TOWARD INTEGRATING COMPLEX NATIONAL MISSIONS LESSONS FROM THE NATIONAL COUNTERTERRORISM CENTER S DIRECTORATE OF STRATEGIC OPERATIONAL PLANNING

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1 TOWARD INTEGRATING COMPLEX NATIONAL MISSIONS LESSONS FROM THE NATIONAL COUNTERTERRORISM CENTER S DIRECTORATE OF STRATEGIC OPERATIONAL PLANNING February 2010

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3 TOWARD INTEGRATING COMPLEX NATIONAL MISSIONS LESSONS FROM THE NATIONAL COUNTERTERRORISM CENTER S DIRECTORATE OF STRATEGIC OPERATIONAL PLANNING Feburary 2010

4 About the Project On National Security Reform The Project on National Security Reform is a nonpartisan, non-profit organization dedicated to helping create a national security system for the 21st century. In November 2008, PNSR s Guiding Coalition, comprised of distinguished Americans with extensive service in the public and private sectors, stated unanimously that the national security of the United States of America is fundamentally at risk and endorsed the extensive analysis and recommendations in the PNSR report, Forging a New Shield. iv

5 Foreword James R. Locher, III President and CEO, Project on National Security Reform Norman R. Augustine Retired Chairman and CEO, Lockheed Martin Corporation Joel Bagnal Former Deputy Assistant to the President for Homeland Security Robert D. Blackwill Counselor, Council on Foreign Relations Gen. Charles G. Boyd President and CEO, Business Executives for National Security LTG Daniel Christman Senior Vice President for International Affairs, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Gen. Wesley Clark Former Supreme Allied Commander, Europe Ruth A. David President and CEO, Analytic Services Inc. Leon Fuerth Project on Forward Engagement, George Washington University Adm. Edmund P. Giambastiani Jr. Former Vice Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff Newt Gingrich Former Speaker, U.S. House of Representatives Adm. James M. Loy Former Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Jessica Tuchman Mathews President, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Mike McConnell Former Director of National Intelligence John McLaughlin Former Deputy Director, Central Intelligence Agency James A. Nussle Former Director, Office of Management and Budget Joseph S. Nye, Jr. University Distinguished Service Professor, Harvard Kennedy School Thomas R. Pickering Former Permanent Representative to the United Nations Brent Scowcroft President and Founder, The Scowcroft Group Jeffrey H. Smith Partner, Arnold and Porter Kenneth R. Weinstein Chief Executive Officer, Hudson Institute Gen. Anthony Zinni Former Commander, U.S. Central Command In 2009, in partial fulfillment of its congressional mandate, the Project on National Security Reform conducted a comprehensive study of the National Counterterrorism Center s (NCTC) mission to integrate whole-of-government counterterrorism capabilities into strategic plans. A team of distinguished professionals from across the counterterrorism community informed and guided the study. The report calls for strengthening the interagency processes that serve as the connective tissue among government agencies charged with countering the terrorist threat. It focuses on the Directorate of Strategic Operational Planning (DSOP) within NCTC, but identifies many systemic impediments with implications for the broader national security system. The review, based on the results of extensive research and engagement with government stakeholders, includes steps that the President, National Security Staff, NCTC, and Congress could take immediately to further national security reform. Most of the analysis for this report was completed before the unsuccessful attack on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on Christmas Day. However, findings of the initial assessment conducted after this attack serve to validate the conclusions and recommendations of this study and make an even stronger case for action. This incident and other recent events reinforce the need for effective and integrated wholeof-government planning. James R. Locher III President and Chief Executive Officer v

6 CORE STUDY TEAM Robert S. Kravinsky Project Director Daniel R. Langberg Deputy Project Director Creighton Vilsack Lead Research Analyst and Project Coordinator Cody M. Brown Senior Counsel and Chief of Legal Research CONTRIBUTING MEMBERS Elaine Banner Editor Nancy Bearg Senior Advisor Lauren Digby Project Coordinator Michael Drohan Project Coordinator Brian Helmer Senior Advisor Ken Hunter Senior Advisor Kurt Krausse Research Analyst Matthew Leatherman Research Analyst Alan Mangan Senior Advisor Glen Milan Editor Bob Polk Senior Advisor Jeffrey Ratner Legal Research Myra Shiplett Senior Advisor Julie Sokol Editor Ed Stevenson Senior Advisor Rei Tang Research Support NATIONAL COUNTERTERRORISM CENTER LIAISON Robert Newton Senior Group Chief, Programs and Resources, National Counterterrorism Center Directorate of Strategic Operational Planning PROJECT SPONSORS Lisa Gordon-Hagerty Senior Advisor, Good Harbor Consulting Former Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Usec, Inc. Former Director of the Office of Combating Terrorism, National Security Council Juan Zarate Senior Advisor, Center for Strategic and International Studies Former Deputy National Security Advisor for Combating Terrorism Former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes vi

7 ADVISORY TEAM Louis Bremer Vice President, Veritas Capital Former White House Fellow and Director of Strategy and Resources, HSC Former Vice President, Morgan Stanley Kevin Brock Principal, Booz Allen Hamilton Former Principal Deputy Director, National Counterterrorism Center Former Assistant Director, Directorate of Intelligence, FBI Dell Dailey Former Ambassador-at-Large for Counterterrorism, State Department Retired Lieutenant General, United States Army Ronnie Edelman Former Principal Deputy Chief of the Terrorism and Violent Crime Section, Criminal Division Former Deputy Chief of the Counterterrorism Section, National Security Division, Department of Justice Karen Marmaud Director of the U.S. Africa Command Office, Joint Staff Former Executive Director of the Office of International Affairs, Department of Homeland Security Former Director the Office of Combating Terrorism, National Security Council Pat O Brien Principal, Booz Allen Hamilton Former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorist Financing Former Department of Justice Counsel and Representative to the Terrorist Financing Policy Coordination Committee James Q. Roberts Principal Director of Special Operations Capabilities, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations / Low-Intensity Conflict and Interdependent Capabilities Marc Sageman Founder, Sageman Consulting LLC Forensic Psychiatrist and Counterterrorism Scholar, Universities of Pennsylvania and Maryland, CSIS, and the Foreign Policy Research Institute Former Case Officer, Central Intelligence Agency Mike Smith Director, Global Initiatives, Infrastructure Security and Energy Restoration Division, Department of Energy Retired Active Duty Army Judge Advocate David Trulio Director of Homeland Security Programs, Raytheon Company Former Executive Secretary and Special Assistant to the President, Homeland Security Council Caryn Wagner Former Budget Director, House Budget Committee Former Chief Financial Officer, Office of the Director for National Intelligence vii

8 To meet the challenges of the 21st century from terrorism to nuclear proliferation; from pandemic disease to cyber threats to crushing poverty we will... use all elements of our national power. President Barack Obama viii

9 Contents Preface xi Executive Summary xiii 1: Strategic Framework : Overarching Assessment : Evolution of a Mission : A New Paradigm: The Creation of Strategic Operational Planning : DSOP Today : Planning and Assessments : Resource Oversight : Managing the Enterprise : DSOP s Customers : A View from the Hill : Conclusions and Lessons for the Interagency Community Appendix 1: Recommendations Appendix 2: List of Abbreviations and Acronyms Appendix 3: Interagency Missions: Comparative Analysis of Existing Authorities Appendix 4: Sec of the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act: Success in Countering Al Qaeda Reporting Requirements Act ix

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11 P r e f a c e / Preface Established in 2004 within the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), the Directorate of Strategic Operational Planning (DSOP) is the nation s first dedicated, whole-of- government planning cell for counterterrorism. Recommended by the 9/11 Commission and enacted by the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act (IRTPA), DSOP was chartered to provide the connective tissue between national counterterrorism policy and strategy established by the President, normally via the National Security Council system, 1 and counterterrorism operations conducted by the departments and agencies. In June 2009, the Project on National Security Reform (PNSR) launched an effort to conduct the first comprehensive study of DSOP. To conduct this study, PNSR chartered a Study Team ( Team ) and established an Advisory Team, comprised of a diverse group of distinguished counterterrorism experts, to provide broad strategic guidance and to periodically review the status and findings of the study. The members of the Advisory Team agreed with the general thrust of the integrated set of recommendations and not necessarily every recommendation as expressed. The Team divided the research into seven topical areas, including (1) the overall framework for interagency coordination, (2) DSOP s functions, (3) DSOP s interaction with departments and agencies, (4) the relationship between DSOP and the National Security Council system, (5) workforce, (6) resources, and (7) the congressional perspective. Researchers relied heavily on primary source material, particularly personal interviews and official U.S. government documents. These interviews and documents often contained sensitive and/or classified information, which has been omitted from this report. The Team interviewed 11 officials from NCTC, including the NCTC director, the DSOP deputy director, and the heads of every major organizational unit within DSOP. More broadly, the Team interviewed ten officials and staff from four congressional offices and committees, and 40 current and former officials from across departments and agencies, including the 1 National Security Council system refers to the membership, functions, substructures, processes, and staff of the National Security Council and Homeland Security Council. xi

12 Departments of Energy, Defense, State, Justice, and Homeland Security; the Central Intelligence Agency; the Office of Drug Control Policy; Office of Management and Budget; the National Security Staff; and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. The Team also consulted secondary sources, but due to the classified nature of DSOP s work such literature was limited. The end result of this process is set forth in the pages that follow. Robert S. Kravinsky Project Director

13 E x e c u t i v e S u m m a r y / Executive Summary The fluid nature of modern terrorism necessitates an agile and integrated response. Yet our national security system is organized along functional lines (diplomatic, military, intelligence, law enforcement, etc.) with weak and cumbersome integrating mechanisms across these functions. Over five years ago, the 9/11 Commission recommended the establishment of a National Counterterrorism Center an interagency entity responsible for joint operational planning and joint intelligence, designed to break the old mold of national government organization. Soon after the Commission released its report, the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 established the nation s first dedicated interagency counterterrorism planning cell, mandating it to conduct strategic operational planning for counterterrorism, integrating all instruments of national power. The creation of NCTC and its Directorate of Strategic Operational Planning (DSOP) represents a significant step in the U.S. government s approach to confronting complex and cross-cutting national missions such as counterterrorism, but much work remains before this vision can be fully achieved. Background The Project on National Security Reform (PNSR) conducted an independent, comprehensive study of NCTC s mission and its ability to integrate whole-of-government counterterrorism capabilities. It analyzed DSOP s strengths, weaknesses, challenges, and opportunities, in the context of the overall system. The study, in partial fulfillment of PNSR s congressionally-funded mandate, was conducted with the cooperation of NCTC. It calls for strengthening the interagency processes that serve as connective tissue among government agencies charged with countering the terrorist threat. The report goes beyond headline discussions on information sharing and connecting the dots, and identifies long-standing systemic impediments related to both NCTC and the broader counterterrorism community. It recommends practical reforms that can be implemented immediately. xiii

14 E x e c u t i v e S u m m a r y / The objectives of the study were fourfold: 1. To analyze how well DSOP connects high-level counterterrorism policy, strategy, and resource allocation to tactical-level counterterrorism operations across the Executive Branch, as defined by the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act, presidential directives, or other existing authorities; 1. To analyze how DSOP s role and responsibilities could be modified to improve end-to-end management of U.S. counterterrorism efforts; 2. To prescribe a series of recommendations for removing barriers to enhancing DSOP s performance and/or modifying its role and responsibilities; 3. To identify best practices and/or lessons learned associated with the evolution of DSOP. Conclusions Overall, DSOP has made progress in fulfilling its mission to provide the connective tissue between national counterterrorism policy and strategy, established by the president and the National Security Council system, and counterterrorism operations, conducted by the departments and agencies. The Directorate has added value to its customers in the interagency community primarily by serving as a facilitator collecting information, hosting forums, and coordinating activities within the interagency but also as a source of expertise on the counterterrorism mission. It is conducting a broad range of interagency planning, assessment, and resource oversight to help ensure a holistic and wholeof-government approach to counterterrorism. Notwithstanding this progress, numerous obstacles persist and prevent DSOP from becoming a more efficient and effective interagency entity. Many of these impediments are systemic, ranging from issues of authorities and resources to government-wide human capital constraints. Others are more specific to the inner workings of the Directorate itself, such as challenges related to its processes, xiv

15 E x e c u t i v e S u m m a r y / products, and personnel systems. The study examined the range of challenges associated with conflicting mandates and cultures between agencies. It reviewed DSOP s key relationships with the National Security Staff, OMB, departments and agencies, and Congress. It looked deep inside the Directorate, but focused on understanding the systemic impediments to achieving a whole-of-government approach to counterterrorism. Several of the major systemic impediments identified in the report include: DSOP is involved in a significant breadth of activity, but department and agency stakeholders have varying degrees of awareness of these activities, and the value-added of DSOP to its customers is not universally understood. DSOP s relationship with the National Security Staff is not well institutionalized it is solely dependent on the personality of National Security Staff directors and how they choose to use DSOP, as well as organizational realignments within the National Security Staff. Overlapping authorities in the counterterrorism system real and perceived have inhibited planning and operations. (Collaboration between NCTC and the Department of State, and between NCTC and CIA, has been particularly hindered by conflicting authorities.) Current congressional committee structures are not equipped to oversee and empower interagency mechanisms, such as NCTC, which results in confused jurisdiction and inadequate support. Current means to prioritize resources and investments in capabilities -- oriented towards departmental functions, not national missions are inadequate for complex, multidimensional counterterrorism missions. The counterterrorism community lacks sufficient civilian capacity -- particularly in the core competencies of strategic planning and assessment. xv

16 E x e c u t i v e S u m m a r y / Recommendations The study links the above impediments to systemic recommendations. It identifies 24 specific findings and 33 actionable recommendations to remove major barriers and enhance the effectiveness of DSOP and the overall system. They include: The President should issue an Executive Order that would address the full scope of the counterterrorism architecture to define the lanes in the road within the interagency community, facilitate a common understanding of the scope of counterterrorism, institutionalize the organizational relationship with the National Security Staff, increase department and agency accountability, and clarify the role of integrating mechanisms such as NCTC s Directorate of Strategic Operational Planning (DSOP). Congress should establish a Counterterrorism Working Group in each chamber to look across committee jurisdictional boundaries, evaluate the effectiveness of the whole-of-government counterterrorism effort, and make recommendations to relevant committees. The Chairmen and Ranking member (or their designees) of each committee with jurisdiction over counterterrorism matters should comprise these working groups. Congress should provide more flexible authority to transfer funds between departments to meet short-term emergent contingencies, fund new initiatives and accommodate shifting counterterrorism priorities. The president should also request from Congress a contingency and initiative fund (two percent of the counterterrorism budget) to rapidly address new threats and take advantage of new opportunities. Counterterrorism program and budget guidance from the National Security Staff and OMB to departments and agencies should be nested within broader national security guidance as well as future updates of the National Strategy for Combating Terrorism. In coordination with the interagency community and OMB, NCTC/DSOP should develop and submit to Congress a consolidated interagency counterterrorism budget display xvi

17 1 E x e c u t i v e S u m m a r y / which would provide a cross-cutting analysis of all Federal counterterrorism budgets. NCTC should improve its analytic capability to assess the impact of current programs and to anticipate new dangers. Lessons on Integrating Complex National Missions Interagency mechanisms or teams such as DSOP are the way forward for managing complex, high-priority national missions. Although each national mission and issue area is distinct due to a unique set of internal system and external environment dynamics this case study of DSOP can provide valuable lessons to the broader U.S. government on its approach to complex national missions that cut across multiple departments and agencies such as counter-proliferation, reconstruction and stabilization, and cyber-security. For example, this study highlights the importance of: Interagency coordination mechanisms or teams below the level of the National Security Staff to allow the Staff to focus on highlevel strategy and policy. A reporting chain to the president to obtain the informal authority associated with proximity to the president that is required to lead an effective interagency team. Untangling overlapping mandates and authorities to ensure that all actors understand the need for the existence of, and leadership from, an interagency team. Seamless and institutionalized linkage to customers in the interagency space including relevant National Security Staff directorates, NSC committees, and OMB staff that is necessary to stay relevant and add value. Strong links between policy, strategy, and resources critical to turning policy, strategy, and plans into action, and especially difficult for complex multi-agency national missions. A government-wide human capital system that provides personnel with the necessary experience and expertise to form an effective interagency team. xvii

18 E x e c u t i v e S u m m a r y / Champions on the Hill that provide congressional support for the interagency team and streamlined oversight of the national mission. xviii

19 1 S t r a t e g i c F r a m e w o r k 1: Strategic Framework First say to yourself what you would be, and then do what you have to do. Epictetus The Counterterrorism Mission Managing Complexity The complexity of the system we have in place today to ensure the nation s security from terrorism can be overwhelming. The system reflects the broad diversity of major players, dozens of strategic objectives, and an intricate web of relationships, roles, and responsibilities. It evolved largely in a piecemeal, ad hoc fashion, without the benefit of an overarching strategy or blueprint for how best to organize for success. In part, the complexity of the current system is due to successive administrations redefining relationships, roles, and responsibilities often without rescinding or fully integrating with the direction established by their predecessors. Like the rest of the national security system, its fundamental roots can be traced to the National Security Act of 1947, which was intended to prepare the United States to win the Cold War. The system did not see major change until after September 11, Although significant progress has been made since then, and the counterterrorism mission today represents one of the more mature models for whole-ofgovernment action, the U.S. government (USG) still does not sufficiently coordinate all of its counterterrorism activities. The problem is systemic: the fluid nature of modern terrorism necessitates an agile and integrated response, and our national security system is organized along functional lines (diplomatic, military, intelligence, law enforcement, etc.) with weak coordinating mechanisms across these functions. Attempting to rectify these deficiencies, the Intelligence Reform and Terrorist Prevention Act (IRTPA) established NCTC to serve as the USG s locus for counterterrorism intelligence and strategic operational planning. NCTC s mandate was to conduct strategic operational planning for counterterrorism activities, integrating all instruments of 1

20 1 S t r a t e g i c F r a m e w o r k national power, including diplomatic, financial, military, intelligence, homeland security, and law enforcement activities within and among agencies. 2 To accomplish this, the IRTPA established the Directorate of Strategic Operational Planning (DSOP) within NCTC and gave it responsibility for providing interagency strategic operational plans, assigning roles and responsibilities for plans, coordinating interagency operational activities, monitoring implementation of plans, and conducting assessments. 3 To better understand the evolution of DSOP and the obstacles to more effective mission fulfillment, PNSR applied a strategic framework to guide its analysis and to serve as the lens through which it studied DSOP. This introductory chapter describes the key components of this analytical framework. Specifically, this chapter describes the: End-to-end management framework; Role of DSOP in the framework; Integrating functions that can enable DSOP to fulfill its role; Authorities that can empower DSOP to fulfill its role; and Impediments and challenges that can impede or prevent effective mission execution. The end-to-end management framework In its first major report on national security reform, Forging a New Shield, PNSR introduced the concept of end-to-end national security processes to describe the cyclical spectrum of national security system management process from policy development through operational assessment that is required in an improved national security system. 4 Specifically, these national security processes are identified as assessment of the strategic environment, policy formulation, strategy development, strategy and resource alignment, planning, operational oversight, and assessment of interagency system performance. 5 While 2 intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, Pub. L. No , 119 Stat (2004) (hereafter IRTPA ). 3 IRTPA 4 Project on National Security Reform, Forging a New Shield (Arlington, Va.: PNSR, 2008), 225, 258, 298, 380. The concept is further developed on PNSR s Turning Ideas into Action (Arlington, Va.: PNSR, 2009). 5 PNSR (2008),

