In This Review

Road Map for National Security: Imperative for Change
Road Map for National Security: Imperative for Change
By The United States Commission On National Security/21st centu
, , pp

Chartered by Congress as the most comprehensive national security review in half a century, the Hart-Rudman Commission (named for its chairs, former Senators Warren Rudman and Gary Hart) has issued three reports since 1999. The first report highlighted emerging issues for the next quarter-century, predicting a future much like the present, in which the United States is increasingly threatened by unconventional forms of attack. The second report called for more coherent national strategies to build coalitions and defend both the United States and vital international networks in areas such as energy and communications. This latest and final report focuses on how Washington institutions should adapt. The merits of a few of the report's ideas are already apparent and consequently have been adopted. In other cases, such as organizing homeland defense, the commission has helped consolidate an emerging consensus. Its thoughtful proposals, such as those for the Department of Defense, should aid the ongoing review. The recurrent hope throughout is that someone, somewhere, will animate the leftover institutions of the Cold War's national security state with fresher and more purposeful strategic direction.