Fateful Decisions: Inside the National Security Council

By Karl F. Inderfurth; Loch K. Johnson | Go to book overview

33
ROAD MAP FOR NATIONAL SECURITY
Imperative for Change
Hart–Rudman Report

Envisioned as the most sweeping review of U.S. national security requirements and
organization since the enactment of the 1947 National Security Act, a commission co-
chaired by former U.S. senators Gary Hart and Warren Rudman warned of grave new
threats facing the nation, including international terrorism and the proliferation of
weapons of mass destruction. As part of its "institutional redesign" of the U.S. government
the commission made several recommendations on the proper role of the NSC to address
these new threats.


III. INSTITUTIONAL REDESIGN
Beyond the pressing matter of organizing homeland security, and of recapitalizing core U.S. domestic strengths in science and education, this Commission recommends significant organizational redesign for the Executive Branch. This redesign has been conceived with one overriding purpose in mind: to permit the U.S. government to integrate more effectively the many diverse strands of policy that underpin U.S. national security in a new era—not only the traditional agenda of defense, diplomacy, and intelligence, but also economics, counter-terrorism, combating organized crime, protecting the environment, fighting pandemic diseases, and promoting human rights worldwide.The key component of any Executive Branch organizational design is the President. As one of only two elected members of the Executive Branch, the President is responsible for ensuring that U.S. strategies are designed to seize opportunities and not just to respond to crises. He must find ways to obtain significantly more resources for foreign affairs, and in particular those resources needed for anticipating threats and preventing the emergence of dangers. Without a major increase in resources, the United States will not be able to conduct its national security policies effectively in the 21st century.To that end, the nation must redesign not just individual departments and agencies but its national security apparatus as a whole. Serious deficiencies exist that cannot be solved by a piecemeal approach.
Most critically, no overarching strategic framework guides U.S. national security policymaking or resource allocation. Budgets are still prepared and appropriated as they were during the Cold War.
The power to determine national security policy has migrated toward the National Security Council (NSC) staff. The staff now assumes policymaking and operational roles, with the result that its ability to act as an honest broker and policy coordinator has suffered.
Difficulties persist in ensuring that international political and security perspectives are considered in the making of global economic policy, and that economic goals are given proper attention in national security policymaking.

The U.S. Commission on National Security/21st Century was established by the Defense Department in 1999 and cochaired by for-
mer U.S. senators Gary Hart (D–Colo.) and Warren Rudman (R–N.H.). It released its final report, "Road Map for National Security:
Imperative for Change" on March 15, 2001.

Gary Hart is an attorney and author on public and international affairs living in Colorado. Warren B. Rudman, cofounder of the Con-
cord Coalition, practices law in Washington, D.C.

-365-

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