21 1 S t r a t e g i c F r a m e w o r k limitations exist in applying a linear model of analysis to a nonlinear, complex system, it is a useful construct for identifying gaps and shortcomings in functions and processes. There are no common definitions of the component parts of this management spectrum, and in different situations these terms are used to describe very different processes. For purposes of this report, the study will use the following definitions: Policy: A statement of principle(s) and priorities intended to guide and influence strategies, plans, decisions, and actions. Strategy: A pattern or general plan of action to achieve policy goals in a global environment, using instruments of national power, taking advantage of opportunities, and using available resources to maximum effect. Resources: Funds allocated to pay for functionality of capabilities and achievement of policy objectives. Planning: The development of a series of actions to achieve a goal, coordinate a team, assign roles and responsibilities, and shape thinking. Operational Oversight: The evaluation of operations to ensure efficiency, effectives, and alignment with strategy. 3

22 1 S t r a t e g i c F r a m e w o r k Assessment: An external system evaluation of the capabilities and progress of partners and adversaries, and an internal system review of factors such as capabilities, progress, and outcomes. To animate this framework, we overlay the actors that make the system work. Much of the rest of the report focuses on finding the optimal balance of roles and responsibilities among the participants along the end-to-end spectrum. The challenge of this study is to clearly define activities within each box below and how they interact with each other. Who does what? Where are the seams? What are the overlapping functions? Where are there gaps? DSOP s role in the framework Imbedded in this matrix is the concept of interagency mechanisms POTUS NSC/HSC& Policy Committees NS Staff OMB Interagency Mechanisms NCTC/DSOP Departments & Agencies Policy Strategy Resources Planning Operational Oversight Assessment below the level of the Executive Office of the President. In Forging a New Shield, PNSR called for establishing or empowering interagency mechanisms that would integrate U.S. capabilities for national missions that do not clearly fall into the domain of one department or agency. This organizational arrangement is intended to respond to an increasingly complex 21st century security environment in which national missions such as counterterrorism require considerably greater integration across departments and agencies. The recommendation aims to relieve the increasingly understaffed and overburdened 4

23 1 S t r a t e g i c F r a m e w o r k National Security Staff of the day-to-day management of national issues, allowing it to focus more on developing strategy and policy and assessing the effectiveness of interagency national security missions. Today, this interagency space the space below the president and above the departments is still evolving and there is no clear definitive model for integrating capabilities and funding for inherently interagency missions. DSOP, however, represents one of the most mature interagency teams in the USG today and has the potential to set a precedent for other high-priority, highly complex national missions such as cybersecurity, post-conflict stabilization and reconstruction, counterproliferation, etc. It conducts, for example, a broad range of integrating functions, such as interagency planning, assessment, and resource oversight to try to ensure a holistic and whole-of-government approach to counterterrorism. Today, this interagency space the space below the president and above the departments is still evolving and there is no clear definitive model for integrating capabilities and funding for inherently interagency missions. 5

24 1 S t r a t e g i c F r a m e w o r k Project on National Security Reform. Draft , DSOP Report Working Draft example, a broad range of integrating functions, such as interagency planning, assessment, and resource oversight to try to ensure a holistic and whole-of-government DSOP is one directorate within the National Counterterrorism Center, approach to counterterrorism. which in turn is one of nine Centers reporting directly to the Office of DSOP is the one Director directorate of National within the Intelligence. National Counterterrorism DSOP the only Center, organizational which in turn is one of component nine Centers within reporting those directly centers to with the Office a mission of the to Director perform of wholeof-government DSOP is the planning only organizational and assessments. component While within ODNI those serves centers as with a National Intelligence. mission to DSOP s perform executive whole-of-government agent, providing planning its and funding assessments. and administrative While ODNI serves as DSOP s oversight, executive the agent, director providing of NCTC its funding reports and to the administrative president (through oversight, the director of the NCTC National reports Security to the president Staff) on (through matters the National relating Security to DSOP. Staff) Viewed on matters relating organizationally, to DSOP. Viewed DSOP organizationally, integrates DSOP into the integrates broader into national the broader security national security and counterterrorism system system as depicted as depicted below: below: POTUS Status Quo High Policy PC DC CT BoD NSC /HSC System OMB NS Staff CSG IA WGs Assessment Group D S O P R&P S I S T WMD-T ATC PD CVE IA & IG field teams e.g., PRT Interagency Space IA & IG Community Some Implementation by Departments & Agencies Some implementation by State/Local/ Tribal/Terr. Planning and Execution & Capability Development * This illustration * This illustration depicts DSOP depicts as a layer DSOP between as a the layer departments between and agencies the departments and the National Security Staff and agencies and NSC. and While the it National does perform Security an integrating Staff and role NSC. in the While management it does of the counterterrorism perform mission, an integrating departments and role agencies in the also management maintain a direct of the linkage counterterrorism to the National Security Advisor and the NSC System through both formal and informal channels. mission, departments and agencies also maintain a direct linkage to the National Security Advisor and the NSC System through both formal Inherent in any analysis of an interagency team such as DSOP is the fundamental and informal channels. question about its role within the system. Does the team largely play a facilitating function collecting information, hosting forums, and coordinating activities within the interagency? Or is its role to provide expert advice about the mission from within its own 6 6

25 1 S t r a t e g i c F r a m e w o r k Inherent in any analysis of an interagency team such as DSOP is the fundamental question about its role within the system. Does the team largely play a facilitating function collecting information, hosting forums, and coordinating activities within the interagency? Or is its role to provide expert advice about the mission from within its own cadre ranks? This foundational question impacts almost all aspects of the enterprise and tees up many more questions. What core competencies are needed (counterterrorism acumen, planning skills, negotiation, and mediation skills)? What should be the mix of cadre personnel versus interagency rotational assignments? What types of products should be expected? What timeframe is required to develop the products? What types of authorities does it need? None of the answers is black and white. Interagency teams such as DSOP must have the ability to pull together coordinated whole-ofgovernment courses of action and options whether it is long-term planning, resource allocation, or crisis management. DSOP, then, must have strong and effective connectivity to its interagency partners. DSOP needs to be able to work across the government to integrate the activities of multiple departments and agencies and forge an interagency consensus on both long-term and short-term issues. In this regard, DSOP must have the capacity to facilitate and negotiate across the interagency space. At the same time, DSOP must maintain a leadership role within the counterterrorism community and maintain requisite counterterrorism expertise. As an organization, it must be responsive to the rest of the counterterrorism community by offering timely and reasoned advice and products. The technical complexity of programs, the political and legal ramifications of decisions, the speed with which some decisions must be made, and a host of other factors require that DSOP maintain a core counterterrorism acumen. This is not to suggest that DSOP will bypass interagency stakeholders in the deliberative process and make decisions using its own organic resources. First and foremost, DSOP plans, assessments, and other products must be products of the interagency. DSOP s role within the interagency is to serve as an informed collaborative entity. A core of DSOP s workforce must be skilled at interagency planning, assessing, 7

26 1 S t r a t e g i c F r a m e w o r k negotiating, and facilitating. Equally important, it must have requisite knowledge of counterterrorism policies, programs, and activities to work collaboratively with its interagency partners and drive meaningful decisions. A host of possible integrating functions As the interagency space evolves and interagency mechanisms such as DSOP mature, the U.S. government must make deliberate and well reasoned decisions about how those mechanisms can best support the mission. There are at least two basic decisions that have to be addressed. What are the integrating functions they should perform? And what authorities should they be granted to accomplish those functions? Below is a partial list of possible integrating functions although not all of them are currently performed at DSOP. The list provides more fidelity to the component parts of the end-to-end system management spectrum identified in the preceding section. Capturing and cataloguing the range of activities and resources Developing strategic objectives Developing policy options Harmonizing and synthesizing plans Prioritizing resources Assigning roles and responsibilities Resolving impediments Adjudicating conflicting roles and responsibilities Gaming and exercising Assessing performance Coordinating operations to achieve unity of effort Directing operations to achieve unity of command 8

27 1 S t r a t e g i c F r a m e w o r k A spectrum of authorities in the interagency space Each of the above functions relies on a mix of formal and informal authorities. Formal authorities stem from statute, executive orders, presidential directive, and other explicit legal instruments. Informal authority, which can be just as powerful as formal authority, comes from established precedents and proximity to key decisionmakers, such as the president and his staff. The national security advisor, for example, is vested with no formal authority but has significant informal authority based on his or her ability to influence presidential decisionmaking. Likewise, those individuals and organizations with proximity to the national security advisor are able to benefit from the second and third order effects of this official s influence. As a point of reference, the head of NCTC, in his role as the director of DSOP, reports directly to the president in practice through the assistant to the president for homeland security and deputy national security advisor for counterterrorism. This dynamic will be discussed in significant detail in later chapters of this report. For these reasons, authority within the interagency is not binary. It is not a situation in which it either exists or does not. There is a spectrum of authority. On one end of the spectrum is the coalition of the willing. Without formal authority, organizations focus on supplying needed capabilities and value for the customer. This approach forces organizations to vie competitively for work within the interagency based on the quality and the added value of its output. The downside of this approach manifests itself in an unwillingness to alienate the customer with hard choices and harsh assessments. On the other end of this spectrum is directive authority. Cabinet officers, for example, have tremendous formal authority which allows them to direct activities within their departments. In the CT system, neither the NCTC director nor the assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism can direct departments and agencies, even on matters of CT programs and resources. This fact has challenged national level leadership for many years. President Clinton s National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism 9

28 1 S t r a t e g i c F r a m e w o r k Richard Clarke reflects in his book, Your Government Failed You: Breaking the Cycle of National Security Disasters, that he did not have authority to hire, fire, move money, or order things to happen, rather he persuaded, embarrassed, created consensus, or invoked higher authorities. 6 Vesting one individual or organization with directive authority over the activities of multiple departments and agencies for a particular mission poses significant political and legal challenges and is foreign to our cabinet-style government. A debate on the pros and cons of such authority is healthy and demands a national dialog that is beyond the scope of this study. A variety of formal authorities exists somewhere in between these two ends of the spectrum. However, for complex national missions that cut across departments and agencies, there are few examples of officials that have formal responsibility over the mission. And even in those cases, officials can, at times, have limited ability to exercise such authorities. The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), for example, is granted by Congress authority to review and certify the adequacy of agency budgets to meet the president s drug policy objectives. In 1997, General Barry MacCaffrey, the drug czar, used that authority to decertify the Department of Defense counternarcotics budget based on his belief that the military budget had not sufficiently funded the effort. While the action resulted in an increase to the Department of Defense counternarcotics budget, it also strained the relationship between the DoD and ONDCP for many years. 6 Richard A. Clarke, Your Government Failed You: Breaking the Cycle of National Security Disasters (New York: Harper Collins, 2008),

29 1 S t r a t e g i c F r a m e w o r k In addition to ONDCP, two of the most robust examples of officials with responsibilities that cut across departments and agencies include the director of national intelligence and the director of NCTC/DSOP. Each of these officers maintains a unique set of formal authorities to Project on National Security Reform. Draft , DSOP Report Working Draft influence people, resources, or actions in departments and agencies. Enablers Personnel Resources Processes Authorities DSOP ODNI ONDCP Develops policy Develops strategy Coordinates and oversees implementation Conducts assessments Certifies policy changes Notifies agencies of noncompliance Determines requirements Adjudicates disputes Assigns roles and responsibilities Issues budget guidance to agencies Reviews and certifies agency budgets Develops consolidated budget Monitors execution of budgets Approves reprogramming and transfers of funds Transfers and reprograms funds (concurrence) Receives annual detailed accounting of funds Issues fund control notices Conducts audits and evaluations Directly allocates funds Reports inconsistencies by agencies' comptrollers Evaluates employees detailed to office Establishes professional development standards Establishes incentives and regulations Requires interagency service for promotion Recommends and concurs on select nominees Reports directly to President Advises President on significant programmatic changes Accesses information in agencies Reports annually to Congress Based on a review of ODNI, DSOP, and ONDCP, the study identified 29 existing types of authorities to influence agency action across the four categories processes, resources, personnel, and enablers. 7 Without assigning weight to these types of authority, one can see that in sheer number alone, ONDCP has the greatest amount of statutory authority to influence interagency action and DSOP has the least: ONDCP = 20 authorities DNI = 17 authorities DSOP = 6 authorities Only two authorities were common to all three agencies all three report directly to the president and all three have access to agency information. Of note, DSOP is the only one without authority over either people or money Authorities of the director of NCTC for this comparison included only those authorities associated with his role as the director of DSOP.

30 1 S t r a t e g i c F r a m e w o r k Based on a review of ODNI, DSOP, and ONDCP, the study identified 29 existing types of authorities to influence agency action across the four categories processes, resources, personnel, and enablers. 7 Without assigning weight to these types of authority, one can see that in sheer number alone, ONDCP has the greatest amount of statutory authority to influence interagency action and DSOP has the least: ONDCP = 20 authorities DNI = 17 authorities DSOP = 6 authorities Only two authorities were common to all three agencies all three report directly to the president and all three have access to agency information. Of note, DSOP is the only one without authority over either people or money. Impediments and Challenges As with any evolving set of processes and organizational arrangements, systemic impediments present operating challenges that must be addressed. As part of this study, the Team looked at: Conflicting mandates: both real and perceived. As an illustrative example, the study examined conflicting mandates between DSOP and the State Department, which views itself (and is authorized by Congress) as the organization providing overall supervision of international counterterrorism activities. Conflicting cultures: Many have noted that DSOP planning evolved from a military planning model, and many of the cadre staff are retired military officers. The State Department has a different culture, focused not on national-level planning but on diplomacy and country team priorities. The FBI on the other hand, views its mission through the lens of individual cases and investigations, with limited need to correlate activities with integrated national plans. 7 Authorities of the director of NCTC for this comparison included only those authorities associated with his role as the director of DSOP. 12

31 1 S t r a t e g i c F r a m e w o r k Relationships: Looking vertically, DSOP serves and supports the Executive Office of the President (EOP) Interagency Policy Committees, the NSS, and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Looking horizontally, DSOP serves and supports the nearly 30 departments and agencies with a role in counterterrorism. The third critical relationship the study examines is between DSOP and Congress. DSOP organization and processes: Internal organizational dynamics can either reduce or compound external impediments and serve as critical enablers to the success of any interagency team. While this study looks deep inside DSOP, its focus is on understanding the systemic impediments to achieving a whole-of-government approach to counterterrorism as well as the success of interagency mechanisms. This leads to a better understanding of the customer and organizational relationships in the interagency space. While a mix of integrating functions and authorities is proposed to enable DSOP to more effectively operate within this context, barring the idea of vesting one individual with directive authority over departments and agencies, the study found that there is no silver bullet no single recommendation that ensures an integrated and unified counterterrorism mission. Rather, it puts forth a series of recommendations building blocks for reform that will incrementally lead to a more integrated mission. The study found that there is no silver bullet no single recommendation that ensures an integrated and unified counterterrorism mission. Rather, it puts forth a series of recommendat i o n s bu i l d i n g blocks for reform that will incrementally lead to a more integrated mission. 13

32 1 S t r a t e g i c F r a m e w o r k 14

33 2 O v e r a r c h i n g A s s e s s m e n t 2: Overarching Assessment The Directorate of Strategic Operational Planning (DSOP) within the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) represents one of the most mature examples of a national-level interagency team and offers many valuable lessons for the broader U.S. government (USG) on its approach to complex national missions that cut across multiple departments and agencies. However, numerous obstacles persist, preventing DSOP from becoming a more efficient and effective interagency team. Many of these impediments are systemic, ranging from issues of authorities and resources to those stemming from cultural differences and government-wide human capital constraints. Others are more specific to the inner workings of the Directorate itself, such as challenges associated with its processes, products, and personnel systems. In all cases, core problems associated with each impediment are identified and solutions that will remove barriers to greater mission fulfillment are proposed. The study identifies 24 specific findings and 33 actionable recommendations to remove major barriers and enhance the effectiveness of DSOP. Four primary reform vehicles are proposed to implement these recommendations: 1. An Executive Order from the president to implement highlevel reform of the counterterrorism architecture of the United States government. Note: Recommendations throughout this report reference the need for an executive order to define the lanes in the road within the interagency, create productive organizational relationships, and empower DSOP to serve as an integrating mechanism for the USG. The study team proposes a single consolidated executive order addressing the full scope of the counterterrorism architecture of the United States government. 15

34 2 O v e r a r c h i n g A s s e s s m e n t 2. Implementing Guidance from the deputy national security advisor for homeland security and counterterrorism to implement specific reforms related to DSOP s role and relationship to its customers that require changes in authority. 3. Legislation from Congress to implement recommendations related to authorities, resources, and personnel that require statutory changes. 4. Best Practices (methods, processes, activities, organizational relationships, incentives, etc.) from DSOP and other organizations to implement reforms that can be accomplished under existing authorities. Additionally, the analysis revealed eight major themes that cut across these findings and recommendations, forming a common thread throughout the report. These overarching themes are summarized below and expanded on in the chapters that follow. 1. DSOP is involved in a significant breadth of activity and its role as an interagency team continues to evolve and grow. DSOP conducts a broad range of activities related to planning, assessments, and resources. More specifically, the Directorate is involved with three distinct types of planning, policy analysis, teeing up options to decision-makers, table-top exercises, a range of assessments, and resources oversight activities. Over the course of its evolution, DSOP has trended from strategic deliberate planning (i.e., the NIP-WOT) to a greater focus on problem solving, policy analysis, and the more operational planning required to confront a dynamic threat/opportunity environment. Its assessments are expanding from a limited near-term focus to the institutionalization of a broader assessments regime that accounts for the long-term evolution of the adversary. In the area of resources, DSOP has forged a strong relationship with OMB that recently culminated in the issuance of budget guidance to departments and agencies with a role in the counterterrorism mission. 16

35 2 O v e r a r c h i n g A s s e s s m e n t 2. Departments and agencies have a varying degree of awareness of these activities, and the added value of DSOP to its customers is not universally understood. Many stakeholders are not fully aware of the scope of activities conducted at DSOP beyond the development of the NIP-WOT. Possible explanations for this include unclear mandates and expectations from Congress and the administration, compartmentalization of DSOP s planning, and the lack of a planning culture in most departments and agencies. Compounding the latter is the strong influence that the military has had on the evolution of DSOP. While this influence has been generally positive, and in retrospect fundamental to the organization s success, it has led to some processes and products that do not resonate with all stakeholders. 3. DSOP s relationship with the National Security Staff (the Staff) is not well institutionalized it is dependent on the personality of NSS directors and how they choose to use DSOP, as well as organizational realignments within the NSS. DSOP s viability as an integrating mechanism for the counterterrorism community is dependent on a strong and productive relationship with the National Security Staff. DSOP s closeness to the Staff enhances its influence within the interagency; yet DSOP has periodically struggled to deliver timely and high-quality products in response to White House requests. As with any organization nested within a large bureaucracy, DSOP has on occasion had trouble clearly understanding and responding to the requirements levied on them by National Security Staff and other White House officials. Further, recent organizational, personnel, and policy changes within the Staff significantly impacted its relationship with DSOP. The challenge, particularly during a transition period between administrations, is being able to manage the DSOP enterprise as these new organizational relationships mature. 17

