threat to the homeland. We urge, in particular, that the
National Guard be given homeland security as a primary mission, as the
U.S. Constitution itself ordains. The National Guard should be
reorganized, trained, and equipped to undertake that mission.

Finally, we recommend that Congress reorganize itself to accommodate
this Executive Branch realignment, and that it also form a special
select committee for homeland security to provide Congressional
support and oversight in this critical area.

Recapitalizing America's Strengths in Science and Education

Americans are living off the economic and security benefits of the
last three generations' investment in science and education, but we
are now consuming capital. Our systems of basic scientific research
and education are in serious crisis, while other countries are
redoubling their efforts. In the next quarter century, we will likely
see ourselves surpassed, and in relative decline, unless we make a
conscious national commitment to maintain our edge.

We also face unprecedented opportunity. The world is entering an era
of dramatic progress in bioscience and materials science as well as
information technology and scientific instrumentation. Brought
together and accelerated by nanoscience, these rapidly developing
research fields will transform our understanding of the world and our
capacity to manipulate it. The United States can remain the world's
technological leader if it makes the commitment to do so. But the U.S.
government has seriously underfunded basic scientific research in
recent years. The quality of the U.S. education system, too, has
fallen well behind those of scores of other nations. This has occurred
at a time when vastly more Americans will have to understand and work
competently with science and math on a daily basis.

In this Commission's view, the inadequacies of our systems of research
and education pose a greater threat to U.S. national security over the
next quarter century than any potential conventional war that we might
imagine. American national leadership must understand these
deficiencies as threats to national security. If we do not invest
heavily and wisely in rebuilding these two core strengths, America
will be incapable of maintaining its global position long into the
21st century.

We therefore recommend doubling the federal research and development
budget by 2010, and instituting a more competitive environment for the
allotment of those funds.

We recommend further that the role of the President's Science Advisor
be elevated to oversee these and other critical tasks, such as the
resuscitation of the national laboratory system and the institution of
better inventory stewardship over the nation's science and technology

We also recommend a hew National Security Science and Technology
Education Act to fund a comprehensive program to produce the needed
numbers of science and engineering professionals as well as qualified
teachers in science and math. This Act should provide loan forgiveness
incentives to attract those who have graduated and scholarships for
those still in school and should provide these incentives in exchange
for a period of K-12 teaching in science and math, or of military or
government service. Additional measures should provide resources to
modernize laboratories in science education, and expand existing
programs aimed at economically-depressed school districts.

Institutional Redesign

The dramatic changes in the world since the end of the Cold War of the
last half-century have not been accompanied by any major institutional
changes in the Executive Branch of the U.S. government. Serious
deficiencies exist that only a significant organizational redesign can
remedy. Most troublesome is the lack of an overarching strategic
framework guiding U.S. national security policymaking and resource
allocation. Clear goals and priorities are rarely set. Budgets are
prepared and appropriated as they were during the Cold War.

The Department of State, in particular, is a crippled institution,
starved for resources by Congress because of its inadequacies, and
thereby weakened further. Only if the State Department's internal
weaknesses are cured will it become an effective leader in the making
and implementation of the nation's foreign policy. Only then can it
credibly seek significant funding increases from Congress. The
department suffers in particular from an ineffective organizational
structure in which regional and functional policies do not serve
integrated goals, and in which sound management, accountability, and
leadership are lacking.

For this and other reasons, the power to determine national security
policy has steadily migrated toward the National Security Council
(NSC) staff. The staff now assumes policymaking roles that many
observers have warned against. Yet the NSC staff's role as policy
coordinator is more urgently needed than ever, given the imperative of
integrating the many diverse strands of policymaking.

Meanwhile, the U.S. intelligence community is adjusting only slowly to
the changed circumstances of the post-Cold War era. While the economic
and political components of statecraft have assumed greater
prominence, military imperatives still largely drive the analysis and
collection of intelligence. Neither has America's overseas presence
been properly adapted to the new economic, social, political, and
security realities of the 21st century.

