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Road Map for National Security: Imperative for Change

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2001
149 pages
This document is a report by the United States Commission on National Security for the 21st Century.
The Commission concluded that significant changes must be made in the structures and processes of the U.S. national security apparatus. Recommendations for organizational change are in five key areas. The first area is ensuring the security of the American homeland. The creation of a new independent National Homeland Security Agency is recommended, with responsibility for planning, coordinating, and integrating various U.S. Government activities involved in homeland security. The second area is recapitalizing America’s strengths in science and education. Specific recommendations are to double the Federal research development budget, elevate the role of the President’s Science Advisor to oversee tasks, and create a new National Security Science and Technology Education Act. The third area is to redesign key institutions of the Executive Branch. 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. The fourth key is overhauling the U.S. government personnel system. This included a national campaign to reinvigorate and enhance the prestige of service to the Nation; and streamlining the process by which senior government officials are attracted. The fifth area is reorganizing Congress’s role in national security affairs. Congressional leadership should conduct a thorough bicameral, bipartisan review of the Legislative Branch’s relationship to national security and foreign policy. Congressional and Executive Branch leaders must build programs to encourage members to acquire knowledge and experience in national security. A permanent consultative group should be formed, composed of the Congressional leadership and the Chairpersons and Ranking Members of the main committees involved in national security. The President and the Congressional leadership should establish some mechanism to oversee the implementation of the recommendations proffered in this report. 3 appendices