- III. Institutional Redesign
- Beyond the pressing matter of organizing homeland security,
and of recapitalizing core U.S. domestic strengths in science and education,
this Commissions 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
international human rights.
- 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 Department of State is a crippled institution
that is starved for resources by Congress because of its inadequacies and
is thereby weakened further. The department suffers in particular from
an ineffective organizational structure in which regional and functional
goals compete, and in which sound management, accountability, and leadership
- · America's overseas presence has not been adjusted
to the new economic, social, political, and security realities of the 21st
century. The broad statutory authority of U.S. Ambassadors is undermined
in practice by their lack of control over resources and personnel.
- · The Department of Defense has serious organizational
deficiencies. The growth in staff and staff activities creates 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 it stifles a defense industry already in financial crisis. Finally,
the force structure development process is not currently aligned with the
needs of today's global security environment.
- · National security policymaking does not manage
space policy in a serious and integrated way.
- · 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 collection and
analysis of intelligence.
- We offer recommendations in several areas: strategic
planning and budgeting; the National Security Council; the Department of
State; the Department of Defense; space policy; and the intelligence community.
We take these areas in turn.
- A. STRATEGIC PLANNING AND BUDGETING
- Strategic planning is largely absent within the U.S.
government. The planning that does occur is ad hoc and specific to Executive
departments and agencies. No overarching strategic framework guides U.S.
national security policy or the allocation of resources.
- Each national security department and agency currently
prepares its own budget. No effort is made to define an overall national
security budget or to show how the allocation of resources in the individual
budgets serves the nation's overall national security goals. The Office
of Management and Budget (OMB) does on occasion consider tradeoffs in the
allocation of resources among the various national security departments
and agencies, but this is not done systematically. Nor are department budgets
presented in a way that Congress can make these tradeoffs as it fulfills
its responsibilities in the budgeting process.
- There is an increasing awareness of this deficiency throughout
the national security community but, so far, only very preliminary steps
have been taken to produce crosscutting budgets. These preliminary steps
have been limited to special transnational issues such as counter-terrorism.
At present, therefore, neither the Congress nor the American people can
assess the relative value of various national security programs over the
full range of Executive Branch activities in this area.
- To remedy these problems, the Commission's initial recommendation
is that strategy should once again drive the design and implementation
of U.S. national security policies:
- · 14: The President should personally guide
a top-down strategic planning process and delegate authority to the National
Security Advisor to coordinate that process.
- Such a top-down process is critical to designing a coherent
and effective U.S. national security policy. In carrying out his strategic
planning responsibilities on the President's behalf, the National Security
Advisor must enlist the active participation of the members and advisors
of the National Security Council. This group should translate the President's
overall vision into a set of strategic goals and priorities, and then provide
specific guidance on the most important national security policies. Their
product would become the basis for the writing of the annual, legislatively-mandated
U.S. National Security Strategy.
- Carrying out this guidance would rest with the senior-level
deputies in the departments and agencies, facilitated by the NSC staff.
They would be specifically responsible for designing preventive strategies,
overseeing how the departments carry forward the President's strategic
goals, and reviewing contingency planning for critical military and humanitarian
- The Commission believes that overall strategic goals
and priorities should also guide the allocation of national security resources,
and therefore recommends the following:
- · 15: The President should prepare and present
to the Congress an overall national security budget to serve the critical
goals that emerge from the NSC strategic planning process. Separately,
the President should continue to submit budgets for the individual national
security departments and agencies for Congressional review and appropriation.
- The OMB, with the support of the NSC staff, should undertake
the task of formulating this national security budget. Initially, it should
focus on a few of the nation's most critical strategic goals, involving
only some programs in the departmental budgets. Over time, however, it
could evolve into a more comprehensive document. Homeland security, counter-terrorism,
nonproliferation, nuclear threat reduction, and science and technology
should be included in the initial national security budget. This process
should also serve as a basis for defining the funds to be allocated for
- Such goal-oriented budgets would help both the administration
and Congress identify the total level of government effort as well as its
composition. Gaps and duplication could be more readily identified. Such
budgets would also enable the Congress to prioritize the most critical
national security goals when they appropriate funds to departments and
- The President would be able to implement these recommendations
on his own authority as they involve White House staff activities. As far
as the budgetary implications go, this reform would not cost money but,
by rationalizing the strategy and budgeting process, go far toward assuring
that money is spent more efficiently and wisely.
