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about us

The National Security Study's Senior Advisory Board has been renamed the U.S. Commission on National Security/21st Century (USCNS/21). Originally chartered by the Secretary of Defense and supported by both the White House and the Congress, the Board has been renamed to better reflect both the scope and significance of its tasking.

The USCNS/21 remains responsible for the most comprehensive review of American security since the National Security Act of 1947 was signed into law over 50 years ago. The Commission will deliver a security strategy and implementation plan designed to meet the emerging challenges of the 21st century.

The USCNS/21 continues to operate as a Federal advisory committee in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Public Law 92-463). The Study Group, chartered by the Secretary of Defense in July 1998 to conduct the study effort, will continue to be known as the National Security Study Group.

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The Department of Defense recognizes that America should advance its position as a strong, secure and persuasive force for freedom and progress in the world. Consequently, there is a requirement to: 1) conduct a comprehensive review of the early 21st Century global security environment, including likely trends and potential "wild cards"; 2) develop a comprehensive overview of American strategic interests and objectives for the security environment we will likely encounter in the 21st Century; 3) delineate a national security strategy appropriate to that environment and the nation's character; 4) identify a range of alternatives to implement the national security strategy, by defining the security goals for American society, and by describing the internal and external policy instruments required to apply American resources in the 21st Century; and 5) develop a detailed plan to implement the range of alternatives by describing the sequence of measures necessary to attain the national security strategy, to include recommending concomitant changes to the national security apparatus as necessary. A Commission, the U.S. Commission on National Security/21st Century (USCNS/21), will be established to fulfill this requirement, supported by a Study Group. Two individuals who have national recognition and significant depth of experience and public service will oversee the efforts of this Commission and serve as its Cochairpersons. The study effort shall be conducted by a Study Group, composed of individuals who will be appointed as Department of Defense (DoD) personnel, in accordance with Section VI, below. Based on the results of this study and the Commission's consideration thereof, the USCNS/21 will advance practical recommendations that the President of the United States, with the support of the Congress, could begin to implement in the Fiscal Year 2002 budget, if desired.


(a) COCHAIRPERSONS. The Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and the Secretary of State, shall select two Co-chairpersons to oversee the study effort and to cochair the U.S. Commission on National Security/21st Century. The Cochairpersons shall be prominent United States citizens, with national recognition, significant depth of experience, and prior public service.