Buying National Security
How America Plans and Pays for Its Global Role and Safety at Home
Routledge – 2010 – 348 pages
The tools of American statecraft—defense, diplomacy, foreign and security assistance, homeland security and intelligence—are rarely examined together. Adams and Williams fill this gap by examining how these tools work, how they are planned for, and how they are budgeted. Seeing policy through the lens of the budget can help decision makers and ordinary citizens discern the genuine priorities of national leaders from the oftentimes illusory ones portrayed in rhetoric. Simply put, policies and strategies cannot be carried out without a corresponding allocation of resources.
Buying National Security weaves a tapestry around the institutions, organizations, tools, and processes that support planning and resource allocation across the breadth of the American national security enterprise. The authors analyze the planning and resource integration activities across agencies of the Executive branch as well as examine the structure and processes the Congress uses to carry out its national security oversight and budgetary responsibilities. Finally, they review the adequacy of the current structures and process and evaluate proposals for ways both might be reformed to fit the demands of the 21st century security environment.
"Far too little policy commentary ever gets below the high altitude of objectives and strategy. Here two superbly qualified experts who have analyzed resource allocation from the outside and practiced it from the inside provide an unmatched guide to how the rubber meets the road in national security, an indispensable window to how choices by officials with green eyeshades mold policy options."
—Richard K. Betts, Director, Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies, Columbia University
"Gordon Adams and Cindy Williams have accomplished a rare feat: producing the first major study of how America budgets for national security while simultaneously substantiating the eternal political truth that money is policy."
—Marc Grossman, Principal, Cohen Group; Former Director General of the Foreign Service
"A valuable book, focusing in on crucial yet often under-addressed issues, by two authors astute in their analytic insights and rich in policy experience."
—Bruce W. Jentleson, Duke University
"Gordon Adams and Cindy Williams write with deep knowledge and authority about the complex and difficult problems of funding our foreign policy and national security programs and objectives. Clear and concise, this book is a treasure trove of information on a vitally important and almost always difficult and confusing subject."
—Tom Pickering, Vice-Chairman of Hills and Company; former Under Secretary of State; former Ambassador to the United Nations
"Anybody seeking to get a grip on defense budgets and the associated expenditures on diplomacy, foreign aid, intelligence, and homeland security should start with the authoritative description by Adams and Williams of how these budgets are put together. It is hard to imagine that anyone will ever do a more thorough job making sense of the bewildering complexity of the relevant processes."
--Foreign Affairs, September/October 2010
"Well written and painstakingly documented, this book is must reading for anyone seeking to understand the ins and outs of federal budget policy as it relates to national security issues. Summing Up: Essential. All collections and readership levels." - J. H. Turek, CHOICE (August 2010)
1. Money is Policy: Planning and Budgeting for Security and Foreign Affairs 2. Resource Planning for International Affairs and State Operations 3. Foreign Economic Assistance Budgeting and Programs 4. Political and Security Assistance Budgeting and Programs 5. Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution in the Department of Defense 6. Intelligence Planning and Budgeting 7. Resource Allocation and Budgeting for Homeland Security 8. The Role of the Executive Office of the President in National Security Budgeting 9. Resource Allocation and Budgeting in Congress 10. The Politics of National Security Budgeting 11. The Road Ahead: How Might Budgeting Change?
Gordon Adams is a professor of international affairs at the School of International Service at American University and a Distinguished Fellow at the Stimson Center. He is the author of The Iron Triangle: The Politics of Defense Contracting and co-author of Transforming European Militaries: Coalition Operations and the Technology Gap.
Cindy Williams is a principal research scientist in the Security Studies Program of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is the editor of Holding the Line: U.S. Defense Alternatives for the Early 21st Century and Filling the Ranks: Transforming the U.S. Military Personnel System.