National Security Professionals and Interagency Reform: Proposals, Recent Experience, and Issues for Congress [September 26, 2011]   [open pdf - 443KB]

"There is a growing consensus among many practitioners and scholars, across the political spectrum, broadly in favor of reforming the U.S. government interagency system to encourage a more effective application of all elements of national power. The reform debates have included proposals and initiatives to establish and foster an interagency community of national security professionals (NSPs) from all relevant departments and agencies. According to proponents, NSPs, through participating in activities that might include shared educational and training opportunities, and rotational tours in other agencies, would gain a better understanding of the mandates, capabilities, and cultures of other agencies. They would become better prepared to plan national security missions with counterparts from other agencies and to execute those missions at home and abroad, and eventually become better able to oversee their own agencies' efforts from leadership positions. [...] This report focuses primarily on analyzing key issues that Members of Congress may wish to consider in evaluating existing or proposed NSP initiatives, including the fundamental purpose; the concept of integration; the scope of participation; practical modalities for making the program work; the role of centralized oversight; incentive structures for individuals and agencies; recruiting; and congressional oversight. For context, the report also describes early NSP proposals; U.S. government strategic guidance; the experiences of the NSPD program to date; and significant congressional initiatives. It makes illustrative use of the military's Joint Qualification System, perhaps the closest U.S. government analogue."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL34565
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