36 2 O v e r a r c h i n g A s s e s s m e n t 4. Overlapping authorities real or perceived have resulted in lack of participation by certain departments and agencies. To the individual department or agency, its role in the counterterrorism mission is informed by the organization s history, culture, and leadership. Additionally, this role is often codified by statutes and executive orders, all products of the political and security environment in which they were written. When Congress wrote IRTPA, these existing authorities in the interagency were not extensively considered, and DSOP has encountered resistance when attempting to exercise its statutory responsibility to integrate all instruments of national power. Another aspect of this problem is that for departments and agencies participation in the strategic operational planning process is largely voluntary a coalition of the willing. In the current system, there is insufficient positive incentive to participate in the strategic operational planning process, especially when departments and agencies struggle with competing priorities in a resource constrained environment. 5. The CT community has struggled to develop effective outcomebased metrics. The activities of DSOP and the larger CT community have for the most part not been based on measured outcomes for the CT mission. DSOP conducts strategic impact assessments, but has faced a significant challenge in correlating outcomes back to U.S. government actions and thereby allowing assessment products to be used effectively to influence appropriate policy, strategy, resources, plans, and implementation. As a result, the basic but fundamental question remains unanswered: How is the United States doing in its attempt to counter terrorism? 8 Furthermore, stronger linking U.S. government activities to widely agreed-to descriptions of success for the CT mission would help to demonstrate the value of interagency CT planning, and DSOP itself, to a broader group of stakeholders. Instead, DSOP s planning and assessments are often viewed as focused more on process than 8 The question is similar to the requirement put forth in the Success in Countering Al Qaeda Reporting Requirements Act of 2009 contained in the National Defense Authorization Act. 18

37 2 O v e r a r c h i n g A s s e s s m e n t on results. This dynamic is compounded by the fact that that the Directorate s activities are not always fully integrated which sometimes results in redundant data calls to departments and agencies. 6. Current congressional committee structure is not equipped to oversee interagency mechanisms like DSOP, resulting in confusion over jurisdiction and no champion in Congress. Unclear Congressional committee jurisdictions over DSOP have contributed heavily to the limited attention given to DSOP by Congress. With regard to its congressional authorization, NCTC and DSOP fall under the jurisdiction of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) and Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI). However, one of the central problems with the contemporary national security system is the fact that Congress conducts no routine oversight of interagency issues because no committee has jurisdiction over the national security system. 9 Although situated within an Intelligence Community organization, DSOP does not fall fully within the intelligence committees oversight because of its interagency orientation. And while its origins can be traced to the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee (HSGAC) because HSGAC handles a government reform portfolio, it did not see itself as primarily responsible for overseeing DSOP after IRTPA was enacted. One effect of this oversight gap is very straightforward at present, DSOP lacks a champion in either chamber of Congress. 7. DSOP workforce planning and development needs are challenged by the scarcity of core competencies in strategic planning and assessments across the USG, a lack of viable career paths within the organization, significant levels of turnover, and uneven participation of agencies in terms of number and quality of personnel. DSOP, like any other organization, accomplishes its mission through its workforce. Effective workforce, or human capital, planning ensures that needed competencies and critical occupations are identified and appropriate talent is hired. However, the majority of federal departments and agencies within the USG do not have the 9 PNSR (2008),

38 2 O v e r a r c h i n g A s s e s s m e n t requisite planning and assessment capabilities from which DSOP can draw. Hence, more important than the availability of any single one of the competencies interagency strategic planning, assessments, measuring and evaluation, negotiation, and counterterrorism acumen is the challenge of finding a combination of any or all of them, even across the USG. The DSOP workforce, in contrast to that of NCTC writ large, consists primarily of planners who operate in an environment that is largely populated by intelligence personnel. Compounded by the somewhat limited opportunities for advancement within DSOP, talented employees are often forced to change occupation or agency in order to improve their potential for promotion. While employees leaving DSOP may find advancement opportunities in other counterterrorism agencies using their newly acquired skills, DSOP is faced with significant turnover that hampers workforce continuity. Despite the benefits of reach-back across departmental or agency lines through former DSOP personnel, attracting sufficient numbers and quality of new detailees from other agencies remains a challenge. As noted in PNSR s November 2008 report Forging a New Shield, individuals have relatively few incentives to join interagency teams, and departments and agencies have not been provided sufficient incentives to share personnel 10 DSOP s experience has been no exception. 10 PNSR (2008),

39 3 E v o l u t i o n o f a M i s s i o n 3: Evolution of a Mission History, in brief, is an analysis of the past in order that we may understand the present and guide our conduct into the future. Sidney E. Mead, historian Decades prior to September 11, 2001, the U.S. government had been developing, expanding, and refining its counterterrorism policy and supporting apparatus in response to the growing threat posed by terrorists and state sponsors of terrorism. This evolution and historical context informed the establishment of the National Counterterrorism Center s Directorate of Strategic Operational Planning (DSOP). There has been, to a large degree, continuity across administrations for counterterrorism policy and activities. For example, since President Nixon, every president has maintained that no concessions would be made to terrorist demands and that nation-states are responsible for taking anti-terrorism measures. Since President Carter, jurisdictional responsibilities for managing terrorist incidents have remained largely unchanged. And since President Reagan, terrorism has been viewed as not only a law enforcement matter, but also a threat to U.S. national security, potentially triggering unilateral action. At the same time, significant and, in some cases, profound changes have occurred. For example, what began as a limited national counterterrorism policy aimed at managing and responding to terrorist incidents at home and abroad, gradually (then suddenly after September 11, 2001) became a wider campaign aimed at eliminating root causes, conditions, and incubators of terrorism. Consequently, counterterrorism became not merely a series of short-duration incidents, but a long, protracted effort. A small, tight-knit counterterrorism community from the National Security Council; the Departments of State, Defense, and Justice (FBI); and the CIA managed the former, narrower mission. The small size There has been, to a large degree, continuity across administrations for counterterrorism policy and activities. 21

40 3 E v o l u t i o n o f a M i s s i o n of the community and a common culture fostered strong interagency relationships, allowing for a streamlined process. These relationships also reduced bureaucratic infighting regarding roles and responsibilities as well as jurisdictional authorities. With the expansion of the counterterrorism mission, a host of new capabilities and sustained interagency participation was needed from such nontraditional counterterrorism organizations as the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Education, Energy, and Treasury, and USAID, among others. And the expansion of the counterterrorism community necessitated corresponding modifications to the counterterrorism architecture of the U.S. government, eventually leading to the creation of DSOP, the first dedicated, Executive Branch-wide counterterrorism planning cell. As the mission changed, relationships changed, culture changed, and trust and confidence had to be rebuilt within the counterterrorism community. The formative event in the history of U.S. national counterterrorism policy occurred weeks after the Black September terrorist organization murdered eleven Israeli athletes in September 1972 at the Munich Summer Olympics. President Richard Nixon directed the establishment of a Cabinet Committee to Combat Terrorism (Cabinet Committee), to be chaired by the Secretary of State. In general terms, the Cabinet Committee was responsible for coordinating activities to prevent terrorism, evaluating and making recommendations for programs, activities, and resources; devising procedures to respond to terrorist incidents; and reporting to the president from time to time. The Cabinet Committee convened for the first and last time in October According to G. Davidson Smith, the meeting yielded a set of principles that provided a foundation for U.S. counterterrorism policy for years to come. 12 The policy included three pillars: No concessions will be made to terrorist demands. Host governments have a responsibility for anti-terrorist protective measures. 11 Timothy Naftali, Blind Spot: The Secret History of American Counterterrorism (New York: Basic Books, 2006), 59; G. Davidson Smith, Combating Terrorism (London: Routledge, 1990), Smith,

41 3 E v o l u t i o n o f a M i s s i o n Terrorist acts should be dealt with as criminal matters. After President Jimmy Carter took office, counterterrorism policy and the supporting machinery were reexamined. On June 2, 1977, Zbigniew Brzezinksi, President Carter s national security advisor, issued Presidential Review Memorandum (PRM) 30 entitled simply, Terrorism. The memorandum directed the Special Coordination Committee (SCC), a committee previously established under Presidential Directive 2, to review our policy and procedures for dealing with terrorist incidents. The PRM-30 review yielded at least two major contributions to counterterrorism at the strategic level. First, it vested overall responsibility for counterterrorism policy within the NSC system by replacing President Nixon s Cabinet Committee and supporting Working Group with a senior interagency Executive Committee, reporting directly to the SCC, and a supporting Working Group on Terrorism. Second, it established the lead agency approach to managing terrorist incidents, an approach that would endure over time. In short, a single agency would lead the response for terrorist incidents, depending on the type and location of the incident. For example, the State Department was the lead for international incidents, the Department of Justice for domestic incidents, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for domestic aviation hijackings. After the Beirut barracks bombings in 1983, President Reagan revisited U.S. national counterterrorism policy. In April 1984, he issued NSDD- 138, entitled Combating Terrorism. According to one account, NSDD-138 authorized preemptive strikes and reprisal raids against terrorists abroad. By that means, the nature of American policy changed from reactive to having the potential of being pro-active. 13 NSDD-138 re-emphasized the responsibilities of nation-states for taking anti-terrorism measures, and sharpened U.S. policy by stating, State-sponsored terrorist activity or directed threats of such action are considered to be hostile acts and the U.S. will hold sponsors accountable. But a key feature of NSDD-138 and President Reagan s revised policy was the recognition that counterterrorism was broader than it used to be. No longer was it simply a matter of responding to terrorist incidents. 13 Smith,

42 3 E v o l u t i o n o f a M i s s i o n Dealing with the immediate effect of terrorist violence is only part of the challenge, President Reagan told Congress, We must also assure that the states now practicing or supporting terrorism do not prosper in the designs they pursue. 14 President Reagan also looked to root causes, conditions, and incubators of terrorism. He asserted that the U.S. government must strive to eradicate the sources of frustration and despair that are the spawning places and nutrients of terrorism, which would require fostering modernization, development, and beneficial change in the depressed areas of the world. 15 Pursuant to NSDD-179, entitled Task Force on Combating Terrorism, President Reagan called for the establishment of a sustained program for combating terrorism, which began with the establishment of a Cabinet-level task force on combating terrorism, led by Vice President George H.W. Bush. The Vice President s Task Force on Combating Terrorism became one of the most significant counterterrorism initiatives of the Executive Branch since President Nixon established the Cabinet Committee. According to NSDD-179, the Task Force was responsible for reviewing and evaluating the effectiveness of current U.S. policy and programs on combating terrorism and making recommendations to the President by the end of The Task Force s report had a tremendous impact on U.S. counterterrorism efforts. Importantly, it clarified the then-current policy as expressed by the president and other senior officials in prior NSDDs and public statements. Overall, the official position of the U.S. government was unequivocal: firm opposition to terrorism in all its forms and wherever it takes place. In the end, the Task Force made a series of classified and unclassified recommendations. Of the unclassified recommendations, at least four recommendations are notable. First, the Task Force recommended the creation of a single programming document, maintained by the NSC staff in conjunction with OMB and the Departments of State and Justice, that would include a comprehensive listing of roles and responsibilities for combating terrorism, as well as the available resources of these departments and agencies. Second, a new, full-time 14 ibid. 15 ibid. 24

43 3 E v o l u t i o n o f a M i s s i o n position on the NSC staff was recommended to strengthen coordination of our national [counterterrorism] program, by participating in all interagency groups, maintaining the national programming document, assisting in coordinating research and development, facilitating development of response options, and overseeing implementation of the Task Force recommendations. Third, it was recommended that an Interdepartmental Group on Terrorism (IG/T) prepare for NSC approval a list of policy criteria for deciding when, if, and how to use force to preempt, react and retaliate to terrorist incidents. Fourth, the Task Force recommended greater collection of terrorist information by human intelligence, greater exchanges of terrorism intelligence with foreign partners, and perhaps most notably, the creation of a consolidated intelligence center on terrorism. On January 20, 1986, after the Vice President s Task Force on Combating Terrorism submitted its recommendations, and prior to the public release of its report, President Reagan issued NSDD-207, entitled The National Program for Combating Terrorism. A notable feature of NSDD-207 was the comprehensive nature of President Reagan s overall counterterrorism strategy, which sought to employ all instruments of national power to confront the threat of terrorism. The entire range of diplomatic, economic, legal, military, paramilitary, covert action, and informational assets at our disposal must be brought to bear against terrorism, the directive stated. The integration of these instruments of national power was the responsibility of interagency groups previously identified in NSDD-30 and subsequent directives. One such group, whose existence was not admitted according to one former representative of the group, was the Coordinating Sub-Group, which would become, in different forms, the primary coordinator and integrator of U.S. counterterrorism efforts in the years to come. The Coordinating Sub-Group would later become the Counterterrorism Security Group (CSG). On May 7, 1989, President Bush issued NSD-10 to create new Policy Coordinating Committees, including a new PCC for counterterrorism, which assumed the previous responsibilities of President Reagan s IG/T. The new committee, chaired by the ambassador-at-large for counterterrorism at the State Department, was directed to lead the formulation of Administration counterterrorism policy and implementation 25

44 3 E v o l u t i o n o f a M i s s i o n efforts. In addition, President Bush directed the continuation of the Coordinating Sub-Group (CSG) on counterterrorism as a subcommittee of the National Security Council Deputies Committee. The CSG was, and would continue to be, the centerpiece of the U.S. counterterrorism mission within the U.S. government. President Bill Clinton subsequently issued PDD-39, entitled U.S. Policy on Counterterrorism, constituting the most significant, and strongly worded, counterterrorism directive issued since NSDD-207. Portions of the directive have been declassified. According to the directive, the national counterterrorism policy of the United States was to deter, defeat, and respond vigorously to all terrorist attacks on our territory and against our citizens, or facilities, whether they occur domestically, in international waters or airspace or on foreign territory. Six pillars supported this policy: 1. Deter, defeat, and respond vigorously to domestic and foreign terrorist attacks. 4. Treat terrorism as criminal matter and a potential threat to national security. 5. Pursue vigorously efforts to deter and preempt, apprehend and prosecute, or assist other governments to prosecute terrorists. 6. Work closely with, and support, friendly governments to combat terrorism. 7. Identify terrorist groups and state-sponsors, isolate them and extract a heavy price for their actions. 8. Make no concessions to terrorists. 26

45 3 E v o l u t i o n o f a M i s s i o n PDD-39 reaffirmed the lines of jurisdiction for counterterrorism activities within the Executive Branch, designating the FBI as responsible for crisis management and FEMA for consequence management. PDD-39 directed the departments and agencies to take a series of measures to reduce vulnerabilities, to deter terrorism, to respond to terrorist attacks, and, as the government s highest priority, to develop effective capabilities to detect, prevent, defeat, and manage the consequences of WMD attacks. President Clinton s memoirs indicate that PDD-39 also authorized and directed covert action and aggressive efforts to capture terrorists abroad. 16 PDD-39 included an attachment that set forth the interagency groups responsible for counterterrorism, but the attachment remains classified. Shortly after this declaration, then-national Security Advisor Sandy Berger reportedly submitted a proposal to President Clinton to establish a new position on the NSC staff for counterterrorism. 17 President Clinton formally accepted his proposal when he issued PDD-62, entitled Protection Against Unconventional Threats to the Homeland and Americans Overseas, to establish the Office of the National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection and Counter- Terrorism within the NSC system. Richard Clarke was appointed as the coordinator and was given a seat on the NSC Principals Committee. By December 2000, the NSC staff had developed a high-level, comprehensive strategy for defeating al Qaeda entitled, Strategy for Eliminating the Threat from the Jihadist Networks of al-qida: Status and Prospects. This strategy was a follow-on to a prior strategy developed by Clarke in 1998 entitled, Pol-Mil Plan for al-qida, more commonly called the Delenda Plan. The newer strategy stated that the goal of the United States was to roll back the al Qida network to a point where it will no longer pose a serious threat to the US or its interests. According to the strategy, this goal could be achieved within three to five years if adequate resources and policy attention were devoted to it. 16 Clinton, National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States. The 9/11 Commission Report. (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2004), 101. (Hereinafter, 9/11 Commission) 27

46 3 E v o l u t i o n o f a M i s s i o n 28

47 4 A N e w P a r a d i g m 4: A New Paradigm: The Creation of Strategic Operational Planning We therefore propose a new institution: a civilian-led unified joint command for counterterrorism. It should combine strategic intelligence and joint operational planning. 9/11 Commission Report Beginning with the Carter administration, U.S. counterterrorism strategy has been developed through the National Security Council (NSC) system. During the past several administrations the NSC staff shouldered this management burden through the Counterterrorism Security Group (CSG). In this role, the CSG developed, at various times and in varying degrees, national policies, strategies, and plans to guide the counterterrorism mission. But documents produced by the CSG were generally strategic in nature, providing departments and agencies with few details on how to operationalize the documents. As a result, each department and agency was left to its own devices for translating and prioritizing the broad, strategic guidance of the NSC system into operational plans, if at all. More often than not this caused great disparity in implementation across the Executive Branch. This was the old counterterrorism paradigm, discarded three years after September 11. Origins of the National Counterterrorism Center Congress created the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, more commonly known as the 9/11 Commission, in November 2002 to investigate the facts and circumstances relating 29

48 4 A N e w P a r a d i g m to the terrorist attacks of September 11, A year and a half later, the Commission released its final report to great anticipation. The report focused on, among other things, the need for integrated intelligence, or in the words of the Commission, joint intelligence. A smart government would integrate all sources of information to see the enemy as a whole, the report stated. 19 In fact, by the time the Commission had released its report, the Bush administration had taken a significant step toward enhanced integration. During the 2003 State of the Union Address, President Bush directed the leaders of the FBI, the CIA, the Homeland Security and the Department of Defense to develop a Terrorist Threat Integration Center [TTIC], to merge and analyze all [terrorist] threat information in a single location. 20 The TTIC was stood up under the authority of the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) on May 1, Although the facilities were initially paid for by and located at the CIA, it was an interagency center staffed by representatives from throughout the Intelligence Community. 21 The first director of TTIC, John O. Brennan, characterized the purpose of the center as to ensure that all agencies and departments involved in the fight against terrorism share threat information and finished analysis that can be used to prevent terrorist attacks. 22 In practice, this meant, among other things, sharing systems and databases. For the first time in our history, Brennan stated, a multi-agency entity has access to information systems and databases spanning the intelligence, law enforcement, homeland security, diplomatic, and military communities that contain information related to the threat of international terrorism. 23 Although the TTIC was not intended to supersede existing units within agencies but rather to serve as the integrating mechanism for such units, it did assume some functions of other entities. For example, the TTIC assumed functions previously performed by CIA s Counterterrorist 18 intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2003, Pub. L. No , Title VI, 116 Stat (Nov. 27, 2002). 19 9/11 Commission (2004), President George W. Bush, State of the Union Address (Jan. 28, 2003), available at: georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2003/01/ html. 21 TTIC Responses to Questions for the Record from the House Judiciary Committee and House Select Committee on Homeland Security, transmitted December 4, 2003 (hereafter Responses to QFR ). 22 Statement of TTIC Director John O. Brennan on Law Enforcement and Intelligence, presented before the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (Apr. 14, 2004). 23 ibid. 30

