Rethinking Leadership and “Whole of Government” National Security Reform: Problems, Progress, and Prospects

Author: Dr Joseph R Cerami, Dr Jeffrey A Engel

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The authors in this book share the viewpoint of many in the international and public affairs communities–that our theories, concepts, and practices for understanding America’s role in the world and the U.S. ability to implement effective and ethical national security policies do not seem to be working very well. Is a new era of reform needed for this new age? Can we offer concrete and theoretical suggetions to reform the U.S. national security system to meet 21st century threats? Do we also know how to develop the kind of effective and ethical leaders who can make such reforms work? These papers explore the need for whole of government, national security reform and, simultaneously, the need to include further emphasis on leadership and leader development, in particular, in such areas as economics, information sharing, and ethics. No thoughtful observer disputes the need for some reform of the national security apparatus to improve the capacity for improving the government’s performance. Yet, by and large, America’s post-September 11, 2001, security agencies and institutions retain their Cold War design. The 1947 National Security Act remains, even after the end of the Cold War, now more than 20 years ago, the defining charter of the nation’s security system. The chapter authors offer practical and theoretical suggestions for reforming the nation’s security needs to address its 21st century threats, while simultaneously developing the kind of effective and ethical leaders necessary to create a 21st century national security system.