White Paper

Government, Process and Structure Project

The Standing Committee on Law and National Security is committed to educating the Bar and the public on the importance of the rule of law in protecting U.S. national security, reflected in our freedoms and liberty and in our physical security.

As part of our work, the Committee has developed a project on “Governance, Process, and Structure (GPS). The intent is to suggest a better bureaucratic compass. The project addresses two recurring questions about the process of government – whether it is too centralized in the White House and at the National Security Council, undercutting departmental expertise and capacity, and whether it is effective and timely in providing a “whole-of-government” approach to security. Members of the Committee considered these questions in the context of their specialized fields of practice, study, and knowledge.  We further invited our members to do so in the form of papers that might quickly orient a transition team, NSC staff, or legislator, to the core organizational and structural issues.

The papers represent the opinions of the authors and do not reflect the official policy of their respective agencies.  They should not be construed to be those of either the ABA or the Standing Committee, unless adopted pursuant to our bylaws. The first of these papers address the National Security Council (NSC), NSC process, and the NSC staff.  It is our intention that as other papers are prepared we will release them as well.  We hope you find these papers useful and welcome your comments and suggestions.   

- Judge James Baker, Committee Chair

Download the full Government, Process & Structure Report


An Introduction to the Project

The National Security Council in Transition
by James E. Baker

Nuclear Nonproliferation in the Interagency
by David S. Jonas

Homeland Security, The Need for Essential Change: Four Models of Decision for Improved Governance and a Resilient Nation
by Kevin Lunday

Economics and National Security: Six Questions for the Next Administration
by Seth Hurwitz

Click to view the individual documents.