Interagency Cometh: Is the National Security System of 1947 Capable of Handling the Challenges of 2009?
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Interagency Cometh: Is the National Security System of 1947 Capable of Handling the Challenges of 2009?

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Robert D. Halvorson
246x189x3 mm

Despite the complexity of the Contemporary Operating Environment, the United States is still wedded to a national security system created in 1947. The United States places itself in jeopardy by using a system created at the end of World War II for a world where state actors were the primary threat, with the Soviet Union, the Cold War, and nuclear deterrence taking center stage. The National Security Council (NSC) is no longer capable of efficiency. The advisory body created by congress and President Truman has been overcome in recent years by the complex environment evolving from the end of the Cold War. The NSC's efficiency began to falter in Vietnam, and its failed policies have resulted in numerous interagency failures throughout the last 40 years. Compounding the issues at the national policy planning level is the current regional policy execution system. The United States has militarized its foreign policy. It has done so out of circumstance vice design. The evolution of the Department of Defense since 1949 has led it to create Geographic Combatant Commands, which are staffed and capable of regional policy execution. Recent inclusion of other agency personnel into the commands to enable them to plan in an "interagency" fashion has given them even more capability to act as the regional foreign policy arm of the United States. Adding to this militarization of policy execution is the lack of regional capability within the Department of State. The evolution of the State Department has led it to create an ambassador-centric organization, which engages single countries in diplomacy instead of approaching diplomacy regionally. Without a systemic change at national and regional levels, the United States runs the risk of improperly identifying future problems, and creating policy that when implemented may exacerbate global tensions. This monograph recommends changes to the national and regional policy planning and implementation systems. While changes at the national l

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