49 4 A N e w P a r a d i g m Center (CTC), including the production of a daily threat matrix, a daily situation report, and community threat advisories. 24 The CTC was similar to TTIC in some respects, but a significant difference related to their respective roles in operations. Whereas TTIC was purely an analytic organization, CIA analysts working at the CTC not only produced analytical products, they also provided direct support to counterterrorist operations run out of the CTC. 25 The 9/11 Commission saw integrated intelligence as only one piece of the puzzle. There were also larger structural challenges within the Executive Branch that not only inhibited but intentionally prevented unity of effort, and more specifically joint action, Watchlisting, information sharing, and connecting the dots were only symptoms, not the disease, the report concluded. 26 A more fundamental problem was that no one was firmly in charge of managing the case and able to draw relevant intelligence from anywhere in the government, assign responsibilities across the agencies (foreign or domestic), track progress, and quickly bring obstacles up to the level where they could be resolved. In short, the counterterrorism mission was an orchestra without a conductor. In short, the counterterrorism mission was an orchestra without a conductor. As the Commission properly noted, lines of operational authority run from the president to the heads of functional departments and agencies pursuant to statute. This Cabinet-form of government, drawn from the British, has been with the United States since the First Congress when the Departments of Foreign Affairs, War, and Treasury were established. 27 But counterterrorism is a mission that cuts across departments, leaving the president as the sole integrator and manager of the counterterrorism mission. The NSC staff was too small and too overburdened with day-to-day issues to be effective in this role. Plus, the NSC staff lacked statutory authority to compel departmental and agency action. It was in this light that the Commission referred to the problem as nearly intractable because of the way the government is currently structured. 24 Responses to QFR, ibid. 26 9/11 Commission (2004), See 1 Stat. 28 (July 27, 1789) (Foreign Affairs); 1 Stat. 49 (Aug. 7, 1789) (War); 1 Stat. 65 (Sept. 2, 1789) (Treasury). 31

50 4 A N e w P a r a d i g m After invoking a comparison to the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986, a law that led to enhanced integration within the Defense Department, the 9/11 Commission called for a radically new paradigm for the U.S. counterterrorism mission that would combine joint intelligence and joint action. We therefore propose a new institution: a civilian-led unified joint command for counterterrorism. It should combine strategic intelligence and joint operational planning. In the Pentagon s Joint Staff, which serves the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, intelligence is handled by the J-2 directorate, operational planning by J-3, and overall policy by J-5. Our concept combines the J-2 and J-3 functions (intelligence and operational planning) in one agency, keeping overall policy coordination where it belongs, in the National Security Council. 28 This new interagency institution, reportedly the brainchild of Philip Zelikow, would be called the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), built upon the foundation of the TTIC. On the intelligence side, NCTC would lead strategic analysis, pooling allsource intelligence, foreign and domestic, about transnational terrorist organizations with global reach, 29 develop net assessments, provide early warning, and task agencies with foreign and domestic intelligence collection requirements. To perform these functions, the Commission envisioned that NCTC would absorb a significant portion of the analytical talent [then] residing in the CIA s Counterterrorist Center and the DIA s Joint Intelligence Task Force Combating Terrorism. 30 The creation of joint planning capabilities was the signature of the Commission s proposal for NCTC. In this role NCTC would plan actions, assign operational responsibilities to lead agencies, track implementation, and update plans, all of which would be subject to the direction of the president and the NSC. In other words, planners within NCTC would function as an arm of the NSC. Notably, the Commission made clear that NCTC should not be a policymaking 28 9/11 Commission (2004), in a footnote, the Commission stated that the NCTC would become an authoritative reference base on the transnational terrorist organizations: their people, goals, strategies, capabilities, networks of contacts and support, the context in which they operate, and their characteristic habits across the life cycle of operations recruitment, reconnaissance, target selection, logistics, and travel. Ibid., 566, ibid.,

51 4 A N e w P a r a d i g m body and would not eliminate interagency policy disputes. These functions would remain within the NSC system, and the Commission envisioned that the creation of NCTC would actually free up the NSC staff to focus on its core duties, including high-level policy and presidential staffing. In addition, NCTC would not direct the actual execution of these operations, leaving that job to the agencies. 31 So while NCTC would be responsible for planning operations, they would have no authority to execute, although it would be given the authority of planning the activities of other agencies, 32 a largely unprecedented recommendation that could have potentially stripped authority from every Cabinetlevel official with counterterrorism responsibilities. What types of authority and how much authority, the Commission did not specify. The report simply stated that law or executive order must define the scope of such line authority. 33 So while NCTC would be responsible for planning operations, they would have no authority to execute. The nature of this proposal, in the view of the 9/11 Commission, necessitated a leader of NCTC who would have more authority and more accountability than the director of TTIC. For example, unlike the director of TTIC, the head of NCTC would be appointed by the president, would be subject to Senate confirmation, and would be equivalent in rank to a deputy head of a Cabinet-level department. In addition, the head of NCTC would have authority to evaluate the performance of the people assigned to the Center, 34 and would have the right to concur in the choices of personnel to lead the operating entities of the departments and agencies focused on counterterrorism, 35 another largely unprecedented recommendation. The head of NCTC would also work with the Office of Management and Budget to develop the president s counterterrorism budget. Although the Commission s recommendation for NCTC was both bold and radical, the Commission was cognizant of the political challenges, referring to the recommendation as both new and difficult and requiring strong agencies to give up some of their turf and authority 31 ibid. 32 ibid., ibid., ibid., ibid.,

52 4 A N e w P a r a d i g m in exchange for a stronger, faster, more efficient governmentwide joint effort. 36 Countering transnational Islamist terrorism will test whether the U.S. government can fashion more flexible models of management needed to deal with the twenty-first-century world, the report stated. Adoption of the 9/11 Commission Recommendation Weeks after the 9/11 Commission released its final report, President Bush issued Executive Order to adopt and implement, within existing statutory authorities, the Commission s recommendation for the establishment of NCTC. 37 The order established NCTC under the direction, authority, and control of the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI). 38 Consistent with the 9/11 Commission s recommendations, NCTC would perform two types of functions: intelligence and planning. With regard to intelligence, NCTC was directed to analyze and integrate all terrorism intelligence, 39 except purely domestic counterterrorism information, to serve as the central and shared knowledge bank on counterterrorism, and to ensure that agencies have access to and receive counterterrorism intelligence. With regard to planning, the executive order abandoned the 9/11 Commission s use of the term joint operational planning and instead directed NCTC to conduct strategic operational planning for counterterrorism and to assign operational responsibilities to lead agencies for counterterrorism. There was no identifiable precedent for the use of the term strategic operational planning in any department or agency. It is plausible that the term joint operational planning was avoided because it implied a closer relationship to operations than the 36 ibid., 406 (quoting Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld). 37 Executive Order 13354, National Counterterrorism Center (George W. Bush, Aug. 27, 2004). EO has subsequently been rescinded by the release of the revised EO Although the 9/11 Commission recommended placing the NCTC under the leadership of an empowered head, this was not feasible at that time without new statutory authority. 39 The term terrorism information was defined as all information, whether collected, produced, or distributed by intelligence, law enforcement, military, homeland security, or other United States Government activities, relating to (i) the existence, organization, capabilities, plans, intentions, vulnerabilities, means of finance or material support, or activities of foreign or international terrorist groups or individuals, or of domestic groups or individuals involved in transnational terrorism; (ii) threats posed by such groups or individuals to the United States, United States persons, or United States interests, or to those of other nations; (iii) communications of or by such groups or individuals; or (iv) information relating to groups or individuals reasonably believed to be assisting or associated with such groups or individuals. 34

53 4 A N e w P a r a d i g m president envisioned for the NCTC. Replacing the term joint with strategic suggested greater distance between NCTC planners and the boots on the ground. To supervise the NCTC, a director was to be appointed by the DCI with the approval of the president. John O. Brennan, then director of TTIC, was appointed as the first acting director of NCTC. In addition to performing a range of intelligence functions, the director was ordered to identify, together with relevant agencies, specific counterterrorism planning efforts to be initiated or accelerated to protect the national security. Heads of agencies, meanwhile, were directed to promptly give access to terrorism information to the director of NCTC, to facilitate the production of reports, to keep the director fully and currently informed of activities related to counterterrorism, and to make available to the director personnel, funding, and other resources upon the DCI s request and after consultation with the head of the agency and with the approval of the director of OMB. Agency representatives to NCTC were directed to operate under the authorities of their home agencies. Statutory Framework for Strategic Operational Planning Congress codified NCTC four months later pursuant to section 1021 of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (IRTPA), the most far-reaching intelligence reform legislation since Pursuant to the legislation, NCTC would be led by a Senateconfirmed director, and would be housed within the newly established Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). ODNI was led by a new director of national intelligence (DNI), who replaced the DCI as head of the Intelligence Community and who became the president s top intelligence advisor. The director of NCTC reported to the DNI with respect to NCTC s budgets and programs, intelligence activities, and the execution of intelligence operations implemented by other elements of the Intelligence Community. But the director was also given a direct reporting line to the president with respect to planning and progress of joint counterterrorism operations (other than intelligence operations). 40 intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, Pub. L. No , 118 Stat (2004) (hereinafter IRTPA ). 35

54 4 A N e w P a r a d i g m Drawing heavily from language set forth in Executive Order 13354, IRTPA vested NCTC with six primary missions, four of which related to intelligence sharing, integration, and analysis and two of which related to strategic operational planning. With regard to intelligence, NCTC was established to serve as the primary organization for analyzing and integrating terrorism intelligence, except for purely domestic intelligence; to provide intelligence support to agencies; to ensure agencies have access to intelligence; and to serve as the knowledge bank on known and suspected terrorists and international terrorist groups. 41 With regard to strategic operational planning, Congress gave NCTC two primary missions: To conduct strategic operational planning for counterterrorism activities, integrating all instruments of national power, including diplomatic, financial, military, intelligence, homeland security, and law enforcement activities within and among agencies. To assign roles and responsibilities as part of its strategic operational planning duties to lead departments or agencies, as appropriate, for counterterrorism activities that are consistent with applicable law and that support counterterrorism strategic operational plans, but shall not direct the execution of any resulting operations. To carry out the overarching intelligence and planning missions, Congress established the Directorate of Intelligence (DI) and the Directorate of Strategic Operational Planning (DSOP), respectively. The DI was given primary responsibility within the United States government for analysis of terrorism and terrorist organizations (except for purely domestic terrorism and domestic terrorist organizations) from all sources of intelligence, whether collected inside or outside the United States. 41 Following codification of NCTC, the DNI identified the director of NCTC as the mission manager for counterterrorism pursuant to Intelligence Community Directive (ICD) 900. Intelligence Community Directive 900, Mission Management (Dec. 21, 2006). According to ICD-900, mission managers report to the DNI and are the principal IC officials overseeing all aspects of national intelligence related to their respective mission areas. Each mission manager, overseen by the principal deputy DNI and the Mission Manager Board, is responsible for partnering with the National Intelligence Council, senior ODNI and other IC officials. 36

55 4 A N e w P a r a d i g m DSOP, on the other hand, was responsible for providing strategic operational plans for counterterrorism operations conducted by the United States Government. Strategic operational planning, according to the legislation, would include the mission, objectives to be achieved, tasks to be performed, interagency coordination of operational activities, and the assignment of roles and responsibilities. Moreover, the director of NCTC was directed to monitor the implementation of strategic operational plans and to obtain information from the departments and agencies relevant for monitoring the progress of such entity in implementing such plans. NCTC had one principal limitation: it was expressly prohibited from directing the execution of counterterrorism operations. As head of NCTC, the director was also assigned specific duties and responsibilities, at least three of which are notable for a study of DSOP. First, he was directed to provide strategic operational plans that integrated the departmental and agency counterterrorism efforts and transcended not only the civilian and military divide, but also the foreign and domestic divide. Additionally, he was given primary responsibility within the U.S. government for conducting net assessments of terrorist threats. The director of NCTC was also authorized to perform other duties prescribed by the DNI. Table 1: Principal Statutory Functions of NCTC/DSOP 1 Providing strategic operational plans for counterterrorism operations 2 Assigning roles and responsibilities for plans 3 Coordinating interagency operational activities 4 Monitoring implementation of plans 5 Conducting assessments The duties assigned to the director of NCTC and the functions assigned to DSOP pursuant to IRTPA were substantially similar to those recommended by the 9/11 Commission, but the authorities given to the director of NCTC to carry out these functions fell short of what the commission had envisioned. In the area of strategic 37

56 4 A N e w P a r a d i g m operational planning, Congress left largely untouched Cabinetlevel authorities. Most notably, IRTPA gave the director of NCTC no hammer authority to compel agencies to align their plans and activities, or to fulfill their roles and responsibilities under strategic operational plans. IRTPA gave the director no authority to evaluate the performance of personnel assigned to NCTC, nor did it give the director authority to concur with respect to the choices of personnel to lead the counterterrorism operations within the departments and agencies. Moreover, although the director could advise the DNI with respect to counterterrorism budget proposals of the departments and agencies, he was given no role in actually developing the budget as recommended by the 9/11 Commission. For these reasons, the 9/11 Commission s recommendation for the creation of NCTC remains only partially implemented. 38

57 5 D S O P T o d a y 5: DSOP Today We recognize the need to continuously monitor our progress, objectively evaluate our success, openly acknowledge our failures, and do all that we must to improve and mature our strategies, plans, and procedures in order to support an enduring counterterrorism capability. NCTC Director Mike Leiter Since its creation, DSOP has been in a state of evolution. The range of its activities today differs significantly from those undertaken when it was stood up in The changing nature of DSOP is not unlike the state of evolution that continues to characterize U.S. CT mechanisms overall. DSOP s evolution is a result of internal USG system dynamics driven primarily by its fluctuating relationship with the National Security Staff as well as the external system dynamics associated with a constantly changing mission environment and morphing set of adversaries. Having previously discussed DSOP s statutory functions, the report now turns to how those functions have been put into practice. The research revealed little by way of consensus regarding exactly how to describe the breadth of activities conducted at DSOP, but ultimately three overarching categories emerged: planning, assessments, and resources. The Directorate is presently composed of approximately 100 personnel from across the USG. Four planning cells correspond to the four pillars in the National Implementation Plan (NIP) for the War on Terror (WOT) Protect and Defend (ProDef), Attacking Terrorist Capacity (ATC), Countering Violent Extremism (CVE), and Weapons of Mass Destruction Terrorism (WMD-T). In addition to these four planning cells there are two crosscutting groups: Strategic Assessments Group (SAG) and Programs and Resources (P&R). The Senior Interagency 39

58 5 D S O P T o d a y Strategy Team (SIST) is an interagency body that serves as the advisory group to DSOP s deputy director. The SIST is comprised of senior representatives from major stakeholder departments and agencies. Planning is the primary function of DSOP, and a broad range of activities fall within this overarching category. For these activities, DSOP s authority is derived from its statutory role in strategic operational planning, which includes a mandate for interagency coordination of operational activities. DSOP conducts three distinct types of planning: deliberate, dynamic, and contingency. As part of dynamic planning, DSOP plays a role in coordinating operational activities, relying heavily on secure video teleconferences (SVTCs). In some cases, DSOP s dynamic planning also includes policy analysis and development of options for senior decision-makers in the National Security Staff and NSC System. Additionally, DSOP is involved in steady-state activities such as conducting Table Top Exercises (TTX) and developing lessons learned. Over the course of its five-year existence, DSOP has shifted focus from primarily long-range strategic planning, as embodied in the NIP-WOT, to a greater emphasis on shorter-term dynamic planning and coordination of interagency activities. For the assessments function, authority stems from the director of NCTC s statutory responsibility for conducting net assessments and monitor[ing] the implementation of strategic operational plans. Under this authority, DSOP has conducted two major strategic assessments that correspond to the two versions of the NIP-WOT that were produced by NCTC. The strategic assessments account for both USG system performance and external system (partner and adversary) trends. Assessments are also being conducted for subordinate plans, both deliberate and dynamic. Additionally DSOP has led a series of in-progress reviews to help to identify and resolve impediments to the achievement of strategic objectives as outlined in the NIP-WOT. In addition to NCTC fulfilling its statutory role in advising the DNI on CT budgets and programs, DSOP s P&R shop conducts a comprehensive resource assessment that culminates in recommendations on budget guidance to OMB. This resource assessment seeks to take 40

59 5 D S O P T o d a y a comprehensive look at how resources are being allocated for the CT mission and to make recommendations on prioritization and corresponding resource allocation at the national level. DSOP is also involved in other activities associated with building a community of interest (COI). The Directorate helps to foster the continuing development of a CT COI through the sharing of information and best practices and promotion of a common CT lexicon. Note: Throughout the remainder of the report, findings are embedded in the section of text to which they are most relevant. Findings are linked to recommendations and accompanied by discussions which provide additional context. A consolidated list of recommendations is included in appendix 1 of the report. Finding: In the United States government s current organizational structure, there is no ideal place to house DSOP. Discussion: Despite the complex, multidimensional nature of terrorism, our strong cabinet style form of government (oriented toward functions, not missions) precludes the effective introduction of crosscutting, interagency integrating mechanisms such as the Directorate of Strategic Operational Planning. The crafters of IRTPA understood the novel role of DSOP in the counterterrorism community, and although its functions spanned well beyond intelligence, they decided to create it as a component organization within NCTC under the Director of National Intelligence. The director of NCTC maintains dual reporting chains to the DNI for matters of counterterrorism intelligence and to the president for matters of whole-of-government strategic operational planning. In practice, the director reports to the president through the deputy national security advisor for homeland security and counterterrorism. Conceptually, DSOP could have been established as an independent planning directorate reporting directly to the National Security Staff (the Staff). With this arrangement, DSOP would benefit from the gravitas and informal authority within the interagency inherent in 41

60 5 D S O P T o d a y any White House office. It would also likely create a more seamless relationship and improve DSOPs ability to meet the needs and expectations of the Staff. Within the current structure of the United States national security apparatus there are no efficient means of creating a free-standing interagency planning cell reporting directly to the Executive Office of the President. NCTC leadership has, in the past, viewed this direct link to the EOP with caution. Admiral John Scott Redd stated this most directly during the question-and-answer session of a House Armed Services Committee hearing. There has been talk about maybe placing the National Counterterrorism Center within the National Security Council, Rep. Solomon Ortiz noted. How do you feel about that? Admiral Redd responded, I would submit that you want to have a bit of an air gap, if you will, between those. Policy and strategy done up here, and planning done at the NCTC. Collocating DSOP within the Intelligence Community has indeed helped facilitate a relationship between counterterrorism intelligence and interagency strategic operational planning. The critical relationship between intelligence analysis and planning was highlighted once again by the attempted Christmas Day terrorist attack in Detroit. DSOP assessments and plans particularly dynamic plans have benefited from being developed under the same roof and leadership as the intelligence and analytic hub of the counterterrorism community. Additionally, DSOP requires an executive agent in order to function. For the past five years, ODNI has been responsible for these managerial functions managing the workforce, providing facilities, providing legal counsel, doing congressional liaison, and handling financial issues. However, being imbedded bureaucratically within the larger Intelligence Community enterprise has created challenges for DSOP. As we will see in Chapter 8, the ODNI workforce structure, oriented toward intelligence analysis, is not geared toward the unique human capital needs of the planning and policy community. In addition, as has recently been shown, DSOP is vulnerable to ODNI and NCTC funding adjustments within the congressional Intelligence Community authorization and appropriations process, albeit DSOP s purpose and functions are wholly discrete. 42