B. THE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL
- In exercising his Constitutional power, the President's
personal style and managerial preferences will be critical in how he relates
to his Cabinet secretaries and in how he structures his White House staff.
But the organization and the characteristics of the national security apparatus
will importantly affect the policies that emerge.
- The National Security Council was created as part of
the 1947 National Security Act to advise the President on the integration
of domestic, foreign, and military policies, and to help coordinate the
activities of the national security departments and agencies. Its statutory
members currently include the Vice President, the Secretary of State, and
the Secretary of Defense. The Director of Central Intelligence and the
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are statutory advisers. The NSC staff
authorized by the 1947 Act has evolved over time into a major instrument
of Presidential governance, wielded by the Assistant to the President for
National Security Affairs (the National Security Advisor or NSC Advisor),
not specified in any statute, who has become increasingly powerful.
- Obviously, this evolution has been affected by the degree
of Presidential involvement in foreign and national security policy as
well as by their various personalities and leadership styles. Over the
past decade, Presidents have increasingly centralized power with the NSC
staff for the making and execution of national security policy. In many
ways, the NSC staff has become more like a government agency than a Presidential
staff. It has its own views and perspectives on the myriad of national
security issues confronting the government. It has its own press, legislative,
communication, and speechmaking "shops" to enable it to conduct
ongoing relations with the media, Congress, the American public, and foreign
governments. Aside from staffing the President, the NSC staff's primary
focus has become the day-to-day management of the nation's foreign and
national security policy.
- Why has this centralization of power occurred? First,
with the end of the Cold War, national security issues now involve even
more policy dimensions-financial and trade issues, environmental issues,
international legal issues, for example-and each dimension has proponents
within the Executive Branch. It has become harder, therefore, to assign
any one department as the leading actor for a given policy area. The traditional
dividing lines between foreign and domestic policy have also blurred further.
Of all the players, only the NSC staff, in the name of the President, is
in a position to coordinate these disparate interests effectively.
- Second, foreign policy is also now very politicized.
Few, if any, issues are easily separated from domestic political debate:
not military intervention, not diplomatic relations, and certainly not
trade and economic interactions with the outside world. Political oversight
of these policies naturally falls to the White House, with the NSC staff
acting as its foreign policy arm.
- Finally and most importantly, the State Department over
the past few decades has been seriously weakened and its resources significantly
reduced. Foreign aid programs, as well as representational responsibilities,
are now dispersed throughout the government. It therefore has fallen to
the NSC staff to manage the conduct of America's foreign policy that was
once the prerogative of the Department of State.
- This description of the origin of the problem clearly
illustrates a key principle in any attempt to set it aright; namely, that
the NSC Advisor and staff cannot be redirected unless the Department of
State is also set aright.
- The Commission views with alarm the expansion of the
role of the NSC staff and recommends the following:
- · 16: The National Security Council (NSC) should
be responsible for advising the President and for coordinating the multiplicity
of national security activities, broadly defined to include economic and
domestic law enforcement activities as well as the traditional national
security agenda. The NSC Advisor and staff should resist the temptation
to assume a central policymaking and operational role.
- The National Security Advisor and NSC staff should give
priority to their traditional and unique roles, namely coordinating the
policymaking process, so that all those with stakes are involved, and all
realistic policy options are considered and analyzed.49 The NSC Advisor
and staff should provide advice privately to the President and oversee
the implementation of Presidential decisions. They should also assume those
roles that are unique to the President's staff, such as preparations for
overseas trips and communications with foreign leaders.
- At the same time, the NSC advisor and staff should resist
pressures toward the centralization of power, avoid duplicating the responsibilities
of the departments, and forego operational control of any aspect of U.S.
policy. Assuming a central policymaking role seriously detracts from the
NSC staff's primary roles of honest broker and policy coordinator.
- The National Security Advisor should also keep a low
public profile. Legislative, press, communications, and speech writing
functions should reside in the White House staff. These functions should
not be duplicated separately in the NSC staff as they are today.
- The President, not his personal staff or advisors, is
publicly accountable to the American people. To the degree that the role
of the National Security Advisor continues to be one of public spokesman,
policymaker, and operator, the Commission wishes the President to understand
that pressure is growing in the Congress for making the National Security
Advisor accountable to the American people through Senate confirmation
and through formal and public appearances before Congressional committees.
