Government Reform

Through collaborative research, the Atlantic Council’s Foresight, Strategy, and Risks Initiative explores how the National Security Council and the interagency process can – and should – adapt to face the world’s evolving challenges. Shepherded by Ambassadors David Miller, Chester Crocker, and Thomas Pickering, this project proposes bold recommendations for our government’s leaders to govern effectively and efficiently, beginning with the National Security Council and US State Department.

National Security Council Reform

There is a growing consensus that the United States has made serious mistakes in foreign and defense policy over the past two decades. These problems can be observed in the administrations of both political parties. They are rooted both in a failure to define clearly our international strategic objectives and in the poor execution of what we have pursued. These issues have been aggravated by a failure to anticipate both the direct impact and the unintended consequences of our actions. This inability to effectively execute foreign policy and manage military force projection has eroded public confidence in our government and the perception of American leadership globally.

A Foundational Proposal for the Next Administration serves as a point of departure for the next administration. It contains the essential elements for building the most effective national security structure in the small window between today and the first hundred days of the next administration. The perceived simplicity of these foundational recommendations has eluded many of the preceding administrations that have tried to implement some of the elements presented in the report.

US State Department Reform

Throughout 2017 the project will continue its focus on government reform by turning to reform of the US Department of State. Stay tuned for updates.