Report urges overhaul for national security

Recognizing that national security is no longer the sole concern of the Defense Department, a new report by a federal commission pushes for a vast reorganization of the federal government and an overhaul of the appropriations process.

The report by the U.S. Commission on National Security/21st Century, "Road Map for National Security: Imperative for Change," is the third in a series on the changing landscape the United States faces.

In the report, the commission's National Security Study Group makes policy and technical recommendations in five areas:

Ensure the country's security through the creation of a new agency to plan, coordinate and integrate national security activities across government. Improve U.S. expertise in science and education through investment in research and development and providing new funds and programs for teachers. Redesign key agencies within the government, including the National Security Council and the State and Defense departments, and create new organizations. Overhaul the federal personnel system to be better able to attract and retain government employees and officials. Reorganize Congress' role in national security affairs — including encouraging members to learn about the issues, merging appropriations and authorizing committees with oversight in this area — and form a permanent consulting group consisting of the majority and minority leaders on those committees. DOD established the commission in 1998 to examine the changing national security environment, including the growth of network-based attacks on infrastructure.

With the final report done, the commission's charter calls for it to disband by March 15.

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