61 5 D S O P T o d a y Ultimately, however, DSOP requires this assistance in order to function, and within the current structure of the United States national security apparatus there are few efficient means of creating a free-standing interagency planning cell reporting directly to the EOP. Recommendation: The Directorate of Strategic Operational Planning should remain within the National Counterterrorism Center both physically and organizationally at least for the short term. 43

62 5 D S O P T o d a y 44

63 6 P l a n n i n g a n d A s s e s s m e n t s 6: Planning and Assessments Plans are nothing; planning is everything. Dwight D. Eisenhower Planning Intended scope of Strategic Operational Planning While DSOP s activities have evolved significantly over time, its role in planning has been a consistent focus of the Directorate since its design. As detailed earlier in this report, the 9/11 Commission Report describes the intent to create a center for joint operational planning. 42 This recommendation was born out of recognition that such planning was imperative for a complex mission like counterterrorism and that the White House was unable to adequately fulfill this function. 43 The emphasis on planning as a central component of DSOP s mission was codified in both the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act (IRTPA) of 2004 and Executive Order (EO) However, the question of exactly what type of planning should occur at DSOP still remains. As previously noted, the phrase Strategic Operational Planning (SOP) is defined in the IRTPA as the mission, objectives to be achieved, tasks to be performed, interagency coordination of operational activities, and the assignment of roles and responsibilities. 44 The executive order does not directly define SOP other than to state generally that it involves the integration of all instruments of power. 45 Despite the statutory definition, there was little consensus at the time regarding what exactly was intended by this phraseology. 46 Compounding this lack of consensus was the 42 9/11 Commission (2004), ibid. 44 intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of Executive Order Statement for the record, House Armed Services Committee, 4 April, 2006, Hon. John Scott Redd, Vice Admiral, United States Navy (Ret.) Director, National Counterterrorism Center. 45

64 6 P l a n n i n g a n d A s s e s s m e n t s pre-existing and long-standing military paradigm that there were three dimensions of national security and/or conflict: strategic, operational, and tactical, each with its own distinctions. Coupling two of the dimensions, i.e., strategic operational without a clearer definitional context left the door open for wide interpretation within the interagency. Admiral John Scott Redd highlighted this most succinctly, telling the House Armed Services Committee, when Congress wrote the legislation a little over a year ago, that when the term strategic operational planning was used, nobody was quite sure what it meant. 47 In addition to the statutory definition, one can come to better understand the scope of SOP through the lens of several dimensions such as the level of planning, amount of detail contained in the plans, the temporal dimension, and actors involved. 1. Level First, it is important to understand that planning, broadly speaking, cannot always be distinguished from other functions along the spectrum of end-to-end national security processes. 48 In theory, counterterrorism planning can be distinguished from the policy formulation (e.g., NSPD-46) and strategy development (e.g., National Strategy to Combat Terrorism) performed within the National Security Council (NSC) system. In this context, SOP was intended to occur at a level below strategy development in order to, according to NCTC s first director, take interagency planning to a new and much more granular level than we have historically undertaken as a government. 49 In practice, however, the lines that separate one process from another are often blurred. 50 On the other end of the spectrum, while DSOP has a statutory role in interagency coordination of operational activities as part of SOP, it is prohibited from directing operations. In other words, DSOP 47 Adm. Redd before HASC, 06 April See chapter 1 for a description and visualization of U.S. national security processes. These processes include policy, strategy, planning, implementation, and assessments. 49 Transcript. Confronting the Terrorism Threat to the Homeland: Six years after 9/11. Hearing of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Honorable John Scott Redd, Vice Admiral (Ret.) U.S. Navy, Director, NCTC, 10 September See chapter 9 for a more detailed discussion on the implications of these blurred lines in practice. 46

65 6 P l a n n i n g a n d A s s e s s m e n t s does not have the authority to determine which personnel or specific capabilities should be utilized by agencies in mission execution. 51 According to NCTC Director Mike Leiter, DSOP is also not involved with tactical department-level planning. Testifying before the Subcommittee on Border, Maritime, and Global Counterterrorism of the House Committee on Homeland Security, Director Leiter commented that DSOP s goal is to translate US counterterrorism policy and strategy into coordinated, actionable tasks for individual departments and agencies. It [SOP, and the NIP particularly] complements two types of planning efforts that have long existed and continue to exist high-level national strategies directed by the president and the National Security and Homeland Security Councils, and very granular and tactical department and agency-specific implementation plans. 52 As for the scope of activities it can plan for, DSOP again spans the spectrum from strategic to operational. SOP was proposed to focus more strategically in areas such as winning hearts and minds in the Muslim world as well as more operationally such as hunting for Bin Ladin. 53 Therefore, the SOP function clearly exists somewhere on the spectrum of national security processes between strategy and tactical planning. As such, the concept of SOP suggests that a gap exists between policy formulation and strategy development in the NSC system and the execution of CT operations in the field. 54 Or, as Admiral Redd put it: At first blush, strategic operational planning almost seems like a contradiction. How can planning be both strategic and operational? The answer to that question can be found in the gap that we are trying 51 Conference Report on S. 2845, Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, Speech of Hon. Peter Hoekstra of Michigan in the House of Representatives, Tuesday, December 7, Leiter testimony before HCHS, 04 Oct In later testimonies, Director Leiter described the evolution of the SOP function and a more operationally planning-focused DSOP. Since the President s approval of the first-ever National Implementation Plan in 2006, SOP has matured and evolved very significantly, Leiter noted in his confirmation hearing before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Although we continue to pursue broad strategic plans that meaningfully guide department and agency programs and budgets, we have also initiated far more granular, targeted efforts to ensure department and agency implementation of plans on key topics (e.g., terrorists acquisition of weapons of mass destruction). I strongly believe that this combination of deliberate and dynamic planning, with forceful support from the National and Homeland Security Councils, will ultimately lead to cohesive government planning and execution against terrorism. 53 irtpa Report. 54 NCTC. Slide show. Unclassified. 47

66 6 P l a n n i n g a n d A s s e s s m e n t s to fill between the development of policy and strategy at a high level, and the ground level tactical operations of front line departments and agencies that seek to implement policy and strategy. This is a gap that has existed for as long as I have served in government, and that covers over four decades of service. 55 Simply put, the White House, in the form of the National Security Council and, more recently, the Homeland Security Council, has been in the business of developing broad strategy and policy. At the other end of the spectrum, the cabinet departments and agencies have been responsible for conducting operations in the field. That dual apportionment of roles has been the norm for most of my lifetime. What has been missing is the piece in between policy and operations, a concept not unfamiliar to the military. That need has become even more obvious as we prosecute the Global War on Terrorism. Strategic Operational Planning is designed to fill that gap. 56 As these examples illustrate, the fact that SOP is most often defined by what it is not, as opposed to what it is, contributes to the lack of clarity. Even with this rather concise statement from Admiral Redd that would likely resonate with many in the military who share a similar background in planning, the use of the words strategic and operational, as part of a single phrase to describe DSOP s planning function continues to cause confusion among some stakeholders. 2. Detail A second dimension to consider is the level of detail to be contained in the plan. In this regard, it is relatively clear that SOP was once again intended to span the spectrum from the strategically broad to the operationally detailed. The statutory definition of SOP describes the establishment of roles and responsibilities as well as a description of tasks. The former implies a higher, broader level of focus, while the latter implies a greater level of specificity. The required level of detail is driven primarily by the temporal dimension of planning discussed below. While not a hard rule, generally speaking, the longer-term the planning, the less actionable detail is achievable. 55 Statement for the record, Senate Foreign Relations Committee, June 13, 2006, Hon. John Scott Redd, Vice Admiral, United States Navy (Ret.) Director, National Counterterrorism Center. 56 Ibid. 48

67 6 P l a n n i n g a n d A s s e s s m e n t s 3. Time Neither the law nor the Executive Order specifies on what time horizon DSOP s planning should focus. The view of one former senior NSC official is that DSOP was created to provide a needed capability in interagency planning for both short-term crises as well as longer-term programmatic planning. 57 According to a statement by NCTC Director Mike Leiter, NCTC is intended to be a one stop shop for mapping out the terrorism threat and designing a plan for the U.S. Government to counter it whether it is immediate, emerging, or long-term. 58 In addition, SOP is not constrained in terms of planning for the known or the unknown. SOP may focus on an area that has already manifested itself or it could focus on one that has not yet emerged. 4. Actors Finally, it is helpful to consider the actors that partake in this planning as an additional dimension of scope. Foundational documents clearly indicate that SOP was intended to occur only at an interagency level (i.e., above the department level) and can therefore be distinguished from planning that takes place within departments and agencies. The Report of the IRTPA describes this intended interagency focus of a planning directorate concentrate[d] on planning activities that are joint, meaning that they involve more than one agency. 59 The report describes a process by which NCTC s plans will be developed utilizing input from personnel of other departments and agencies who have expertise in their agencies priorities, functions, assets, and capabilities with respect to counterterrorism. Therefore, it is clear that SOP was intended to be conducted by more than one interagency actor. Based on these four dimensions, the intended scope of SOP in terms of its level, detail, temporal focus, and participating actors becomes somewhat clearer. In summary, it was proposed to translate counterterrorism policy and strategy into strategic and operational interagency plans that range from broad objectives to specific tasks and from the long term to the immediate. 57 interview with former senior NSC official, 24 August Leiter speech: Looming challenges in the WOT. February 13, irtpa Report. 49

68 6 P l a n n i n g a n d A s s e s s m e n t s Strategic Operational Planning Put into Practice Based on an analysis of the organization s activities, the research revealed three primary types of planning at DSOP. For the purposes of this report, they will be described as: 1) long-term deliberate planning, 2) near-term dynamic planning, and 3) contingency planning. This report focuses primarily on the NIP-WOT as the fundamental and overarching deliberate plan and the cornerstone of all DSOP s other activities. The table below provides descriptions and examples for each planning type and distinguishes between them using the criteria introduced in the previous section of this chapter. Description & Examples Planning Types Deliberate DSOP PLANNING TYPES AND EXAMPLES Description Long-term planning that articulates the mission and objectives to be achieved and codifies roles and responsibilities for the national counterterrorism mission writ-large or for a specific functional/geographic area. Examples NIP-WOT National Strategy to Combat Terrorist Travel National Action Plan to Combat Foreign Fighters in Iraq Biometrics Known and Suspected Terrorists Implementation Plan Dynamic Near-term functional/geographic planning that articulates the mission, objectives to be achieved, and tasks to be performed, codifies roles and responsibilities, and coordinates interagency activities for an emerging crisis or opportunity. Interagency Task Force Problem-based Planning Other threat stream or regionspecific plans designed to disrupt and diminish the capability of specific terrorist organizations and their networks and to eliminate identified regional safehavens. 60 Contingency Scenario-based ( what if ) functional/ geographic planning that articulates a possible mission, objectives to be achieved tasks to be performed, and roles and responsibilities for a potential crisis or opportunity. Examples include: Countermeasures and Escalation Options 50

69 6 P l a n n i n g a n d A s s e s s m e n t s Finding: The lack of a more specific definition for strategic operational planning has both positive and negative implications. It has allowed for DSOP to flexibly respond to customer needs and to keep pace with the changing mission environment, but at the same time has created ambiguity within the CT community and has forced the Directorate to grapple with its identity. Discussion: The statutory definition of strategic operational planning (SOP) is specific in some areas but vague in others. This less-than-clear definition grew out of the fact that different stakeholders understand SOP differently as evident by the different labels applied by the 9/11 Commission ( joint operational planning ), the Senate ( planning ), and the House ( strategic planning ). Today, key committee staff on DSOP s original authorization committee Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs (HSGAC) believe that the statutory mission sufficiently defines DSOP s roles and responsibilities, but other committee staff and Executive Branch offices find that mission and definition to be vague. In practice, this has both positive and negative implications. On the one hand, a broad definition has allowed DSOP to more flexibly respond to customer needs and to keep pace with a constantly changing mission environment. However, a vague definition seems also to have caused confusion, and oftentimes angst, among interagency stakeholders who are uncertain as to exactly what DSOP should be doing. An overly broad interpretation of DSOP s role may be seen as bureaucratic turf building rather than support of effective national strategy implementation. One example of an area where the definition is vague is the lack of clarity surrounding DSOP s role in dynamic planning. While there is general consensus that this role needs to be fulfilled somewhere, the statutory definition does not specify whether this is part of SOP or not, leaving the question open to interpretation. Other examples include the uncertainty surrounding DSOP s role in interagency coordination of operational activities and monitoring the implementation of plans. Any further clarification and codification of DSOP s role would require a balance between the need for increased clarity while maintaining sufficient organizational agility. 51

70 6 P l a n n i n g a n d A s s e s s m e n t s Recommendation: Through Executive Order, define DSOP s role in strategic operational planning with a greater level of specificity, which should include a caveat that DSOP can fulfill other functions as driven by customer needs (e.g., and other duties as assigned by the president ). In addition to current statutory functions, specific functions related to SOP should include: a. Deliberate planning: Long-term planning that articulates the mission and objectives to be achieved and codifies roles and responsibilities for the national counterterrorism mission writ-large or for a specific functional/geographic area. (e.g., NIP-WOT, action plans, etc.). b. Dynamic planning: Near-term functional/geographic planning that articulates the mission, objectives to be achieved, and tasks to be performed, defines roles and responsibilities, and as appropriate, conducts policy analysis, tees up policy options, and coordinates interagency activities for an emerging crisis or opportunity (e.g., IA task force, problembased planning, threat specific planning, etc.). c. Contingency planning: Scenario-based ( what if ) functional/ geographic planning that articulates objectives to be achieved, tasks to be performed, and roles and responsibilities for a potential crisis or opportunity (e.g., countermeasures, escalation options, etc.). Finding: Establishing a standardized senior-level review process for national-level counterterrorism strategic operational plans resulting in presidential approval of plans will drive broader interagency participation in DSOP plan development and lead to more effective implementation of DSOP plans. Discussion: In the counterterrorism community, just like in any organization, if the senior leader is not involved in the planning process, the quality and implementation effectiveness of the plan are usually hampered. Currently, participation in counterterrorism 52

71 6 P l a n n i n g a n d A s s e s s m e n t s strategic operational plan development is often on a volunteer basis, subject to the willingness of individual agencies. There are insufficient forcing mechanisms to ensure active and meaningful interagency participation. High level, hands-on involvement in major plans is critical for the following reasons: Reviewing and approving each plan s overall assumptions and concepts during plan development focuses and streamlines the staffing effort by getting definitive high-level direction early and at key stages. Senior leadership involvement and commitment to the planning process instills discipline in the process by compelling subordinate staff adherence to plan development timelines. Such adherence to deadlines at lower levels accelerates the identification and resolution of disagreement over major issues. Leadership approval of the final plan drives effective implementation by clarifying specific roles, responsibilities and resourcing, mitigating interdepartmental impediments during implementation. Validation of plans specific resourcing requirements provides a powerful tool for departments and agencies to justify congressional funding, incentivizing broad participation in the planning process and inclusion in final plans. One common misperception is that leaders such as the president are either too busy to be involved in the often described as mundane planning process. In fact, the time required for these leaders to be sufficiently involved is not excessive, and the time and attention invested by the senior leader leads to huge gains. For example, the secretary of defense, the leader of the largest department in the Executive Branch and the one with the most mature and extensive planning portfolio, spends on average approximately 20 minutes a week reviewing and approving each of the major DoD plans, with each plan cycling through his office ideally every six months during both plan development and after its approval. 53

72 6 P l a n n i n g a n d A s s e s s m e n t s Counterterrorism has traditionally been a presidential initiative and as highlighted in this report it is the president who carries the responsibility for the larger CT effort. The president s time constraints force him to rely heavily on trusted experts namely the deputies committee and the relatively new Counterterrorism Board of Directors. In the George W. Bush administration, a number of the major counterterrorism plans, including the National Implementation Plan for the War on Terror, were forwarded to the president for approval. However, many other high-level plans were approved at the deputies level, as is the case today. Establishing a counterterrorism planning and review process in which the president is involved at appropriate stages could help incentivize full participation in the strategic operational planning process. This process, limited to a few highlevel DSOP plans, could result in broader participation in planning and more effective implementation, provided the plans reflect the needs of all stakeholders such as the State Department and CIA. Such a pilot process could also lay the basis for an institutionalized approval process for other high-level, whole-of-government plans. Recommendation: Prototype a standardized decision support process for gaining presidential approval of a limited number of high-priority DSOP plans. Overall resolution and/or identification of major issues would be done at the Interagency Policy Committee level. The decision support process would facilitate approval by the Deputies Committee (DC), Principals Committee (PC), and ultimately the President with minimal impact on schedules. Scheduled dates for DC and PC review and approval would instill discipline in the process and accelerate and/or elevate decision-making on conflicting views and approaches. 54

73 6 P l a n n i n g a n d A s s e s s m e n t s 1. Deliberate Planning a. NIP-WOT Several types of long-term deliberate planning are conducted at DSOP. In this context, deliberate planning refers to long-term planning that articulates the mission and objectives to be achieved and defines roles and responsibilities for the national counterterrorism mission writlarge or for a specific functional/geographic area requiring additional attention. The NIP-WOT has been the nation s single strategic plan for the national counterterrorism mission and is the only current plan that spans the entire counter-terrorism mission in focus. The development of the NIP-WOT has been DSOP s defining endeavor and has remained one of the focal points of the Directorate s efforts since its creation. According to one former senior NSC official, its creation was the formative event and cornerstone for DSOP. 60 But this branding has had both a positive and negative impact on DSOP s perception throughout the interagency community. The NIP-WOT, which has its origins in National Security Presidential Directive 46 (NSPD-46), was originally approved by President Bush in June According to press reports, it was created to eliminate overlap and set priorities for what the [Bush] administration call[ed] the long war. 62 Two versions of the document have been produced to date, the first in June 2006 (NIP I) and a revision in September 2008 (NIP II). They differ significantly in both content and scope, demonstrating an evolutionary process. Both versions were approved up through the NSC system and were ultimately briefed to the president. NIP I was born of the classified 2006 National Strategy to Combat Terrorism and was associated with a shift in strategy back from military dominance, better balancing the military whack with diplomacy and the hearts and minds campaigns that are now seen 60 interview with former senior NSC official, 24 August ibid. 62 Karen DeYoung (2006). 55