Finally, the Department of Defense needs to be overhauled. The growth
in staff and staff activities has created mounting confusion and
delay. The failure to outsource or privatize many defense support
activities wastes huge sums of money. The programming and budgeting
process is not guided by effective strategic planning. The weapons
acquisition process is so hobbled by excessive laws, regulations, and
oversight strictures that it can neither recognize nor seize
opportunities for major innovation, and its procurement bureaucracy
weakens a defense industry that is already in a state of financial

In light of such serious and interwoven deficiencies, the Commission's
initial recommendation is that strategy should once again drive the
design and implementation of U.S. national security policies. That
means that the President should personally guide a top-down strategic
planning process and that process should be linked to the allocation
of resources throughout the government. When submitting his budgets
for the various national security departments, the President should
also present an overall national security budget, focused on the
nation's most critical strategic goals. Homeland security,
counter-terrorism, and science and technology should be included.

We recommend further that the President's National Security Advisor
and NSC staff return to their traditional role of coordinating
national security activities and resist the temptation to become
policymakers or operators. The NSC Advisor should also keep a low
public profile. Legislative, press communications, and speechwriting
functions should reside in the White House staff, not separately in
the NSC staff as they do today. The higher the profile of the National
Security Advisor the greater will be the pressures from Congress to
compel testimony and force Senate confirmation of the position.

To reflect how central economics has become in U.S. national security
policy, we recommend that the Secretary of Treasury be named a
statutory member of the National Security Council. Responsibility for
international economic policy should return to the National Security
Council. The President should abolish the National Economic Council,
distributing its domestic economic policy responsibilities to the
Domestic Policy Council.

Critical to the future success of U.S. national security policies is a
fundamental restructuring of the State Department. Reform must ensure
that responsibility and accountability are clearly established,
regional and functional activities are closely integrated, foreign
assistance programs are centrally planned and implemented, and
strategic planning is emphasized and linked to the allocation of

We recommend that this be accomplished through the creation of five
Under Secretaries with responsibility for overseeing the regions of
Africa, Asia, Europe, Inter America, and Near East/South Asia, and a
redefinition of the responsibilities of the Under Secretary for Global
Affairs. The restructuring we propose would position the State
Department to play a leadership role in the making and implementation
of U.S. foreign policy, as well as to harness the department's
organizational culture to the benefit of the U.S. government as a
whole. Perhaps most important, the Secretary of State would be free to
focus on the most important policies and negotiations, having
delegated responsibility for integrating regional and functional
issues to the Under Secretaries.

Accountability would be matched with responsibility in senior
policymakers, who in serving the Secretary would be able to speak for
the State Department both within the interagency process and before
Congress. No longer would competing regional and functional
perspectives immobilize the department. At the same time, functional
perspectives, whether they be human rights, arms control, or the
environment, will not disappear. The Under Secretaries would be
clearly accountable to the Secretary of State, the President, and the
Congress for ensuring that the appropriate priority was given to these
concerns. Someone would actually be in charge.

We further recommend that the activities of the U.S. Agency for
International Development be fully integrated into this new State
Department organization. Development aid is not an end in itself, nor
can it be successful if pursued independently of other U.S. programs
and diplomatic activities. Only a coordinated diplomatic and
assistance effort will advance the nation's goals abroad, whether they
be economic growth, democracy, or human rights.

The Secretary of State should give greater emphasis to strategic
planning in the State Department and link it directly to the
allocation of resources through the establishment of a Strategic
Planning, Assistance, and Budget Office. Rather than multiple
Congressional appropriations, the State Department should also be
funded in a single integrated Foreign Operations budget, which would
include all foreign assistance programs and activities as well as the
expenses for all related personnel and operations. Also, all U.S.
Ambassadors, including the Permanent Representative to the United
Nations, should report directly to the Secretary of State, and a major
effort needs to be undertaken to "right-size" the U.S. overseas

The Commission believes that the resulting improvements in the
effectiveness and competency of the State Department and its overseas
activities would provide the basis for the significant increase in
resources necessary to carry out the nation's foreign policy in the
21st century.