Returning to a lower-profile National Security Advisor will be difficult,
but such an approach will produce the best policy results and deflate this
- Every President in the last 30 years has devised some
organizational approach to integrating international economic policies
with both domestic economic policies and national security considerations.
Many methods have been tried. Most recently, in 1993 the Clinton Administration
created the National Economic Council (NEC) as a parallel coordinating
institution to the NSC.
- The NEC experiment has been a disappointment. The Treasury
Department dominates global financial policy, and its decisions have often
neglected broader national security considerations-most critically, for
example, in the early stages of the recent Asian economic crisis. Meanwhile,
the United States Trade Representative (USTR)-and not the NEC-retains responsibility
for coordinating trade policies and negotiations. The small NEC staff,
as well, finds itself bureaucratically weaker than the NSC staff and (even
when the staffers are dual-hatted) the NSC perspective has predominated.
- The policy process should ensure that the coordination
of national security activities reflects the new centrality of economics.
This Commission therefore offers the following two recommendations:
- · 17: The President should propose to the Congress
that the Secretary of Treasury be made a statutory member of the National
- Consistent with our strong preference for Cabinet government,
this Commission believes the Secretary of the Treasury should be the President's
right arm for international economic policy. But the Treasury's actions
should be coordinated within the National Security Council process. In
the NSC system of supporting subcommittees, Treasury should chair an interagency
working group that manages international economic and financial policies
(including managing financial crises), but it is a Presidential interest
that decisions be fully coordinated with other relevant national security
agencies. We understand that Secretaries of the Treasury have been routinely
invited to National Security Council meetings. But designation as a statutory
member of the NSC would signify the importance of truly integrating economic
policy into national security policy.
- · 18: The President should abolish the National
Economic Council, distributing its domestic economic policy responsibilities
to the Domestic Policy Council and its international economic responsibilities
to the National Security Council.
- The NSC staff should assume the same coordinating role
for international economic policy as for other national security policies.
To emphasize its importance, the Commission recommends the appointment
of a Deputy National Security Advisor with responsibility for international
economics. We also believe that to integrate properly the economic component
of statecraft in the NSC staff system, more experts in international economics
need to be recruited and placed in offices throughout the NSC staff. To
ensure the integration of domestic and international economic policies,
the staffs of the Domestic Policy Council, the Council of Economic Advisers,
and the NSC will need to work together very closely.
- C. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
- Over the past few decades, the Department of State has
been seriously weakened as many of its core functions were parceled out
to other agencies. The Agency for International Development, Treasury,
and Defense assumed responsibility for foreign assistance programs, the
USTR took over trade negotiations, and the Commerce Department began to
conduct foreign commercial activities. For many years, too, arms control
and public diplomacy were managed by separate agencies. Other departments,
as well as the NSC staff, have also acquired foreign policy expertise and
regularly pursue representational activities all around the world.
- The State Department's own effort to cover all the various
aspects of national security policy-economic, transnational, regional,
security-has produced an exceedingly complex organizational structure.
Developing a distinct "State" point of view is now extremely
difficult and this, in turn, has reduced the department's ability to exercise
- Over the past decade, the impulse to create individual
functional bureaus was useful substantively and politically; e.g., in the
cases of human rights, democracy, law enforcement, refugees, political-military
affairs, and nonproliferation. The problem is that overall organizational
efficiency and effectiveness have been lost in the process.
- More fundamentally, the State Department's present organizational
structure works at cross-purposes with its Foreign Service culture. The
Foreign Service thinks in terms of countries, and therein lies its invaluable
expertise. But the most senior officials have functional responsibilities.
The department's matrix organization makes it unclear who is responsible
for policies with both regional and functional elements. The department
rarely speaks with one voice, thus reducing its influence and credibility
in its interactions with the Congress and in its representation abroad.
- As a result of these many deficiencies, confidence in
the department is at an all-time low. A spiral of decay has unfolded over
many years in which the Congress, reacting to inefficiencies within the
department, has consistently underfunded the nation's needs in the areas
of representation overseas and foreign assistance. That underfunding, in
turn, has deepened the State Department's inadequacies. This spiral must
- Foreign assistance is a valuable instrument of U.S. foreign
policy, but its present organizational structure, too, is a bureaucratic
morass. Congress has larded the Foreign Assistance Act with so many earmarks
and tasks for the U.S. Agency for International Development (AID) that
it lacks a coherent purpose. Responsibility today for crisis prevention
and responses is dispersed in multiple AID and State bureaus, and among
State's Under Secretaries and the AID Administrator. In practice, therefore,
no one is in charge.