74 6 P l a n n i n g a n d A s s e s s m e n t s as critical to long-term victory. 63 It recognized that the then-war on Terrorism would not be won through military means alone but required the use of all instruments of national power. Moreover, it acknowledged three key tenets: 1) the war of ideas was a crucial component of our efforts to defeat violent extremism and terrorism; 2) building institutional capacity across the Executive Branch (and its functional components) was essential; and 3) bolstering the political will and indigenous capabilities of key foreign partners to join the counterterrorism efforts within their own nations/regions was equally crucial for long-term success. It included 25 objectives and designated lead and subordinate agencies to carry out more than 500 discrete counterterrorism tasks, among them vanquishing al-qaeda, protecting the homeland, wooing allies, training experts in other languages and cultures, and understanding and influencing the Islamic psyche. 64 In 2005, when the 2006 plan was being developed, there were approximately 25 people in DSOP, so there was limited internal capacity to develop the plan. The planning was done primarily by department and agency representatives in forums such as working groups with heavy involvement from the Senior Interagency Strategy Team, an interagency advisory body to the director of DSOP. The interagency working groups conducted the initial planning with the SIST revising and rewriting the plan throughout the process. 65 It was reported that this process of achieving agreement among more than 200 departments and agency representatives [from 22 departments and agencies] over 10 months relied upon oftentorturous negotiations. 66 Yet, former NCTC Director Scott Redd described the development of the NIP-WOT as a truly interagency process: 63 ibid. 64 ibid. 65 interview with senior government official, 10 September Karen DeYoung (2006). 56

75 6 P l a n n i n g a n d A s s e s s m e n t s As NCTC buil[t] this plan, we employ[ed] a fully collaborative, fully participatory interagency process. This means bringing planners, terrorism experts and other subject matter specialists from all of the relevant departments and agencies into the strategic operational planning process, under the direction and leadership of NCTC. 67 He went on to assert that the product that emerge[d from this 2006 process] [was] an interagency product, not simply the work of a small group of planners at the NCTC. 68 The objective was to align department and agency activities against the USG s counterterrorism strategic objectives establishing, via the NIP, a common framework to drive the coordination, integration, and synchronization of counterterrorism activities across the government. The plan reflected one of the interagency community s first attempts to identify objectives, sub-objectives, and tasks for the national counterterrorism mission. The effort got down to the level of tasks in an effort to force departments and agencies to display their individual capacities in order to identify gaps, seams, and areas of overlap. There was topdown pressure to assign activities all the way down to the level of tasks to ensure there was no confusion regarding roles and responsibilities. However, controversy arose when this tactical task-level analysis was viewed by many as an overly detailed and time-consuming exercise in what was supposed to be a strategic endeavor. Many interagency partners were ultimately dissatisfied with the result, asserting that the torturous process yielded little by way of actual impact on existing agencies activities. 69 The holistic and detailed look at current activity was helpful to some at the most senior levels but ultimately did little to impact the day-to-day activities of personnel screening borders or conducting investigations. For some departments, the planning process was primarily an exercise in cataloguing ongoing tasks. 70 For others, the planning yielded a rather significant amount of new tasks and required a resource- 67 Statement for the record, Senate Foreign Relations Committee, June 13, 2006, Hon. John Scott Redd, Vice Admiral, United States Navy (Retired) Director, National Counterterrorism Center 68 ibid. 69 interview with senior government officials, September ibid. 57

76 6 P l a n n i n g a n d A s s e s s m e n t s intensive approach to implement. However, no additional funds were allocated as a result of the plan and agencies were expected to reallocate resources within their own organizations to accommodate these new activities. This proved unexpected, difficult, and often times impossible due to rigidity of funding accounts. 71 As a result, the plan was received with frustration by some stakeholders and even largely ignored by others. Additionally, the process began to reveal a trend whereby some individual agencies lobbied to actually add additional tasks, believing that doing so would lead to additional funding, either from within their own departments or agencies or that supplementary funding would be sought, i.e., above the line funding. Rather than focus on the actual effects of the task, the lens was one of funding justification and not successful outcomes. 72 Finally, this first detail-oriented process was complemented by what proved to be the equally onerous processes of developing supporting department-level sub-plans for the hundreds of tasks identified in the NIP. DSOP set no standardized templates or methodologies for departments and agencies and the result was widely disparate plans that were virtually impossible to coordinate and largely parochial. 73 While specific templates were not initially defined, an annex to the NIP broadly described the supporting plans, how they should be developed, and what they should include. Furthermore, in June 2006, DSOP prepared for some departments, a supporting plan methodology and guidance document. NCTC also began the unrealistic goal of tracking and monitoring the over 500 tasks included in the NIP. It instituted a tool to allow for departments and agencies to report on their activities to implement the plan. The result of all of this was overload and a perception that more time was spent on reporting by all participants than on actually doing the tasks. 74 The perception became one that process was more important than progress. 71 For example, approximately 70% of funding in an organization such as the State Department is earmarked by Congress. 72 interview with senior government official, 10 September ibid. 74 ibid. 58

77 6 P l a n n i n g a n d A s s e s s m e n t s While this first plan had many flaws, it was viewed as progress by some in that it represented the first time that these activities had been captured in one document. 75 The situational awareness that this provided regarding all U.S. government stakeholder counterterrorism activities and capacities was seen as a necessary iterative step in establishing a baseline for future planning initiatives. As summarized in the NCTC Strategic Plan , the plan was one of the first attempts 76 to bring the work of multiple departments and agencies together in one document to focus all elements of national power in the War on Terror. 77 Alongside this first plan, NCTC, with heavy State participation, drafted counterterrorism guidance for the eight geographic regions of the world. The guidance, approved by the Deputies Committee in August 2008, provides an overview of the region, a description of desired effects, and a list of strategic objectives and sub-objectives cross-walked to the NIP-WOT. Thinking through regional guidance and priorities upfront before a particular threat stream emerges is a critical component of long-term planning. NCTC Director Leiter stated that counterterrorism should be, in most cases, the tail, and we should not wag the broader policy dog. Counterterrorism plans, however, must sometimes be developed with urgency and, as has happened in the past, without the luxury of a larger USG strategy for that country or region. The PNSR study team was encouraged to learn that recently, the regional State-led working group began a series of roundtables to review the regional priorities and are planning standing sub-working groups for each region to validate the priorities on an ongoing basis. The second version of the NIP-WOT, developed in 2008, was written by a more robust DSOP with the SIST playing a major role in development and coordination of the document with their department s senior 75 ibid. 76 it is worth noting that there was, in fact, some precedent within the CT community for this type of national planning initiative. Notably, the Attorney General s Five Year Interagency Counterterrorism and Technology Crime Plan, mandated by Congress during the Clinton administration, was an interagency planning initiative led by the Department of Justice that identified objectives, sub-objectives, and tasks for the national CT mission. The five-year plan was formulated using a governmentwide data call and interagency working groups. It included an implementation plan with timelines and priorities to track progress on an annual basis. The plan and planning process were hindered by many of the same challenges as were evident for the NIP-WOT. 77 NCTC Strategic Intent

78 6 P l a n n i n g a n d A s s e s s m e n t s leadership. 78 While the first version of the strategic plan laid out every task at the department level, NIP II proceeded with creating a more elevated focus at the level of national objectives and sub-objectives, leaving the details to the subordinate departments and agencies and their processes as they deemed appropriate. The document went from approximately 200 pages in the first version to 68 in the second version. Learning from the missteps of the first effort, NIP II did not call for supporting plans to be developed and submitted. NIP II also included an impediments evaluation in which agencies submitted challenges to implementation of NIP objectives and subobjectives. It included legal, budgetary, international, and other categories of impediments, many of which were outside the control of the U.S. government. Of the impediments that were validated as genuinely interagency, some were successfully addressed through the interagency process. Furthermore, several impediments related to personnel and resources, which were outside the control of NCTC/ DSOP, were referred to policy-makers through the NSC system. However, some of the more challenging impediments were not addressed and some agencies did not send participants at the proper level or with enough subject matter expertise. As a result, in interviews with participants in the evaluation, some questioned the utility of the process. 78 Advisory group meeting #1 notes. 60

79 6 P l a n n i n g a n d A s s e s s m e n t s The table below provides a summary analysis of areas where the NIP- WOT planning adds value and areas where challenges have emerged. Value NIP-WOT VALUE AND CHALLENGES Challenges 1. Codifies strategic goals and objectives for the national CT mission. 2. Clarifies roles and responsibilities for the national counterterrorism mission. 3. Provides a map to link department and agency activities with national level objectives. 4. Assists in the identification of interagency gaps, seams, and conflicts. 5. Serves as an umbrella document that helps to ensure a holistic approach is undertaken for subordinate planning (i.e., the full spectrum of activities is considered). 6. Helps to foster the continuing development of CT stakeholder communities through information sharing, use of a common lexicon, and relationship building. 1. Plans are primarily not top-down strategic guidance, but rather are driven by existing department and agency activity. 2. New activities emerging from plans were not resourced. 3. There is little implementation assurance or objective owner accountability. 4. Plans do not include prioritization, regionalization, timelines or thresholds and are minimally, if at all, linked to resources. 5. Plans do not include outcomesbased measurements of success. 6. Plans do not include full range of mission partners. b. Functional/Geographic Deliberate Planning In addition to the NIP, several other types of long-term deliberate planning are conducted at DSOP. A number of country- and regionspecific plans have been developed for geographic areas that demand a greater level of attention. Additionally, a number of issue-specific plans were mandated in NSPD-46. One document the National Strategy to 61

80 6 P l a n n i n g a n d A s s e s s m e n t s Combat Terrorist Travel has its origins in the IRTPA. 79 Other plans include the National Action Plan to Combat Foreign Fighters in Iraq and a plan to counter terrorists use of the Internet. 80 While some of these plans were developed simultaneously and others sequentially to the NIP-WOT, the plans are generally consistent with and nest underneath the overarching plan. This occurred by design and also because the plans were developed by roughly the same group of people. Each plan was approved at the level of the Counterterrorism Security Group and briefed to the Deputies Committee. Some of the plans are still active, some are under review, and others have been overtaken by events. 81 Also as part of its steady-state planning activities, DSOP plays a role in various types of exercises and shares lessons learned and best practices. DSOP plays a role in national, departmental-level, and NCTC/DSOP-led exercises. NCTC/DSOP recently run a series of table top exercises to educate state and local governments, as well as international partners, on federal assistance after a Mumbai-style attack in a major metropolitan city. 82 NCTC/DSOP is also recording lessons learned from its experiences. The following excerpt from a congressional hearing describes this initiative in more detail: [In 2008, NCTC produced] a best practices primer for state and local law enforcement officials that addresses cultural sensitivity issues and lessons learned in government outreach to American Muslim communities. In 2009, another primer is being developed that catalogues best practices in outreach to Somali-American communities, which will incorporate the feedback and expertise of Federal, State, and local organizations involved in areas heavily populated by Somali-Americans Plan is available online at: 80 The Eye of the Storm, 29 October interview with senior government official, 10 September ibid. 83 Transcript. Hearing before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Violent 62

81 6 P l a n n i n g a n d A s s e s s m e n t s DSOP s deliberate planning provides a vehicle to address areas where additional focus is required or areas where trends emerge from dynamic planning. Deliberate plans can help to clarify roles and responsibilities and identify gaps, seams, and conflicts across the interagency community. Finding: The NIP-WOT articulates governmentwide CT objectives and assigns roles and responsibilities, but does not harmonize, synchronize, or prioritize those activities to drive strategic shifts in implementation and corresponding resource allocation. Discussion: For some departments, development of the first NIP-WOT was primarily an exercise in cataloguing ongoing tasks and therefore had little actual impact on current activity and direction. In the second version of the plan, broad objectives were usually consistent with what the agencies were already doing as opposed to representing any significant change in activity. This weakened the plan, and prevented it from driving any real change in direction. Moreover, as will be discussed in the upcoming Assessments section, there has not always been a formal effort to look to the future to assess where we may have opportunities to exploit terrorists vulnerabilities or conversely, strengths that we should be working against that could drive shifts in strategic direction. Recommendation: To better link the NIP to current CT policy and strategic direction, update the plan and include it as a classified Strategic Objectives annex to the successor of the current National Strategy to Combat Terrorism (2006). Recommendation: In addition to adding value as a static umbrella document outlining USG strategic objectives, as well as departmental roles and responsibilities, ensure the NIP-WOT is actionable by: continuing in-progress reviews of those strategic objectives, and Islamist Extremism: Al-Shabaab Recruitment in America. Andrew Liepman, Deputy Director of Intelligence, NCTC, 11 March

82 6 P l a n n i n g a n d A s s e s s m e n t s furthering the regionalization of strategic objectives to tee up policy and resource priorities. 2. Near-term Dynamic Planning An increasingly large portion of DSOP s planning is focused on more near-term actions to respond to an emerging crisis or opportunity. In a speech at the Aspen Institute in April, 2009, Director Leiter described DSOP s role in dynamic planning: When we see a threat today, as we saw in the beginning in 2006 with the heightened threat coming out of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas Westerners being trained we were given the responsibility to ensure that the U.S. government defenses and intelligence community was organized in a way and was doing operations in a way that were more likely than not to deter the threat, obstruct the threat, or collect more intel on it. That has become an ongoing process at all times, wherever we see the threat coming from Pakistan, Somalia, et cetera, working with Homeland Security, FBI, the rest of DoJ, the Department of Defense, Central Intelligence Agency and the rest of the intelligence community kind of a broad swath and saying, what are your programs right now? Are the programs at the right level? We just got this piece of threat reporting; how do we address that? We do this very regularly and very intensely up to the deputy secretary level on a regular basis. 84 DSOP uses the Prospector methodology a five-step interagency planning process and Web-based collaboration tool for its dynamic planning. The process first promotes a common understanding of the problem by establishing an interagency working group with supporting participation from intelligence analysts to provide a common intelligence picture. Second, objectives are formed through 84 Michael, E. Leiter, Director, NCTC, Remarks at the Aspen Institute, Washington, D.C., 9 April

83 6 P l a n n i n g a n d A s s e s s m e n t s the mission analysis process and objective performance criteria are established wherever possible. Next, the community of interest develops and collects actions to accomplish the stated objectives. Wherever possible, metrics are established and recorded with each activity. Once actions are collected and compiled, the complete action plan is written. The implementation of actions by individual departments and agencies is conducted in accordance with their internal policies and procedures and each implementing agency provides updates via the Prospector portal. The secure Web-based portal accessible by all SIPRnet addressees is a key component of the collaborative planning tool. Finally, upon completion of the objectives, feedback is provided and best practices are collected and posted to the portal to assist with plan refinement and improvement. 85 Tasking for dynamic plans can come from a variety of sources. The majority of tasking comes from the NSC system, specifically the National Security Staff, the Deputies Committee, or the CSG. Other tasks can originate from individuals such as special envoys or czars and be funneled through the NSC system for action by DSOP. While tasks are almost always directed down through the NSC system, the ideas themselves for dynamic planning efforts may bubble up from within the interagency community based on intelligence from a single department or agency. While dynamic planning can be more operational in nature, in the case of planning for overseas activities, dynamic plans drive the development of more operational plans by the relevant ambassador and/or regional combatant commander or subordinate commander in the field. Tactical plans are then developed at the level of provinces and districts and are approved by the relevant operational authorities. Similarly, domestic planning achieves increasing granularity as it moves from federal levels to the states, localities, and tribal entities. As part of dynamic planning, DSOP sometimes plays a role in policy analysis and development of options for senior decision-makers in the National Security Staff. As one example of DSOP s role in this regard, the Directorate has convened an East Africa Senior Working Group to discuss options for addressing the growth of violent extremism in East 85 Prospector Methodology, undated. 65

84 6 P l a n n i n g a n d A s s e s s m e n t s Africa. 86 An interagency working group such as this one is a typical mechanism by which to facilitate dynamic interagency planning conducting background analysis and teeing up policy options to decision-makers. Another recent case of dynamic planning undertaken at DSOP is the work of the interagency task force (ITF) that is developing additional options and measures for disrupting potential terrorist attacks on the homeland. 87 The ITF provides decision-makers with a status of ongoing actions and provides recommendations for synchronizing those activities based on cost-benefit analyses into possible operational courses of action. Operational courses of action are identified that could be undertaken under existing authorities, policies, and funding as well as those that would require changes in those categories. The following excerpt from congressional testimony describes the consistency and process of the ITF: At the more tactical end of the planning process are dynamic planning efforts including those established to address emerging threat streams for example what we have assessed to be the current heightened strategic threat window. For this reason, the White House directed NCTC to establish and lead an Interagency Task Force (ITF) to develop additional options and measures to increase intelligence collection and disrupt potential al-qa ida planning. Although led by NCTC, the ITF comprises a core group of representatives from the department and agencies with the greatest responsibility for implementing new activities in the near-term including the Departments of Defense, State, Homeland Security and Justice. Each week senior White House and Departmental officials review the actions proposed 86 Transcript. Hearing before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Violent Islamist Extremism: Al-Shabaab Recruitment in America. Andrew Liepman, Deputy Director of Intelligence, NCTC, 11 March Statement of the Record, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and House Armed Services Committee, Implications of the NIE: The Terrorism Threat to the U.S. homeland. Edward Gistaro, National Intelligence Officer / Transnational Threats, Office of the Director of National Intelligence & Mike Leiter, Principal Deputy Director, National Counterterrorism Center. 25 July

85 6 P l a n n i n g a n d A s s e s s m e n t s by the ITF, consider alternative options, and provide further direction or particular activities of measures recommended by the task force. 88 DSOP has also been called on by the White House to lead other types of dynamic planning such as planning to address issues such as homegrown terrorism or prison-based extremism. 89 In a hearing before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on violent Islamist extremism and Al-Shabaab recruitment in America, the current deputy director of intelligence at the NCTC provided another example. In an effort to achieve a coordinated domestic community outreach approach by federal, state, and local agencies, the Global Engagement Group (at DSOP) chairs the Somali Community Outreach Forum. The group includes representatives from the Federal Bureau of Investigation s Community Relations Unit, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis, the United States Citizen and Immigration Services, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Department of Justice Civil Rights and National Security Divisions, and the Department of Treasury. This working group provides a forum to coordinate community outreach meetings in Columbus, Ohio and Minneapolis, Minnesota and other venues, and serves as a central point for collaboration that is designed to increase the effectiveness and coordination of activities, while respecting the civil liberties and privacy rights of U.S. Persons. 90 DSOP s dynamic planning provides a forum to bring all stakeholders to the table to focus on the same specific real-world threat or opportunity. 88 Transcript. Confronting the Terrorism Threat to the Homeland: Six years after 9/11. Hearing of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Honorable John Scott Redd, Vice Admiral (Ret.) U.S. Navy, Director, NCTC, 10 September interview with former senior NSC official, 24 August Transcript. Hearing before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Violent Islamist Extremism: Al-Shabaab Recruitment in America. Andrew Liepman, Deputy Director of Intelligence, NCTC, 11 March