As for the Department of Defense, resource issues are also very much
at stake in reform efforts. The key to success will be direct,
sustained involvement and commitment to defense reform on the part of
the President, Secretary of Defense, and Congressional leadership. We
urge first and foremost that the new Secretary of Defense reduce by
ten to fifteen percent the staffs of the Office of the Secretary of
Defense, the Joint Staff, the military services, and the regional
commands. This would not only save money but also achieve the decision
speed and encourage the decentralization necessary to succeed in the
21st century.

Just as critical, the Secretary of Defense should establish a ten-year
goal of reducing infrastructure costs by 20-25 percent through steps
to consolidate, restructure, outsource, and privatize as many DoD
support agencies and activities as possible. Only through savings in
infrastructure costs, which now take up nearly half of DoD's budget,
will the department find the funds necessary for modernization and for
combat personnel in the long-term.

The processes by which the Defense Department develops its programs
and budgets as well as acquires its weapons also need fundamental
reform. The most critical first step is for the Secretary of Defense
to produce defense policy and planning guidance that defines specific
goals and establishes relative priorities.

Together with the Congress, the Secretary of Defense should move the
Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) to the second year of a Presidential
term. The current requirement, that it be done in an administration's
first year, spites the purpose of the activity. Such a deadline does
not allow the time or the means for an incoming administration to
influence the QDR outcome, and therefore for it to gain a stake in its

We recommend a second change in the QDR, as well; namely that the
Secretary of Defense introduce a new process that requires the
Services and defense agencies to compete for the allocation of some
resources within the overall Defense budget. This, we believe, would
give the Secretary a vehicle to identify low priority programs and
begin the process of reallocating funds to more promising areas during
subsequent budget cycles.

As for acquisition reform, the Commission is deeply concerned with the
downward spiral that has emerged in recent decades in relations
between the Pentagon as customer and the defense industrial base as
supplier of the nation's major weapons systems. Many innovative
high-tech firms are simply unable or unwilling to work with the
Defense Department under the weight of its auditing, contracting,
profitability, investment, and inspection regulations. These
regulations also impair the Defense Department's ability to function
with the speed it needs to keep abreast of today's rapid pace of
technological innovation. Weapons development cycles average nine
years in an environment where technology now changes every twelve to
eighteen months in Silicon Valley -- and the gap between private
sector and defense industry innovation continues to widen.

In place of a specialized "defense industrial base," we believe that
the nation needs a national industrial base for defense composed of a
broad cross-section of commercial firms as well as the more
traditional defense firms. "New economy" sectors must be attracted to
work with the government on sound business and professional grounds;
the more traditional defense suppliers, which fill important needs
unavailable in the commercial sector, must be given incentives to
innovate and operate efficiently. We therefore recommend these major

-- Establish and employ a two-track acquisition system, one for major
acquisitions and a "fast track" for a modest number of potential
breakthrough systems, especially those in the area of command and

-- Return to the pattern of increased prototyping and testing of
selected weapons and support systems to foster innovation. We should
use testing procedures to gain knowledge and not to demonstrate a
program's ability to survive budgetary scrutiny.

-- Implement two-year defense budgeting solely for the modernization
element (R&D/procurement) of the Defense budget and expand the use of
mull year procurement.

-- Modernize auditing and oversight requirements (by rewriting
relevant sections of U.S. Code, Title 10, and the Federal Acquisition
Regulations) with a goal of reducing the number of auditors and
inspectors in the acquisition system to a level commensurate with the
budget they oversee.

Amidst the other process reforms for the Defense Department, the
Commission recognizes the need to modernize current force planning
methods. We conclude that the concept of two major, coincident wars is
a remote possibility supported neither by the main thrust of national
intelligence nor by this Commission's view of the likely future. It
should be replaced by a planning process that accelerates the
transformation of capabilities and forces better suited to, and thus
likely to succeed in, the current security environment. The Secretary
of Defense should direct the DoD to shift from the threat-based, force
sizing process to one which measures requirements against recent
operational activity trends, actual intelligence estimates of
potential adversaries' capabilities, and national security objectives
as defined in the new administration's national security strategy --
once formulate