- Over $4 billion is spent on the State Department's bilateral
assistance programs (Economic Support Funds) and AID's sustainable development
programs. Neither the Secretary of State nor the AID Administrator is able
to coordinate these foreign assistance activities or avoid duplication
among them. More important, no one is responsible for integrating these
programs into broader preventive strategies or for redeploying them quickly
in response to crises. The Congress, too, has no single person to hold
accountable for how the monies it appropriates are spent. Moreover, the
majority of AID funding is expended through contracts with non- governmental
organizations (NGOs) who often lobby Congress over various AID programs,
further undermining the coherence of the nation's assistance programs.
- Take the case of a potential response to a humanitarian
disaster in Africa, similar in nature and scale to the 1999 floods in Mozambique.
Today, should some such disaster recur, three AID bureaus would be involved:
those dealing with Africa, Global Programs, and Humanitarian Response.
Responsibility would be dispersed among at least three Under Secretaries
of State (Global Affairs, Political Affairs, and International Security
Affairs), and four State bureaus (Africa; Democracy, Human Rights, and
Labor; Population, Refugees, and Migration; and Political-Military). Neither
the Secretary of State nor the AID Administrator would be in a position
to commit the resources found to be necessary, or to direct related humanitarian
and refugee assistance operations. As Figure 3 on page 57 suggests, other
government agencies, and especially the Defense Department, would be at
a loss to know where and how to coordinate their activities with those
of the State Department.
- This Commission believes that the Secretary of State
should be primarily responsible for the making and implementation of foreign
policy, under the direction of the President. The State Department needs
to be fundamentally restructured so 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 resources.
While we believe that our NSC and State Department recommendations make
maximal sense when taken together, the reform of the State Department must
be pursued whether or not the President adopts the Commission's recommendations
with respect to the NSC Advisor and staff.
- Significant improvements in its effectiveness and competency
would provide the rationale for the significant increase in State Department
resources necessary to carry out the nation's foreign policy in the coming
quarter century. In our view, additional resources are clearly needed to
foster the nation's critical goals: promoting economic growth and democracy,
undertaking preventive diplomacy, providing for the security of American
officials abroad, funding the shortfalls in personnel and operating expenses,
and installing the information technologies necessary for the U.S. national
security apparatus to operate effectively in the 21st century. The United
States will be unable to conduct its foreign policy in all its dimensions
without the commitment of such new resources. A failure to provide these
funds will be far more costly to the United States in the long term.
- More specifically, then, this Commission strongly recommends
the following State Department redesign:
- · 19: The President should propose to the Congress
a plan to reorganize the State Department, creating five Under Secretaries,
with responsibility for overseeing the regions of Africa, Asia, Europe,
Inter-America, and Near East/South Asia, and redefining the responsibilities
of the Under Secretary for Global Affairs. These new Under Secretaries
would operate in conjunction with the existing Under Secretary for Management.
- The new Under Secretaries, through the Secretary of State,
would be accountable to the President and the Congress for all foreign
policy activities in their areas of responsibility. Someone would actually
be in charge.
- On behalf of the Secretary, the new Under Secretaries
would formulate a "State" view and represent the department in
NSC meetings. They would appear before Congressional committees. They would
be positioned to orchestrate preventive diplomatic strategies as well as
crisis responses. They would oversee the implementation of all the various
assistance programs (development aid, democracy building, and security
assistance) and explain them coherently before Congress. They would assemble
the various political and security considerations that need to be factored
into U.S. government decisions on global financial crises and other international
economic policies. They would be able to tailor public diplomacy to policy
goals and integrate these activities with other aspects of America's diplomacy.
They would be able to liaise effectively with the growing number of NGOs
engaged in national security activities. (To show how this would work,
we have provided below illustrative responsibilities for a regional Under
Secretary and for the Under Secretary for Global Affairs.)