86 6 P l a n n i n g a n d A s s e s s m e n t s Finding: DSOP has trended toward dynamic planning the type of SOP that has proven to be most viable and value-added among stakeholder communities. Discussion: Partially due to a broad mandate driven by a vague definition of SOP, DSOP has been able to fulfill a variety of functions that were not being fulfilled elsewhere in the CT community. The Directorate s emphasis has shifted from more deliberate to dynamic planning over the course of its evolution. As part of dynamic planning, DSOP has played a valuable role in conducting policy analysis and teeing up policy options to senior decisionmakers on the National Security Staff. 91 While all types of SOP have been valuable to one degree or another and should continue to be conducted, DSOP should focus on those functions that are adding the most value and develop them further as core competencies. Recommendation: As DSOP continues to evolve, it should continue to play a role in all types of planning, but should focus on dynamic planning as a core competency due to its proven viability and value added among stakeholder communities. 3. Contingency Planning A final category of planning that is undertaken at DSOP attempts to capture what departments are already doing in particular areas and provide possible options for various contingencies. Countermeasures and escalation options are examples of this type of planning. Director Leiter described this type of planning in a speech at the Aspen institute: We also have the plans in place today that, again, if the threat increases, we can present to deputy secretaries, the principals, the president, those list of options that the U.S. government might want to take that we ve already thought through, domestically and overseas, to address that threat See Chapter 9 of this report for a more detailed discussion of DSOP s role in policy analysis. 92 Michael, E. Leiter, Director of the National Counterterrorism Center. Remarks at the Aspen Institute, Washington, D.C., 9 April,

87 6 P l a n n i n g a n d A s s e s s m e n t s Finding: The format for some DSOP developed plans have been heavily influenced by the DoD planning model and are not always useful management tools for other agencies. Discussion: Plan formats (what they look like and how they are structured) are important in an interagency organization. They are important to the extent that they do or do not resonate with interagency stakeholders. The degree to which stakeholders understand and relate to a particular plan can impact the extent to which their department and agency participates in plan development and implement the plan once complete. Matrices (often referred to as horse blankets ) are used frequently in DSOP s planning as a means to capture all the moving parts in relation to one another. While this format is familiar to some, particularly in the military, and often resonates with the most senior leadership because it offers a holistic perspective of activities, staff at both the NSC and department levels often find it to be a less useful format than some of the other types of plans produced at DSOP, such as the format recently adopted for the Af-Pak planning. In discussions related to the utility of matrices, a fundamental question always arises: Is the matrix intended only for the planning process or for the coordination of operations as well? In some cases matrices are used in concert with an actual plan; in other cases, matrices are used in lieu of a comprehensive plan. Critics seem to ease up on their concerns if they understand it only as an initial tool a checklist of sorts to ensure that the initial plan has everything included. Furthermore, they can agree that such matrices can be used to orchestrate rehearsals because they capture all the parts and roles like a play script. Beyond this limited use, some working-level civilians (and the less platformoriented military) seem to eschew its use once the initial plan meets the real world with all of its inevitable dynamism and change. Additionally, very small font on large paper adds to the perception that matrices are not user-friendly. This is due in part to the fundamental fact not all departments and agencies have the capability to print hard copies of the matrices in dimensions that can be read conveniently by senior decisionmakers. 69

88 6 P l a n n i n g a n d A s s e s s m e n t s Recommendation: DSOP should seek to adopt plan formats that resonate with all stakeholders to the greatest extent possible 93 and limit the use of matrices primarily as a tool for senior leaders and as a starting point for synchronizing and rehearsing the first plan; they should not be used in lieu of a comprehensive plan or to coordinate implementation. 4. Interagency Coordination of Operational Activities NCTC is prohibited by statute to direct operations ; however, coordination of operational activities is included in the statutory definition of SOP. Kevin Brock, former principal deputy director at NCTC, clarified this role by stating that NCTC is not directing operations. We re here just to kind of act as the air traffic controller and make sure everyone is talking. 94 DSOP s role in coordinating implementation of operational activities manifests itself most clearly in DSOP leadership s participation in the daily threat report during which each agency may discuss actions they are taking towards a particular threat. Secure Video Teleconferences (SVTCs) also occur during crises to share information daily and ensure activities are coordinated. In these instances, DSOP s participation is usually by invitation and can depend heavily on personality and relationships between DSOP and entities such as combatant commands (COCOMs) and joint task forces (JTFs) in the field. In both cases, the roles of DSOP and its parent NCTC are intertwined: DSOP may be planning for the same threats/crises that NCTC is sharing information on. In this sense, DSOP s planning, particularly during crises, benefits significantly by access to all CT intelligence and information and daily review of all significant CT cables a variety of alert, warning, and in-depth analytical reports, to include pieces for the Presidential Daily Briefs (PDB) The recently developed CT portion of the Af-Pak plan has been viewed by some interagency stakeholders as one potential interagency format to replicate. 94 Kevin Brock, quoted in The Eye of the Storm, 29 October Statement of the Record, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and House Armed Services Committee, Implications of the NIE: The Terrorism Threat to the US homeland. Edward Gistaro, National Intelligence Officer / Transnational Threats, Office of the Director of National Intelligence & Mike Leiter, Principal Deputy Director, National Counterterrorism Center. 25 July

89 6 P l a n n i n g a n d A s s e s s m e n t s Recommendation 9.1 in chapter 9 of this report asserts that DSOP s role in these forums must be clarified to ensure its expertise is appropriately integrated. Assessments Introduction The IRTPA states that the director of NCTC shall have primary responsibility within the United States Government for conducting net assessments of terrorist threats. Additionally, the director shall monitor the implementation of strategic operational plans, and shall obtain information from each element of the Intelligence Community, and from each other department, agency, or element of the United States Government relevant for monitoring the progress of such entity in implementing such plans. The first statutory role is broad but straightforward in that it sets forth a responsibility for assessing the terrorist threat. The second role however, is a more vague responsibility left open to interpretation. Many senior departments and agency officials have expressed uncertainty regarding what this role actually entails and a wide range of interpretations persists. Admiral Redd described the second role this way: We are responsible for strategic operational planning, for making sure that the plan, once we ve developed the plan which we have done and was done about a year ago for the first time in the history of our country, that the plan is being implemented and that the plan is ultimately being successful, in other words, assessing it Gary Thomas, Protecting America from Terrorism (May 2007). 71

90 6 P l a n n i n g a n d A s s e s s m e n t s Director Leiter provided his description in a testimony to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee: In order to successfully guide the development of strategies and plans to counter an active and agile enemy, NCTC monitors and assesses overall NIP implementation as well as the impact of subordinate CT plans and guidance. NCTC s strategic impact assessments are designed to provide a tangible and well-understood feedback loop to CT planners and policy makers that take a wide variety of vital factors into consideration, including strategic and operational outcomes arising from US Government and partner nation counterterrorism programs and activities; developments in enemy strategy and actions; and changes in the operating environment. The goal is to provide a useful tool that may be used to refine and guide the next generation of CT strategy and plans. 97 DSOP has taken significant steps over the past five years to fulfill this statutory mandate and, as a relatively young organization, has made a great deal of progress in the area of assessments for the counterterrorism mission. The Strategic Assessments Group (SAG), the entity within DSOP responsible for conducting assessments, consists of approximately 14 people, roughly half of whom are trained in measuring and evaluation and the other half in planning. Two primary strategic assessments were conducted that correspond to the two versions of the NIP-WOT (2006 and 2008). Since then, DSOP has conducted additional assessments for subordinate plans, both deliberate and dynamic, and is currently instituting a separate, longer-term assessment process. 97 Eight Years After 9/11: Confronting the Terrorist Threat to the Homeland. Mike Leiter, Director, National Counterterrorism Center, Hearing before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, 30 September

91 6 P l a n n i n g a n d A s s e s s m e n t s 1. Framing the function To better understand DSOP s role in assessments, this section will briefly explore the range of different types of assessments, using a simple three-pronged framework that considers assessment: 1) focus (i.e., what the assessment is assessing); 2) timeframe (in what time horizon it is assessing); and 3) purpose (i.e., what is done with the assessment once conducted). a. Focus The focus of an assessment begins by determining what is being assessed. For example, the subject of the assessment may differ from one type of assessment to another and the current paradigm adopted by DSOP categorizes the subject of its assessments into three sets of players and activities: blue (USG), red (adversary), and green (partner). Within this red/blue/green paradigm there are at least three broad categories of assessments. The first, an internal system assessment, considers how well components of the internal system (i.e., the USG or blue actors) work together. The second, an external system assessment, evaluates environmental (i.e., adversary and partner, or red and green ) factors that are impacting or may impact on the internal system and its ability to make progress toward attainment of its mission. The third broad category of assessments seeks to understand the outcomes (effects) of the internal system objectives (i.e., blue objectives) on the external environmental factors (i.e., green and red trends). Additionally, assessments may be objective or subjective assessments, based on outputs or outcomes, and use quantitative or qualitative metrics. An assessment may also evaluate a net advantage in the comparison between opposing sides (overall or by discreet categories), as called for in the IRTPA. Net is defined differently in different communities. The Department of Defense has been conducting net assessments for many years and the term is said to have derived from the need to tie US defense policies with the anticipated reactions of opponents. 98 Net 98 Paul Bracken, Net Assessment: A Practical Guide

92 6 P l a n n i n g a n d A s s e s s m e n t s assessments have been defined as the craft and discipline of analyzing military balances; 99 However, as has been made evident in many different contexts, net assessments may extend far beyond the military application. Developed during the Cold War as a means of calculating the effects of the political, economic, and other intangible qualities of extended competitions, a new assessment lays out the terms of a prolonged conflict for additional levels of analysis, such as intelligence assessment for particular campaigns or policy planning for military structure. A new assessment does not provide clear-cut solutions; rather it is a process through which important questions are raised, if not necessarily answered. For the Long War, a net assessment will be of particular value in addressing extended, multiple-theater unconventional wars. 100 b. Timeframe Assessments (net or otherwise) can measure red, blue, and/or green factors in any timeframe. Net assessments typically take a longer-term perspective to look ahead at emerging requirements and capabilities that may extend beyond immediate priorities. Net assessments take a long-term view, looking at the evolution of a protracted competition. The capabilities required to fight an adversary today will not necessarily be relevant tomorrow, and may indeed eventually prove counterproductive. Moreover, future requirements for the competition may not be obvious and are often obscured by immediate priorities. The multidisciplinary, long-term nature of net assessment responds to this dilemma by differentiating important areas of competition from urgent ones and highlighting the issues most likely to be overlooked in the whirlwind of day-to-day policymaking. In this way, net assessment allows national security planners to anticipate and prepare for the challenges and opportunities that may lie ahead. This long-term outlook is particularly valuable in the context of the Long War, given the jihadist movement s ability to adjust its strategies, operations, and tactics in response to U.S. and allied efforts Eliot A. Cohen, Net Assessment: An American Approach. Jaffe Center for Strategic Studies, Oriana Scherr and Christopher Griffin, Terrorist Threats in the Horn of Africa: A Net Assessment. American Enterprise Institute, Available online at: 101 ibid. 74

93 6 P l a n n i n g a n d A s s e s s m e n t s In addition to the example of DoD s net assessments, Project Horizon, an interagency strategic planning effort led by the State Department, provides another useful example of this type of initiative. The Department of State s Office of Strategic and Performance Planning created Project Horizon in 2005, in coordination with the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, and other interagency organizations. Project Horizon is now jointly funded and administered by the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Labor, State, and Treasury; the Environmental Protection Agency; the Office of the Director of National Intelligence; the Millennium Challenge Corporation; the National Defense University; and the USAID. The Project aims to produce a structured set of interagency strategies, associated considerations, and action plans. The Project consists of four phases: 1) Scenario Development, 2) Interagency Planning Workshops, 3) Knowledge Transfer, and 4) Agency-Specific Planning and Interagency Linkage Analysis. 102 Project Horizon has brought together senior officials from the National Security Council and Global Affairs agencies to explore ways to improve [U.S. government] interagency coordination in global affairs using scenario-based planning. The purpose of the ongoing project is threefold. First, it is to develop strategic interagency capabilities in which the [U.S. government] should consider investing in order to prepare for the threats and opportunities that will face the nation over the next 20 years. Second, it is to provide participating agencies with a scenario planning toolset that can be used to support both internal agency planning and planning across agencies. Finally, it is to provide a starting point for an institutionalized interagency planning process. 103 Other assessments may focus on a shorter time horizon. Ultimately, any assessment may be applied to any timeframe based on the particular situation. For the purposes of this report, short-term is considered to refer to the period of time from today out to three years, mid-term 102 Project Horizon Progress Report, Project Horizon, Summer 2006, 5 November 2008 <www.osif.us/images/project_horizon_progress_report.pdf> ibid. 75

94 6 P l a n n i n g a n d A s s e s s m e n t s Assessment refers to projections of trends three to five years out, and long-term refers to a focus beyond five years. The timeframe of an assessment is closely tied to the type of assessment and the purpose that it serves. c. Purpose The purpose of an assessment is directly related to the customer, or entity that the assessment ultimately serves. In the case of DSOP, decisions on what type of assessment to conduct can be complicated by its numerous end-users in congress, the White House, and across the USG. Assessments seek to influence everything from immediate programmatic and budgetary decisions to longer-term capability development and shifts in overall approach. Drawing on these three dimensions of assessments, the graph below illustrates a range of possible assessments along spectrums of focus, purpose, and timeframe: Focus Time Red Blue Green Short (less 3 yrs) Mid (3-5 yrs) Long (5+) Short-term state of the enemy* to influence policy, strategies, plans, resources within budget cycle Mid-term trend lines on state of the enemy* to influence policy, strategies, plans, resource priorities Forecasting long-term state of the enemy* to influence high policy and strategy *State of the enemy is defined as progress, capabilities, intentions, and vulnerabilities of the adversary. Short-term USG progress* to influence policy, strategies, plans, resources within budget cycle Mid-term trend lines on USG progress* to influence policy, strategies, plans, resource priorities Forecasting long-term USG progress* to influence high policy and strategy *Progress is defined as effectiveness of our national efforts toward achievement of the stated objectives essentially how well we are doing and what is the impact on the adversary. Short-term partner progress* to influence policy, strategies, plans, resources within budget cycle Mid-term trend lines on partner progress* to influence policy, strategies, plans, resource priorities Forecasting long-term partner progress* to influence high policy and strategy *Progress is defined as effectiveness of our partner s efforts to further U.S./bilateral/multilateral goals and impact on the adversary. 76

95 6 P l a n n i n g a n d A s s e s s m e n t s 2. DSOP s Strategic Assessments The two strategic assessments conducted at DSOP correspond with the two versions (2006 and 2008) of the NIP. These strategic assessments draw on both statutory authorities to provide a single overarching assessment that fulfills these requirements. While these documents are viewed as fulfilling the requirement for a net assessment, DSOP has adopted the term strategic primarily to emphasize the strategic focus of the effort in contrast to a more tactical or programmatic focus, and also because the assessments do not always lend themselves to a determining a net result. In some cases, a net approach is viewed as leading to the erroneous over-simplification of complex systems interactions into a black and white paradigm of winners and losers. The first strategic assessment was conducted, and ultimately seen, by a very small number of people. It was a highly classified document that was reported as describing USG CT activity, the state of the enemy, and progress toward achieving stated objectives in the NIP-WOT. Despite the small number of participants, in the process and the lack of a clear and transparent methodology, the initiative was useful in that it attempted to tackle the difficult issue of measuring effects of the activities codified in the NIP-WOT and laid the ground for the development of even better metrics in the future. This approach recognized the fact that there were many outputs to measure, such as number of arrests or number of captures, but that outputs alone did not tell the entire story. 104 There was a need to define success as more than the sum of what the USG was doing, and instead to focus on the sum of the effects of these actions. While these insights represented progress, because so few stakeholders were involved, ultimately this first assessment had no formal or significant impact on future CT policy, strategy, plans, or resources. The second of DSOP s strategic assessments corresponded with the publication of the second version of the NIP-WOT. It was also guided and facilitated by the SAG, with the SIST playing a major role, but the process was significantly more transparent than the first. The SAG retained the pen, but departments and agencies iteratively reviewed and provided input to the analysis. The assessment 104 interview with senior government official, 14 September

96 6 P l a n n i n g a n d A s s e s s m e n t s process was informed by intelligence products and impediments to strategic objective achievement that were identified through working level conferences. Policy statements, congressional testimony, and nongovernment reports also informed the assessment. The ultimate goal of the assessment was to measure the impact of USG activities on the adversary. The assessment identified select positive, negative, and neutral observations, organized by the four pillars of the NIP, in the categories of USG (blue), partner (green), and adversary (red) actions. From here, judgments were codified as the so whats of each pillar assessment. These judgments helped key decision-makers better understand the complexity of the materials presented in the report. In many cases the judgments described the relationship between blue, green, and red trends, but direct correlations (i.e., impacts) between outputs and outcomes were typically not established. The assessment did not go as far as to make recommendations, but in many instances recommendations flowed naturally from these judgments. Finding: The CT community has struggled to develop effective outcomes-based metrics, and there is a perception among stakeholders that we are measuring progress against the plan, not against the enemy. Discussion: Measuring outcomes for something as complex as the CT mission is extremely difficult and some have questioned whether such measurements are even possible. The most important outcome is obvious: the prevention of terrorist attacks. Solely measuring performance based on this outcome, it would appear that the U.S. government is doing extremely well, as there has not been a successful terrorist attack on U.S. soil since 9/11. To a large degree this is true. Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTFs), for example, have disrupted a number of planned terrorist attacks, such as a planned terrorist attack on the Fort Dix military base in New Jersey. However, it can be difficult or nearly impossible to establish direct correlation between USG action and outcomes. Some suggest that the next best alternative may be in measuring system processes and outputs and making assumptions only regarding what impact they are having. The most recent strategic assessment relies on a similar process. Judgments are intended to be subjective and are presented to leadership for them to draw conclusions regarding the validity and so what of those judgments. 78

97 6 P l a n n i n g a n d A s s e s s m e n t s Initiatives to establish outcomes-based metrics for other difficult-todefine mission areas can offer valuable lessons to the CT community. The counternarcotics mission area, under the leadership of ONDCP, has made progress defining outcomes and establishing metrics and a methodology for measurement, but continues to wrestle with directly correlating USG actions to successful outcomes 105. In the case of post-conflict reconstruction and stabilization, the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) framework Measuring Progress in Conflict Environments (MPICE) identified a system of metrics to assist in formulating policy and implementing strategic plans to transform conflict and bring stability to war-torn societies. 106 The process has brought together subject matter experts over a series of years to develop the metrics and methodologies for this mission area. Recommendation: NCTC/DSOP should lead a public/private partnership to: 1) identify and update criteria for success and 2) study initiatives to establish outcomes-based metrics for other difficult-to-define mission areas such as post-conflict reconstruction and stabilization. Longer-term assessments and planning help to anticipate future trends and the intentions of the adversary. It provides the basis for developing innovative solutions that merit pursuit. Finding: NCTC has not sufficiently focused on long-term (beyond the budget/program cycle) assessments to anticipate future threats; consider the capabilities, intentions, and vulnerabilities of future adversaries; and generate new perspectives for strategic operational planning. Discussion: At present, DSOP s strategic assessments seek to measure the efficacy and effectiveness of current and programmed actions (normally out to five years) in order to adjust current policy, plans, and capabilities. However, longer-term assessments and planning help to anticipate future trends and the intentions of the adversary. It provides a basis for developing innovative solutions that merit pursuit. It has the benefit and burden of not restricting planning to use of current capabilities. The benefit is to break free from the accepted mode of conducting operations and explore alternative approaches, posit new capabilities, and envision an evolved threat. The burden is presenting a future security environment, capabilities, and threats that are believable. The constant tension remains between plausible and probable futures; but positing the probable future is often the more conservative approach. It is a straight-line projection of the world we know today. 105 interview with senior ONDCP official, November See: 79