The Commission furthermore recommends that the Secretary of Defense
revise the current categories of Major Force Programs (MFPs) used in
the Defense Program Review to correspond to the five military
capabilities the Commission prescribed in its Phase II report --
strategic nuclear forces, homeland security forces, conventional
forces, expeditionary forces, and humanitarian and constabulary

Ultimately, the transformation process will blur the distinction
between expeditionary and conventional forces, as both types of
capabilities will eventually possess the technological superiority,
deployability, survivability, and lethality now called for in the
expeditionary forces. For the near term, however, those we call
expeditionary capabilities require the most emphasis. Consequently, we
recommend that the Defense Department devote its highest priority to
improving and further developing its expeditionary capabilities.

There is no more critical dimension of defense policy than to
guarantee U.S. commercial and military access to outer space. The U.S.
economy and military are vitally dependent on communications that rely
on space. The clear imperative for the new era is a comprehensive
national policy toward space and a coherent governmental machinery to
carry it out. We therefore recommend the establishment of an
Interagency Working Group on Space (IWGS).

The members of this interagency working group would include not only
the relevant parts of the intelligence community and the State and
Defense Departments, but also the National Aeronautics and Space
Administration (NASA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA), the Department of Commerce, and other Executive
Branch agencies as necessary.

Meanwhile, the global presence and responsibilities of the United
States have brought new requirements for protecting U.S. space and
communications infrastructures, but no comprehensive national space
architecture has been developed. We recommend that such responsibility
be given to the new interagency space working group and that the
existing National Security Space Architect be transferred from the
Defense Department to the NSC staff to take the lead in this effort.

The Commission has concluded that the basic structure of the
intelligence community does not require change. Our focus is on those
steps that will enable the full implementation of recommendations
found elsewhere within this report.

First in this regard, we recommend that the President order the
setting of national intelligence priorities through National Security
Council guidance to the Director of Central Intelligence.

Second, the intelligence community should emphasize the recruitment of
human intelligence sources on terrorism as one of the intelligence
community's highest priorities, and ensure that existing operational
guidelines support this policy.

Third, the community should place new emphasis on collection and
analysis of economic and science/technology security concerns, and
incorporate more open source intelligence into its analytical
products. To facilitate this effort, Congress should increase
significantly the National Foreign Intelligence Program (NFIP) budget
for collection and analysis.

The Human Requirements for National Security

As it enters the 21st century, the United States finds itself on the
brink of an unprecedented crisis of competence in government. The
declining orientation toward government service as a prestigious
career is deeply troubling. Both civilian and military institutions
face growing challenges, albeit of different forms and degrees, in
recruiting and retaining America's most promising talent. This problem
derives from multiple sources-ample private sector opportunities with
good pay and fewer bureaucratic frustrations, rigid governmental
personnel procedures, the absence of a single overarching threat like
the Cold War to entice service, cynicism about the worthiness of
government service, and perceptions of government as a plodding
bureaucracy falling behind in a technological age of speed and

These factors are adversely affecting recruitment and retention in the
Civil and Foreign Services and particularly throughout the military,
where deficiencies are both widening the gap between those who serve
and the rest of American society and putting in jeopardy the
leadership and professionalism necessary for an effective military. If
we allow the human resources of government to continue to decay, none
of the reforms proposed by this or any other national security
commission will produce their intended results.

We recommend, first of all, a national campaign to reinvigorate and
enhance the prestige of service to the nation. The key step in such a
campaign must be to revive a positive attitude toward public service.
This will require strong and consistent Presidential commitment,
Congressional legislation, and innovative departmental actions
throughout the federal government. It is the duty of all political
leaders to repair the damage that has been done, in a high-profile and
fully bipartisan manner.

From these changes in rhetoric, the campaign must undertake several
actions. First, this Commission recommends the most urgent possible
streamlining of the process by which we attract senior government
officials. The ordeal that Presidential nominees are subjected to is
now so great as to make it prohibitive for many individuals of talent
and experience to accept public service. The confirmation process is
characterized by vast amounts of paperwork and many delays. Conflict
of interest and financial disclosure requirements have become a
prohibitive obstacle to the recruitment of honest men and women to
public service. Post-employment restrictions confront potential new
recruits with the prospect of having to forsake not only income but
work itself in the very fields in which they have demonstrated talent
and found success. Meanwhile, a pervasive atmosphere of distrust and
cynicism about government service is reinforced by the encrustation of
complex rules based on the assumption that all officials, and
especially those with experience in or contact with the private
sector, are criminals waiting to be unmasked.