- Figure 3
- Figure 4
- As Figure 4 on page 58 shows, each Under Secretary would
have a Deputy, so as to provide depth in crisis situations, or to take
on critical diplomatic assignments. Three bureaus would support the Under
Secretaries, each organized to achieve functional goals (political affairs,
security affairs, and economic and transnational affairs). The new Under
Secretary for Global Affairs would be designated as the third-ranking official
in the department to emphasize the importance of global issues and activities.
Consistent with past practice, this designation would not represent another
organizational layer; the Under Secretary for Global Affairs would simply
be the one designated as Acting Secretary when the Secretary and Deputy
Secretary were away. The functions of the Under Secretary for Management
would need to be redefined in light of the responsibility being given for
programs and budgets to the other Under Secretaries.
- This reorganization should be accompanied by, and will
be strengthened by, the full integration of the nation's foreign assistance
activities into the overall framework of U.S. national security. We therefore
recommend strongly that:
- · 20: The President should propose to the Congress
that the U.S. Agency for International Development be consolidated into
the State Department. Development aid is not an end in itself, nor can
it be successful if pursued independently of other U.S. programs and activities.
It is part of the nation's overall effort to eradicate poverty, encourage
the adoption of democratic norms, and dampen ethnic and religious rivalries.
To be effective, U.S. development assistance must be coordinated with various
other diplomatic activities, such as challenging corrupt government practices
or persuading governments to adopt more sensible land-use policies. Only
a coordinated diplomatic and assistance effort will advance the nation's
goals abroad, whether they be economic growth and stability, democracy,
human rights, or environmental protection.
- Such a fundamental organizational redesign must have
a strategic planning and budgetary process aligned with it. We therefore
recommend the following:
- · 21: 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. This office would work directly
for the Secretary of State and represent the department in NSC-led government-wide
strategic planning efforts. Within that framework, the office would define
the department's overall foreign policy goals and priorities. It would
plan and prioritize all the department's assistance programs. It would
be responsible for coordinating the budget planning process and adjudicating
any differences among the Under Secretaries.
- Take the case of a Congressional appropriation involving
worldwide population programs. This new office would ask the Under Secretary
for Global Affairs to make the initial recommendation as to how the funds
would be distributed. The regional Under Secretaries would then have an
opportunity to appeal. Once the Secretary decided, the Under Secretary
for Global Affairs would have line responsibility for implementing those
programs destined for international organizations, and the other Under
Secretaries for programs within their regions.
- By integrating strategic and resource planning, the Secretary
of State would have a more effective means for managing the activities
of the department as well as U.S. embassies abroad.
- This office would essentially combine the offices of
Resources, Plans & Policy, and Policy Planning in the current organizational
set-up, eliminating the major design flaw of segregating planning from
resource allocation. But it would retain the responsibility for housing
and encouraging a small group of officers to do longer-range and strategic
thinking, as has been the principal task of the Policy Planning Staff for
half a century.
- Figure 3. Current
Organization of Department of State*50
- Figure 4: Proposed
Organization of Department of State
It follows from a reform that integrates many of the nation's foreign policy
activities under the Secretary of State that a similar logic should be
applied to the State Department budget as a whole. We therefore recommend
- · 22: The President should ask Congress to
appropriate funds to the State Department in a single integrated Foreign
Operations budget, which would include all foreign assistance programs
and activities as well as all expenses for personnel and operations.
- The State Department's International Affairs (Function
150) Budget Request would no longer be divided into separate appropriations
by the Foreign Operations subcommittee on the one hand, and by a subcommittee
on the Commerce, State, and Justice Departments on the other. The Congressional
leadership would need to alter the current jurisdictional lines of the
Appropriations subcommittees so that the Foreign Operations subcommittee
would handle the entire State Department budget. Such a reform would give
the administration the opportunity to:
- -Allocate all the State Department's resources in a way
to carry out the President's overall strategic goals;
- -Ensure that the various assistance programs are integrated,
rather than simply a collection of administrations' political commitments
and Congressional earmarks; and
- -Replace the existing budget categories with purposeful
- We cannot emphasize strongly enough how critical it is
to change the Department of State from the demoralized and relatively ineffective
body it has become into the President's critical foreign policymaking instrument.
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, those functional perspectives,
whether human rights, arms control, or the environment, would 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 functional tasks.
- By making work on functional matters a career path through
the regional hierarchy, the new organization would give Foreign Service
officers an incentive to develop functional expertise in such areas as
the environment, arms control, and drug trafficking. Civil servants in
the State Department would have new opportunities to apply their technical
expertise in regional settings. The ability to formulate and integrate
U.S. foreign policies in a regional context, too, will give them greater
coherence and improve their effectiveness.
