Beyond Goldwater-Nichols Phase II Report

U.S. Government and Defense Reform for a New Strategic Era

This report brings the BG-N approach to bear on the entire U.S. national security structure. It proceeds from a number of overarching principles.  The most relevant of these principles is that in an era of fast-moving, unpredictable challenges, government should be more agile – facilitating action is preferable to incentivizing inaction. The BG-N study team sought to eliminate redundancies that produce inefficiency and conflict, while assuring maximum alignment of authority and accountability, including clear political accountability to the public through the President and the Congress.
Functionally, the report is divided into two parts. Chapters 2-5 address ways to improve national security policymaking and execution on an interagency basis, while chapters 6-12 focus on the Department of Defense.
The interagency recommendations share a broad theme: they aim to get the many disparate parts of the U.S. national security structure to work together, in both planning and execution. The study team’s challenge was to identify ways to better integrate efforts while retaining the agencies’' distinctive knowledge and approaches to issues.


Clark A. Murdock
Senior Adviser (Non-resident), International Security Program

Pierre Chao, Mac Bollman, Jeremiah Gertler, Adam N. Marks, Noah J. Richmond, David R. Scruggs, and Richard Weitz

Anne A. Witkowsky, Michele A. Flournoy, and Christine E. Wormuth