We therefore recommend the following:

-- That the President act to shorten and make more efficient the
Presidential appointee process by confirming the national security
team first, standardizing paperwork requirements, and reducing the
number of nominees subject to full FBI background checks.

-- That the President reduce the number of Senate-confirmed and
non-career SES positions by 25 percent to reduce the layering of
senior positions in departments that has developed over time.

-- That the President and Congressional leaders instruct their top
aides to report within 90 days of January 20, 2001 on specific steps
to revise government ethics laws and regulations. This should entail a
comprehensive review of regulations that might exceed statutory
requirements and making blind trusts, discretionary waivers, and
recusals more easily available as alternatives to complete divestiture
of financial and business holdings of concern.

Beyond the appointments process, there are problems with government
personnel systems specific to the Foreign Service, the Civil Service,
and to the military services. But for all three, there is one step we
urge: Expand the National Security Education Act of 1991 (NSEA) to
include broad support for social sciences, humanities, and foreign
languages in exchange for civilian government and military service.

This expanded Act is the complement to the National Security Science
and Technology Education Act (NSSTEA) and would provide college
scholarship and loan forgiveness benefits for government service.
Recipients could fulfill this service in a variety of ways: in the
active duty military; in National Guard or Reserve units; in national
security departments of the Civil Service; or in the Foreign Service.
The expanded NSEA thus would provide an important means of recruiting
high-quality people into military and civilian government service.

An effective and motivated Foreign Service is critical to the success
of the Commission's restructuring proposal for the State Department,
yet 25 percent fewer people are now taking the entrance exam compared
to the mid-1980s. Those who do enter complain of poor management and
inadequate professional education. We therefore recommend that the
Foreign Service system be improved by making leadership a core value
of the State Department, revamping the examination process, and
dramatically improving the level of on going professional education.

The Civil Service faces a range of problems from the aging of the
federal workforce to institutional challenges in bringing new workers
into government service to critical gaps in recruiting and retaining
information technology professionals. To address these problems, the
Commission recommends eliminating recruitment hurdles, making the
hiring process faster and easier, and designing professional education
and retention programs worthy of full funding by Congress. Retaining
talented information technology workers, too, will require greater
incentives and the outsourcing of some IT support functions.

The national security component of the Civil Service calls for
professionals with breadth of experience in the inter-agency process
and with depth of knowledge about policy issues. To develop these, we
recommend the establishment of a National Security Service Corps
(NSSC) to broaden the experience base of senior departmental managers
and develop leaders who seek integrative solutions to national
security policy problems. Participating departments would include
Defense, State, Treasury, Commerce, Justice, Energy, and the new
National Homeland Security Agency -- the departments essential to
interagency policymaking on key national security issues. While
participating departments would retain control over their personnel,
an interagency advisory group would design and monitor the rotational
assignments and professional education that will be key to the Corps'

With respect to military personnel, reform is needed in the
recruitment, promotion, compensation and retirement systems.
Otherwise, the military will continue to lose its most talented
personnel, and the armed services will be left with a cadre unable to
handle the technological and managerial tasks necessary for a
world-class 21st century force.

Beyond the significant expansion of scholarships and debt relief
programs recommended in both the modified National Security Education
Act and the newly created National Security Science and Technology
Education Act, we recommend substantial enhancements to the Montgomery
GI Bill and strengthening recently passed and pending legislation that
supports benefits -- including transition, medical, and homeownership
-- for qualified veterans. The GI Bill should be restored as a pure
entitlement, be transferable to dependents if desired by career
service members, and should equal, at the very least, the median
tuition cost of four-year U.S. colleges. The payments should be
accelerated to coincide with school term periods and be indexed to
keep pace with college cost increases. In addition, Title 38 authority
for veterans benefits should be modified to restore and substantially
improve medical, dental, and VA home ownership benefits for all who
qualify, but especially for career and retired service members. Taken
as a package, such changes will help bring the best people into the
armed service and persuade quality personnel to serve longer in order
to secure greater rewards for their service.