- The Under Secretary for Global Affairs, as redefined,
would give priority and high-level attention to working with international
organizations. In particular, it would consolidate humanitarian and refugee
assistance programs, thereby remedying the lack of leadership and coordination
in past operations. This new organization would bring together all the
department's crisis management operations: counter-terrorism Foreign Emergency
Support Teams (FEST) teams, humanitarian assistance Disaster Assistance
Response Teams (DART) teams, and military over-flight clearances.
- The overall restructuring of the State Department would
vastly improve its management. It would rationalize the Secretary's span
of control through a significant reduction in the number of individuals
reporting directly to the Secretary, and it would abolish Special Coordinators
and Envoys. The duplication that exists today in the regional and functional
bureaus would be eliminated. The number of bureaus would be reduced significantly.
One new Under Secretary would be created, but the AID Administrator position
would be eliminated.
- We are aware that our proposed restructuring of the State
Department will give rise to the concern that such functional goals as
nonproliferation and human rights will be diminished in importance. Indeed,
the primary motivation for establishing the functional Under Secretaries
and their bureaus was to counter the prevailing culture of the department,
which tends to give priority to maintaining good bilateral relations rather
than pressing foreign governments on these contentious matters.
- But in the restructuring reform offered here, proponents
for these functional goals will still exist. Indeed, they will be in a
better position to affect policies by being involved in their formulation
early on in the process, and not at the last moment by intercession with
the Secretary. The Under Secretaries will be responsible for ensuring that
the priorities of the President, Secretary, and Congress are being achieved.
If these involve counter-terrorism, refugees, the environment, or some
other functional goal, it is hard to imagine that they would be neglected.
- Another possible concern is that organizing in terms
of regional Under Secretaries is inconsistent with globalizing trends.
The Commission's Phase I Report forecasts that global forces, especially
economic ones, will continue to challenge the role and efficacy of states.
More important, however, it affirms that "the principle of national
sovereignty will endure."*52 States will remain the main venue for
diplomatic activity for a long time. This restructuring proposal is based
on the reality that the United States will need to continue to deal with
states around the world while being able, as well, to integrate policies
in both regional and global contexts. The new Strategic Planning, Assistance,
and Budget Office, along with the Global Affairs Under Secretary and Assistant
Secretaries, will also be available to ensure that global perspectives
are given sufficient attention.
- Defining the geographical coverage of the regions will
necessarily be somewhat arbitrary, but the same problem exists under any
arrangement. Russia will be integrated again into Europe and South Asia
joined again with the Middle East. The most difficult decisions will involve
where to place Turkey; whether to keep India and Pakistan in the same region
or separate them; how to divide up the newly independent states of the
former Soviet Union; and whether northern Africa is part of the Middle
East or Africa. Setting up the new organization will provide an opportunity
to make these decisions anew in light of prospective developments in the
coming decades, and, if at all possible, to build in some degree of flexibility
for the years ahead.
- Issues will certainly arise that span regions or require
the integration of regional and global perspectives. Planning for G-8 meetings,
for example, will have to involve all the Under Secretaries. The Under
Secretaries of Global Affairs, Europe, the Americas, and Asia would have
a role in policies bearing on national missile defense. Global financial
crises would almost certainly engage more than one Under Secretary. Jurisdictional
disputes may well arise that the Secretary (or the Deputy Secretary) will
have to address. What the restructuring will have done, however, is to
make the number of those cases requiring intervention far fewer than today.
That is how senior management is most effectively employed in any successful
private corporate organization; so why not in the U.S. Department of State?
- Another concern that some may have is that development
programs will be neglected if AID is integrated into the State Department.
Some may worry, as well, that the State Department will direct foreign
assistance to programs promising immediate political returns. This is not
so. In the new organization, the Secretary of State could directly instruct
the Strategic Planning, Assistance, and Budget Office to ensure that priority
is given to development aid-if that is the wish of the President and the
Congress. The demise of AID would also mean that no single person, apart
from the Secretary of State, would be accountable for the implementation
of development programs. It is true that each Under Secretary would oversee
development aid for only their area of responsibility. But they would be
able to integrate these activities with all the other regional or global
assistance programs far more effectively than is the case today. Indeed,
AID's current decentralized structure would fit well with the overall State
restructuring. AID's regional and global offices would become part of the
new Economic and Transnational Bureaus. AID regional and global planning
and budgeting offices would be retained as part of the Under Secretaries'
staffs. AID's budget officials would join the Strategic Planning, Assistance,
and Budget Office, and their procurement and contracting officials would
be integrated into State Department offices with similar responsibilities.
