Growing in both its staff size and its role in national security decisionmaking, the NSC has assumed more of an operational role rather than focusing on strategic planning and interagency coordination. The NSC has been criticized for its overreach into operational and tactical details. However, as an entity under presidential purview, Congress’s ability to restrict the NSC is a constitutional issue. Due to these challenges and constraints, what is a possible way forward for NSC reform?
Both House and Senate bills for the FY 2017 National Defense Authorization Act take a historic leap forward in reforming the Department of Defense’s security cooperation enterprise. Security cooperation is vital to helping the U.S. secure objectives abroad. But what do these drafts propose and what are the implications?
This report is the result of a public survey on defense reform, undertaken with two primary goals. First, to garner a broad sense of public opinion on some of the key facets of the defense reform issues. Second, to test opinions against the old axiom that “where you stand depends on where you sit” by requiring respondents to answer several demographic questions.
The United States has never grappled with the degree of civil-military dysfunction that many other nations have faced. The threat of a military coup has never been a significant concern. Yet civil-military friction is intrinsic in the compromise between the nation’s republican nature, which insists on civilian control and military subordination, and the existence of a standing federal military force.