- By Josh Rogin
Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.
A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.
Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C.
Despite an expansion of the National Security Council staff, coordination of national security policy is still dysfunctional and there is a lack of strategic guidance from President Obama, according to a group of leading outside experts and former officials.
"Reform must take place," said James Locher, President & CEO of the Project on National Security Reform (PNSR), "If you did not like what happened in the last 7 or 8 years… you’re not going to like what’s coming in the future."
"Momentum for reform is building, but it is largely rhetoric and good intentions," reads PNSR’s new report . The congressionally funded group was begun as the result of a cooperative agreement between the Defense Department and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. "Strategic management of the national security system remains absent and is desperately needed to make it integrated, cohesive, and agile," the report continues.
Calling reform of the national security infrastructure "the number one national security issue," Locher said that America’s ability to operate in international arenas the world over is "crippled" by the dysfunction within the system.
He called the White House’s national security staff "incredibly weak," preventing integration and coordination that the National Security Council should be doing.
"There’s almost no strategic guidance from the president or the executive office of the president," Locher said, adding, "We have almost no knowledge management in the national security system."
There’s also no effective means for delegating the president’s authority, he added.
Locher spoke a an event rolling out the latest PNSR report at the New American Foundation, hosted by its foreign policy chief and editor of The Washington Note Steve Clemons.
Clemons noted that according to the Goldwater-Nichols act, President Obama was required to submit a national security strategy by June 18, 150 days into his presidency, but he failed to do so.
The "Guiding Coalition" that oversaw the PNSR report included heavyweights such as former Lockheed Martin CEO Norman Augustine, former Amb. Robert Blackwill, retired Gen. Wesley Clark, retired Adm. Ed Giambastiani, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell, plus Washington players Brent Scowcroft, Thomas Pickering, and Joseph Nye.
Last November’s version of the PNSR report included input from now Obama officials Jim Jones, James Steinberg, Michele Flournoy, and Dennis Blair. It declared that "the national security of the United States of America is fundamentally at risk."