The actual planning and administration of AID programs would be very similar
to current practices.
- The United States is represented overseas in 160 countries,
with over 250 embassies, consulates, and missions. Over 14,000 Americans
and about 30,000 foreign nationals are employed in these posts. More than
30 U.S. government agencies operate overseas. This Commission believes
that the U.S. overseas presence has been badly short-changed by shortsighted
budget cuts to the point where the security and prosperity of the American
people are ill-served. But it also believes that the U.S. presence must
be adjusted to new and prospective economic, social, political, and security
realities. Only with such changes will Congressional confidence be restored,
and the necessary funding provided, to support these critical activities.
- We also believe that in order for the State Department
to run efficiently in an increasingly "wired world," its worldwide
information technology assets must be updated. There has been progress
in this area, but more could be done. This Commission urges Congress to
provide sufficient funding to ensure the full completion of this effort.*53
- U.S. Ambassadors and embassies play critical roles in
promoting U.S. national security goals overseas. We therefore recommend
that all other Ambassadors, including the U.S. Permanent Representative
to the United Nations, be brought under the authority of the Secretary
of State for policymaking and implementation, without altering their representational
role on behalf of the President.
- The President should also take steps to reinforce the
authorities of all U.S. Ambassadors. Ambassadors should be responsible
for planning and coordinating the activities of all the agencies at each
mission, including U.S. assistance and law enforcement activities. The
Ambassadors should formulate a comprehensive, integrated mission plan and
recommend to the Cabinet secretaries an integrated country budget. The
new State Department Under Secretaries should be advocates for their Ambassadors'
budget priorities in Washington's interagency budget deliberations. We
further recommend the following:
- · 23:The President should ensure that Ambassadors
have the requisite area knowledge as well as leadership and management
skills to function effectively. He should therefore appoint an independent,
bipartisan advisory panel to the Secretary of State to vet ambassadorial
appointees, career and non-career alike.
- This Commission also believes that the Secretary of State,
on behalf of the President, should pursue urgently the process of "right-sizing"
all American posts overseas. The process must ensure that embassy activities
are responsive to emerging challenges and encourage greater flexibility
in the size and concept of embassies and consulates to serve specialized
needs.*54 Embassies should also be reorganized into sections reflecting
the new State Department organization: political, security, and economic/transnational
- Regions will become more important in the emerging world
of the 21st century. State borders no longer contain the flow of refugees,
the outbreak of ethnic violence, the spread of deadly diseases, or environmental
disasters. Humanitarian and military operations will often depend on access
rights in many different countries. As regional political and economic
organizations gradually evolve outside Europe, they may begin to take on
roles in fighting such transnational dangers as crime, drugs, and money
laundering. The United States needs flexible ways to deal with these regional
- Today, U.S. Ambassadors are accredited to individual
states. No mechanism exists for them to coordinate their activities regionally.
The unified military commands are regionally based, but their planning
and operations are focused primarily on military contingencies. Every regional
Commander-in-Chief (CINC) does have a Political Adviser from the State
Department, but there is no systematic civilian foreign policy input into
military planning. When a crisis occurs, coordinating the various civilian
activities (humanitarian assistance and police forces) with military activities
(transport or peacekeeping operations) remains very uneven. More fundamentally,
a gap exists between the CINC, who operates on a regional basis, and the
Ambassador, who is responsible for activities within one country.
- In light of these circumstances, and fully mindful of
the need to reinforce the goals of the new State Department organization
proposed above, the Commission encourages the departments and agencies
involved in foreign operations-State, Defense, Treasury, Commerce, and
Justice- to cooperate more fully in regional planning. Specifically the
- · Establish NSC interagency working groups for
each major region, chaired by the respective regional Under Secretary of
State, to develop regional strategies and coordinated government-wide plans
for their implementation;
- · Direct the Secretary of Defense to have regional
CINCs institute a process through their Political Advisers to involve the
Ambassadors in their region in their military planning; and
- · Direct the Secretary of State to instruct the
regional Under Secretaries to meet at least semi-annually with the ambassadors
located in their region (with one such meeting each year being held in
the same general location as the regional CINCs).