While these enhancements are critical they will not, by themselves,
resolve the quality recruitment and retention problems of the
Services. We therefore recommend significant modifications to military
personnel legislation governing officer and enlisted career
management, retirement, and compensation -- giving Service Secretaries
more authority and flexibility to adapt their personnel systems and
career management to meet 21st century requirements. This should
include flexible compensation and retirement plans, exemption from
"up-or-out" mandates, and reform of personnel systems to facilitate
fluid movement of personnel. If we do not decentralize and modernize
the governing personnel legislation, no military reform or
transformation is possible. We call for an Executive-Legislative
working group to monitor, evaluate and share information about the
testing and implementation of these recommendations. With bipartisan
cooperation, our military will remain one of this nation's most
treasured institutions and our safeguard in the changing world ahead.

The Role of Congress

While Congress has mandated many changes to a host of Executive
departments and agencies over the years, it has not fundamentally
reviewed its own role in national security policy. Moreover, it has
not reformed its own structure since 1949. At present, for example,
every major defense program must be voted upon no fewer than eighteen
times each year by an array of committees and subcommittees. This
represents a very poor use of time for busy members of the Executive
and Legislative Branches.

To address these deficiencies, the Commission first recommends that
the Congressional leadership conduct a thorough bicameral, bipartisan
review of the Legislative Branch's relationship to national security
and foreign policy. The House Speaker, Majority, and Minority leaders
and the Senate Majority and Minority leaders must work with the
President and his top aides to bring proposed reforms to this Congress
by the beginning of its second session.

From that basis, Congressional and Executive Branch leaders must build
programs to encourage members to acquire knowledge and experience in
national security. These programs should include ongoing education,
greater opportunities for serious overseas travel, more
legislature-to-legislature exchanges, and greater participation in

Greater fluency in national security matters must be matched by
structural reforms. A comprehensive review of the Congressional
committee structure is needed to ensure that it reflects the
complexity of 21st century security challenges and of U.S. national
security priorities. Specifically we recommend merging appropriations
subcommittees with their respective authorizing committees so that the
new merged committees will authorize and appropriate within the same
bill. This should decrease the bureaucracy of the budget process and
allow more time to be devoted to the oversight of national security

An effective Congressional role in national security also requires
ongoing Executive-Legislative consultation and coordination. The
Executive Branch must ensure a sustained effort in consultation and
devote resources to it. For its part, Congress must make consultation
a higher priority, in part by forming a permanent consultative group
composed of the Congressional leadership and the Chairpersons and
Ranking Members of the main committees involved in national security.
This will form the basis for sustained dialogue and greater support in
times of crisis.

The Commission notes, in conclusion, that some of its recommendations
will save money, while others call for more expenditure. We have not
tried to "balance the books" among our recommendations, nor have we
held financial implications foremost in mind during our work. We
consider any money that may be saved a second-order benefit. We
consider the provision of additional resources to national security,
where necessary, to be investments, not costs, in first-order national

Finally, we strongly urge the new President and the Congressional
leadership to establish some mechanism to oversee the implementation
of the recommendations proffered here. Once some mechanism is chosen,
the President must ensure that responsibility for implementing the
recommendations of this Commission be given explicitly to senior
personnel in both the Executive and Legislative Branches of
government. The press of daily obligations is such that unless such
delegation is made, and those given responsibility for implementation
are held accountable for their tasks, the necessary reforms will not
occur. The stakes are high. We of this Commission believe that many
thousands of American lives, U.S. leadership among the community of
nations, and the fate of U.S. national security itself are at risk
unless the President and the Congress join together to implement the
recommendations set forth in this report.

(end text)

(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov )
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Executive Orders And Laws relating to National Emergencies Laws 
Executive Summary of U.S. Commission on National Security Report 


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Last updated 08/07/2010