American power and influence have been decisive factors for democracy and security throughout the last half-century. However, after more than two years of serious effort, this Commission has concluded that without significant reforms, American power and influence cannot be sustained. To be of long-term benefit to us and to others, that power and influence must be disciplined by strategy, defined as the systematic determination of the proper relationship of ends to means in support of American principles, interests, and national purpose.
This Commission was established to redefine national security in this age and to do so in a more comprehensive fashion than any other similar effort since 1947. We have carried out our duties in an independent and totally bipartisan spirit. This report is a blueprint for reorganizing the U.S. national security structure in order to focus that structure’s attention on the most important new and serious problems before the nation, and to produce organizational competence capable of addressing those problems creatively.
The key to our vision is the need for a culture of coordinated strategic planning to permeate all U.S. national security institutions. Our challenges are no longer defined for us by a single prominent threat. Without creative strategic planning in this new environment, we will default in time of crisis to a reactive posture. Such a posture is inadequate to the challenges and opportunities before us.
We have concluded that, despite the end of the Cold War threat, America faces distinctly new dangers, particularly to the homeland and to our scientific and educational base. These dangers must be addressed forthwith.
We call upon the new President, the new administration, the new Congress, and the country at large to consider and debate our recommendations in the pragmatic spirit that has characterized America and its people in each new age.
The members of the United States Commission on National Security/21st Century were:
- Gary Hart, Co-Chair
- Warren B. Rudman, Co-Chair
- Anne Armstrong, Commissioner
- John Dancy, Commissioner
- Leslie H. Gelb, Commissioner
- Lee H. Hamilton, Commissioner
- Donald B. Rice, Commissioner
- Harry D. Train, Commissioner
- Norman R. Augustine, Commissioner
- John R. Galvin, Commissioner
- Newt Gingrich, Commissioner
- Lionel H. Olmer, Commissioner
- James Schlesinger, Commissioner
- Andrew Young, Commissioner