- The implementation of these recommendations concerning
the Department of State in all its various aspects, and their budgetary
implications, is a complex undertaking. As noted, the Commission's recommendations
involving the NSC processes and staff could be implemented immediately.
The problem will be that, to have any chance of returning to the NSC's
more traditional roles, the State Department needs to be strengthened well
beyond the designation of a strong Secretary of State. Congressional action
will be required to implement the proposed reorganization. With respect
to the U.S. overseas presence, the President has the authority to carry
out the Commission's recommendations. We urge him to use that authority
D. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
- The Department of Defense (DoD) protects the American
people and advances the nation's interests and values worldwide. It also
plays a critical role in maintaining global peace. And it stands in dire
need of serious reform.
- DoD's current organization, infrastructure, business
practices, and legal and regulatory structure evolved during the Cold War
in ad hoc and incremental ways. Many commissions have addressed DoD structure
over the years and offered recommendations for reform. Some have been implemented,
but this Commission believes that much still needs to be done. In particular:
- · DoD's policy organization is outdated and overly
- · Major staff roles and responsibilities are ill-defined,
with duplication and redundancy the rule not the exception;
- · Supporting infrastructure is highly inefficient
and consumes a major portion of the DoD budget;
- · The present process for programming and budgeting
military forces generates strategic postures not very different from those
of the Cold War despite vastly changed strategic realities;
- · The weapons acquisition process, which is slow,
inefficient, and burdened by excessive regulation and politicization, has
become a burden on a defense industry is already in the midst of a financial
- · The process by which force structure planning
occurs is not appropriately aligned with the current global security realities.
- 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. The new Secretary of Defense
will need to be personally engaged. The challenges are too great to delegate
responsibility to others. His central task will be to persuade Congress
to accord him the flexibility he needs to carry out the Commission's recommendations,
and to contain Congress' desire to micro-manage DoD processes through crippling
laws and regulations.
- Resource issues are also at stake in Defense Department
reform. America's global commitments are so extensive, and the costs of
future preparedness are so high, that significantly more resources will
be required to match means to ends. The potential mismatch ahead between
strategy and resources can be mitigated in the longer run by generating
savings from within the Defense Department through extensive management
reform. Not only will the Defense Department save money that it needs for
its core responsibilities, it may also increase Congress' willingness to
shrink the mismatch between means and ends in the nearer term.
- Policy Reform
- The Under Secretary of Defense for Policy supports the
Secretary of Defense in his role as a member of the National Security Council,
and helps him to ensure that the multiplicity of DoD's defense and military
activities are guided by the President's overall national security policies.
The structure of the Policy staff has evolved over many years as a result
of the wishes of individual Secretaries and various Congressional mandates.
Today, the office retains its traditional focus on security assistance
and alliance relations. It has also expanded its mandate to foster defense
relationships throughout the world as well as to participate in such functional
activities as nuclear threat reduction, humanitarian assistance, and counter-drug
efforts. At the same time, such policy activities as export controls and
arms control verification have been given to the recently consolidated
Defense Threat Reduction Agency.
- The most recent reorganization gives little emphasis
to strategic planning, though the Strategy and Threat Reduction office
is involved to some extent in defense strategy and contingency planning.
Regional and functional responsibilities are dispersed among Policy's three
offices. The office of International Security Affairs covers Europe, Asia,
Middle East, and Africa. A Congressionally-mandated assistant secretary
deals with Special Operations and Low- Intensity Conflict (SOLIC) as well
as Inter-American affairs, terrorism, drugs, peacekeeping, and humanitarian
operations. The Strategy and Threat Reduction office focuses on the functional
areas of nuclear weapons and missile defense, counter-proliferation and
threat reduction, and the regional areas of Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia.
The result is a very complex structure that makes coordination difficult
within the Defense Department and with other government agencies.
- This Commission therefore recommends some modest but
important reforms, as follows:
- · 24: The Secretary of Defense should propose
to Congress a restructuring plan for the Office of the Under Secretary
of Defense for Policy, which would abolish the office of the Assistant
Secretary for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict (SOLIC), and
create a new office of an Assistant Secretary dedicated to Strategy and