This collection of essays considers the evolution of American institutions and processes for forming and implementing US national security policy, and offers diverse policy prescriptions for reform to confront an evolving and uncertain security environment.

Twelve renowned scholars and practitioners of US national security policy take up the question of whether the national security institutions we have are the ones we need to confront an uncertain future. Topics include a characterization of future threats to national security, organizational structure and leadership of national security bureaucracies, the role of the US Congress in national security policy making and oversight, and the importance of strategic planning within the national security enterprise. The book concludes with concrete recommendations for policy makers, most of which can be accomplished under the existing and enduring National Security Act.

This book will be of much interest to students of US national security, US foreign policy, Cold War studies, public policy and Internationl Relations in general.

chapter |7 pages


How should we think about national security reform?
ByHeidi B. Demarest

chapter |18 pages

The durable National Security Act

ByRichard K. Betts

chapter |20 pages

Improving strategic assessment in the executive branch

Lessons from the scholarly literature
ByRisa A. Brooks

chapter |26 pages

Bent but not broken?

Inter-branch politics, checks and balances, and the contemporary national security state
ByDouglas L. Kriner

chapter |10 pages

Toward a smaller White House national security staff

A look at the present in historical perspective
ByI. M. (Mac) Destler

chapter |13 pages

How we decide what we need

Planning the future force
ByDavid S. C. Chu, Allison F. Taylor

chapter |14 pages

Global challenges and American grand strategy for the 21st century

ByWalter Russell Mead

chapter |18 pages

Security challenges in the post-unipolar era

ByAndrew F. Krepinevich Jr.

chapter |5 pages


Looking ahead – The future of national security reform
ByErica D. Borghard

chapter |6 pages


National security reform for a new era – An agenda for policymakers
ByErica D. Borghard