98 6 P l a n n i n g a n d A s s e s s m e n t s Scenario-based planning and assessments postulate future plausible worlds and posits the challenges in those worlds. To avoid an overly deterministic look (and hedge against the possibility of being catastrophically wrong about what the future will hold), scenario-based planning should examine multiple, but constrained, future security environments. 107 Long-term scenario-based assessments consider broader trends (e.g., demography, climate change) and their impact on security environment in a meaningful way. For example, twenty years ago it would have been difficult to imagine how computer technology would develop and be used on the battlefield. Once again, it is useful to look at other mission areas and other interagency efforts that may provide lessons to the CT community. The DoD Office of Net Assessments is a long-standing example of this type of long-term assessment. As noted, Project Horizon is an interagency effort led by the State Department with the purpose of developing realistic interagency strategies and identifying capabilities to prepare for the unforeseen threats and opportunities that will face the nation over the next 20 years. 108 Assessing adversary capabilities, intentions, and vulnerabilities now and into the future is an intelligence function led by NCTC, but conducting net assessments of the terrorist threat requires a focus on all actors and on the relationships among them; it therefore requires a whole-of-nctc approach. DSOP is currently working to develop an assessments construct that emphasizes these aspects and better integrates the two sides of NCTC. Recommendation: NCTC should further develop a longer-term assessments capability that will provide insight into future terrorist capabilities, intentions, and vulnerabilities. The USG, led by the National Security Staff, should put in place a formal process for adjusting programs, strategic plans, and policies in anticipation of future trends. 107 Scenario-based planning is useful and used by more than just governments. Private-sector corporations also use scenario-based planning, but will usually focus on future economic and business environments and not security environments. For the purposes of discussion, this section focuses on security environments broadly defined. Description of scenario-based planning informed by Quentin Hodgson, Office of the Secretary of Defense. 108 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Environmental Futures Office of Science Policy US EPA, 30 September 2008 < 80

99 7 R e s o u r c e O v e r s i g h t 7: Resource Oversight Policy without budget is just talk. Richard Darman, former OMB Director The 9/11 Commission report proposed that the head of NCTC work with the Office of Management and Budget to develop the president s counterterrorism budget. 109 Ultimately, the IRTPA did not provide NCTC any specific resource authorities other than the ability to advise the DNI on the extent to which counterterrorism recommendations and budge proposals of departments, agencies and elements of the United States government conform to the priorities established by the president. However, because the director of NCTC reports to the DNI on intelligence related matters only, the advice provided is strictly with respect to intelligence budgets, not the broader counterterrorism program. Unlike the DNI and drug czar, the director of NCTC has no formal resource oversight authorities of his own and serves primarily in a voluntary support and advisory role to OMB and the NSC. In spite of this, OMB and NCTC/DSOP have created an effective partnership to guide the resource management of the interagency counterterrorism mission and is making steady progress toward linking resource guidance to strategic objectives. Within OMB, budget examiners from all five Resource Management Office programs work with DSOP throughout the budget cycle. Elements of the National Security Staff also participate, but to a lesser extent. DSOP maintains a shop of ten program and budget analysts whose function is to: Support the development of OMB/NSC budget guidance Provide analytic support of OMB CT cross-cutting review Maintain interagency CT budget database Produce resource analysis/assessments to support policy decisions 109 9/11 Commission (2004),

100 7 R e s o u r c e O v e r s i g h t Facilitate interagency coordination of resource issues. Certain systemic barriers to effective resource management remain. They include (1) no national security strategy budget guidance to help departments and agencies prioritize and make trade of decisions between competing missions, (2) a lack of funding flexibility to address emergent requirements and shifting priorities, (3) no wholeof-government counterterrorism budget display to help senior decision-makers holistically evaluate CT requirements, capabilities, and programs. Finding: With the FY 2011 CT budget guidance, DSOP, the National Security Staff, and OMB have established a process for linking resources to strategic objectives. However, CT budget guidance is not nested within a broader set of national security priorities and departments and agencies may not be able to accommodate all the budget guidance issued by OMB. Discussion: OMB examiners have begun to turn to DSOP as their analytic arm in the development of budget guidance. In July 2009 the deputy director of OMB and the assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism signed FY 2011 budget guidance to departments and agencies that outlined counterterrorism priorities and asked that agencies budget appropriately to fill critical gaps. DSOP, in partnership with the departments and OMB, played a central role in identifying counterterrorism capability gaps that needed to be addressed in the FY 2011 budget. OMB conducted a crosscutting review of those agencies submission to ensure compliance with the guidance. OMB staff indicated that, on the whole, departments and agencies were able to accommodate the guidance by shifting funding within their counterterrorism programs. Data credibility ensuring departmental budget submissions accurately reflect their true counterterrorism programs levels is still challenging due to the diversity and complexity of the mission. The accuracy of the budget data has been a systemic concern across multiple mission areas and should improve over time as the OMB budget review process matures. 82

101 7 R e s o u r c e O v e r s i g h t Issuance of the FY 2011 budget guidance for counterterrorism recognizes the need to set national-level priorities at the beginning of the annual budget cycle. The process of mediating agency budget requests after they have been formulated by departments and agencies does not effectively address integrated interagency funding requirements and causes significant disruption in planned efforts and capabilities. The earlier in the budget cycle guidance is issued, the more flexibility agencies have to accommodate the guidance. In interviews with officials at two agencies, the study team learned that the guidance reflected budget adjustments that were already under way within their own organization. Still, the guidance had the positive effect of internally reinforcing the need to realign resources within their own agency. In future years, OMB and the NSC should consider issuing this guidance earlier in the cycle. In the case of the guidance for FY 2011, working level coordination between DSOP, OMB, and their mission partners (prior to submission of the guidance to interagency policy committees (CSG/DC) for approval) led to a high probability that this year s CT budget guidance can be met by departments and agencies. However, departments and agencies are often faced with difficult decisions about resource intensive fixes to capability gaps and may not have the flexibility to fund them because of competing mission priorities. For this reason, PNSR advocates that such resources guidance be issued as part of set of White House developed national security documents that establish strategic priorities across all missions. Departments and agencies are often faced with difficult decisions about resource intensive fixes to capability gaps and may not have the flexibility to fund them because of competing mission priorities. In the first few months of the administration, the NSC staff conducted a National Security Priorities Review as a precursor to the National Security Strategy revision as required by the Goldwater-Nichols Act. In future budget years, such overall national security reviews, and the National Security Strategy itself, must inform the strategic planning and budget processes across the spectrum of national security priorities to ensure guidance for specific missions is set forth in the context of all national security priorities and enhance the likelihood that departments and agencies will accommodate the guidance Under the leadership of former Executive Secretary Mara Rudman; see also Michele Flournoy, Rebalancing the Force: Major Issues for QDR 2010, (Center for Strategic and International Studies, 29 April 2009) August 12, 2009, <http://csis.org/files/media/csis/events/090501_flournoy.pdf>; and Senior Defense Official and Senior Military Official, DoD Background Briefing, U.S. Department 83

102 7 R e s o u r c e O v e r s i g h t OMB should consider broad annual national security budget guidance with a focus on identifying the spectrum of national security priorities. Resource guidance would ideally begin during a National Security Review, during which the NSS and OMB assess existing capabilities and resources against current national security mission necessities. This document would annually update guidance with respect to the capabilities needed for each department and agency to meet future national security objectives as defined in the National Security Strategy. The National Security Staff and OMB would jointly issue this resource guidance at the beginning of the annual program and budgeting cycle. Specific guidance on counterterrorism priorities should be nested in and follow the overall strategic-level guidance provided by the Staff. Recommendation: Continue to nurture and strengthen the OMB/NSC/ DSOP relationship as the mechanism to evaluate the effectiveness and adequacy of USG CT programs. Recommendation: CT program and budget guidance should be nested within broader national security guidance as well as any future updates to the National Strategy to Combat Terrorism. Institute a set of processes led by the National Security Staff and OMB that would periodically produce three documents: a National Security Review to assess strategic challenges and capabilities, a National Security Strategy to focus the Executive Branch, and a National Security Planning and Resource Guidance to implement and fund the strategy. Finding: There is insufficient flexibility to realign resources within the CT mission to meet emergent threats and seize on opportunities either during the budget process or in the year of execution. of Defense, 23 April 2009, August 12, 2009 <http://www.defenselink.mil/transcripts/transcript. aspx?transcriptid=4408>. 84

103 7 R e s o u r c e O v e r s i g h t Discussion: Achieving flexibility and nimbleness to adjust to exigent circumstances and/or opportunities once the funds are appropriated remains largely elusive. For instance, the State Department s principal source of assistance (Title 22 USC funding authorizations and appropriations) has little to no flexibility within the execution budget year having been authorized by the Congress for specific allocations that were developed as much as months earlier, when originally forecasted in the framing of State s budget request. This forecasted projection accompanies the budget request with detailed explanatory tables reflecting programs, country allocations, etc. Further complicating flexibility is the fact that these tables of allocation, once enacted, become part of the public record and become well known to the countries mentioned. Those countries develop an expectation of entitlement to the assistance stipulated. Any realignment to another country or region to meet emergent requirements may create diplomatic difficulties for the State Department and the resident U.S. ambassador. In June 2008 Congressional testimony, Gina K. Abercrombie- Winstanley, the State/Counterterrorism deputy coordinator in charge of programs, said, While a priority list is necessary, flexibility is crucial to responding to actual needs and opportunities on the ground. We will ensure that we can re direct funding for Antiterrorism Assistance to respond to Congressional and national security concerns, as well as to address urgent situations in the field. 111 Contingency funding mechanisms in place today are inadequate to address emerging threats and situations that demand urgent interagency responses. In recent years, OMB has worked with Congress to develop new accounts and procedures to meet unanticipated contingencies requiring an integrated interagency approach. Despite these efforts, there have been classified and unclassified examples of situations that have emerged where the U.S. government either accepted additional risk or failed to capitalize on strategic opportunities because of a lack of funding or the ability to move resources to address the issue. 111 Gina K. Abercrombie-Winstanley, State Department Deputy Coordinator for Counterterrorism, statement for the Record Oversight of the Antiterrorism Assistance Program in testimony before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs, 85

104 7 R e s o u r c e O v e r s i g h t Beyond short-term contingencies and a need to rapidly address crises, the counterterrorism community must position itself to pursue new initiatives, develop new technologies, and capitalize on mid-term opportunities. The current multiyear federal budget cycle constrains the USG s ability to adjust medium-term programs with agility. This situation is especially limiting during transition years for the administration when a new president and his leadership team are significantly constrained from producing a budget that reflects the new administration s priorities and areas of emphasis for the first two years of governance. A new administration traditionally makes minor adjustments to the budget of its predecessor and, in fact, has the ability to request reprogramming of funds from Congress. However, the first opportunity for this president to submit a budget based on this administration s revised National Security Strategy will be FY 2012, the last year of the current term. With legitimate concerns about maintaining congressional oversight and its power of the purse, Congress has historically resisted allocating contingency and unspecified initiative funds. A 2008 report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies made this observation: Tension exists between flexibility in the executive branch and congressional oversight, stemming in part from the competing powers granted to Congress and the president in Articles I and II of the Constitution. The executive branch wants to avoid being told no and strives to achieve flexibility in how it spends money once it has been appropriated. In Congress, there is a palpable fear that without adequate oversight, funds will be used for purposes not intended under the law or uses that could become political liabilities or embarrassments. 112 Long-term shifts in mission priorities and resources must be accommodated by the existing program and budget process and approved by Congress. However, recognizing the need for more funding flexibility, Congress has selectively authorized programs that 112 CSIS Report, A Steep Hill: Congress and U.S. Efforts to Strengthen Fragile States, March 2008, 25 86

105 7 R e s o u r c e O v e r s i g h t give the Executive Branch significant discretion. For instance, Section 1207 of the FY 2006 NDAA provides authority for reconstruction, stabilization, and security activities in foreign countries. According to the United States Institute for Peace, the authority was provided in response to requests from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to help jump-start the S/CRS by providing authorization and funding for projects that would involve interagency coordina tion. 113 Over the past several years, countries benefiting from Section 1207 funds were Georgia, Colombia, Haiti, Nepal, Somalia, Yemen, Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Bangladesh, Lebanon, Sri Lanka, and Tajikistan. In addition, FY2007 funds supported regional activities in Southeast Asia and in the Trans-Sahara region. Additionally, Section 506 (a)(2) of the Foreign Assistance Act authorizes USG assistance to a foreign country or international organization in a number of non-emergency situations. With drawdown authority, the president must provide Congress a Presidential Determination and report to Congress that it is in the national interest of the U.S. to draw down goods and services from any USG agency. This authority can be used for: International narcotics control assistance (counternarcotics) Natural disaster relief assistance Refugees and migration assistance Locating and repatriating U.S. military members and USG civilians who remain unaccounted for from the Vietnam War Secretary of Defense Gates, in a recent letter to Secretary of State Clinton, proposed a major overhaul of the USG Security Sector Assistance funding authorities. Recognizing the whole-of-government nature of foreign security assistance and capacity-building efforts, he proposes that the two departments jointly seek $2 billion in flexible Shared Responsibility-Pooled Resources accounts. For instance, the Security Capacity Building Pool would allow both DoD and State to meet unplanned train and equip requirements for foreign policy 113 Robert M. Perito, Integrated Security Assistance: The 1207 Program, United States Institute of Peace Special Report,July 2008, 2. 87

106 7 R e s o u r c e O v e r s i g h t needs as well as operational military requirements. The Conflict Prevention Pool would be targeted to preventative measures intended to reduce risk of crises as well as actions designed to seize windows of opportunity such as extending the Government of Colombia s writ after unanticipated successes against anti-government insurgents in the La Macarena in 2007 and To ensure adequate agility, Secretary Gates proposes the administration pursue flexible oversight arrangements with Congress, such as reducing requirements for informal consultations while allowing sufficient time for Congress to raise objections to programs before implementation begins. 114 The nature of the asymmetric terrorist threat demands similar flexible and agile responses. The Executive Branch must pursue new arrangements with Congress, similar to the ones above, to ensure resources can be quickly aligned. At the same time, the complexity of the CT mission and the diversity of major players necessitates disciplined oversight of CT resources within the Executive Branch. During the development of the President s budget request, ODNI and ONDCP have robust authorities to review and evaluate interagency resources and, as required, recommend or direct realignment of resources within their mission areas. No such authorities exist for the CT mission, leaving decisions about resource priorities largely within the hands of individual departments and agencies. Emergent CT budget requirements must compete against other critical requirements within the department s topline. As noted, the 9/11 Commission report recommend the head of NCTC work with OMB to develop the president s counterterrorism budget. That authority was not granted in the IRTPA. If the Executive Branch is going to request additional resource flexibility of Congress for the CT mission, it must establish a robust, centralized mechanism to evaluate and oversee funding needs. Recommendation: Through Executive Order, vest the director of NCTC with the responsibility to oversee all USG counterterrorism funding as an analytic arm of OMB and recommend realignments to OMB and the NSC. Any such realignment recommendations should be made in coordination with department heads of affected agencies. 114 Secretary of Defense Memorandum Options for Remodeling Security Sector Assistance Authorities, 15 December,

107 7 R e s o u r c e O v e r s i g h t Recommendation: Congress should provide more flexible authority to transfer funds between departments to meet short-term emergent contingencies, fund new initiatives, and accommodate shifting counterterrorism priorities. Recommendation: OMB should consider the further step of requesting an annual 2% (less than $2 billion) of the USG CT budget as a contingency and initiative fund. OMB would allocate these funds to specific programs and agencies in the year of execution to allow rapid support of the president s policy objectives for counterterrorism. To ensure Congressional support, the president would be required to annually report to Congress on the state of the nation s counterterrorism efforts and provide notifications as to how the funds will be used to reduce unacceptable risk or capitalize on strategic opportunities. Of this, half should be requested to address emergent domestic CT needs and appropriated through the homeland security appropriation subcommittee. Additionally, half should be requested to address international CT needs and appropriated through the Foreign Operations Appropriations subcommittees. Finding: While individual departments and agencies are required by Congress to report their CT and homeland security funding levels, there is no overall USG CT budget display making it difficult for senior leaders both within the administration and on the Hill to comprehend the holistic nature of the USG CT effort, synchronize and harmonize programs, and make trade-off decisions. Discussion: Prior to FY 2003, Congress required submission of a consolidated interagency CT budget display with funding levels and justification arrayed by departments and programs. That submission requirement has since been rescinded. While DSOP currently maintains a database of all USG counterterrorism programs, few individuals have access to it and it is not in a format to facilitate decision making by senior leaders on the Hill and within the administration. 89

108 7 R e s o u r c e O v e r s i g h t While increased congressional oversight of the CT budget could make selected programs vulnerable, PNSR believes that mission budget displays are a critical element of effective strategic end-to-end system management. Such displays promote a stronger partnership between the Congress and the Executive Branch which will be essential should the administration choose to pursue the previous recommendation. Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) reinforced this notion: Although our defense, foreign affairs, homeland security, intelligence, energy budgets are carefully examined from the incremental perspective of where they were in the previous year, our budget process gives neither Congress nor the Executive Branch the ability to adequately evaluate whether the money flowing to these areas represents the proper mix for the 21st century. Developing a consolidated CT budget display presents two major challenges. First, as we will discuss in Chapter 10, at present there is no single congressional committee responsible for looking across the spectrum of USG counterterrorism activities. The CT mission crosses boundaries of numerous authorizing committees and appropriations subcommittees. Trade-offs between programs can only be made at the full Appropriation Committee level, which is not staffed to operate in that manner. These jurisdictional issues continue to plague the effective congressional oversight of national, multi-departmental missions. However, at a minimum, a consolidated CT budget display will provide Members and congressional staff with visibility of the mission as a whole and insights into the impact an action by one committee will have on the broader effort. In addition, in Chapter 10, this report proposes that Congress establish a Counterterrorism Working Group in each chamber to look across committee jurisdictional boundaries, evaluate the effectiveness of whole-of-government counterterrorism efforts and make recommendations to the relevant committees (Recommendation 10.1). Second, many counterterrorism assets and programs are dual-use or multipurpose, i.e., they are not exclusively CT capabilities and are used to satisfy the requirements of multiple missions. For instance, the military and the intelligence community develop capabilities for maritime domain awareness which has a much broader applicability than counterterrorism. Border security capabilities are developed by the Department of Homeland Security to curb drug trafficking and 90

109 7 R e s o u r c e O v e r s i g h t illegal immigration, as well as terrorism. As such, at least in the beginning, developing such a display will be an art, not a science. However, as imperfect as it will be, a consolidated display will serve to provide a more holistic look at the mission and over time help both Congress and the Executive Branch make critical resource and other programmatic decisions. Recommendation: In coordination with the interagency community and OMB, DSOP should develop and submit to Congress a consolidated interagency CT budget display which will serve as a crosscutting analysis of all federal government agencies counterterrorism budgets. The integrated budget justification material (along with a classified annex for certain programs) should reflect how each department s and each agency s budget aligns with underlying counterterrorism assessments, strategy, and resource guidance. Recommendation: DSOP, in coordination with OMB and the NSS, should be responsible for consolidating other congressional reporting requirements (as specified in NDAA for FY2010, Section 1242), which includes an analysis of the extent to which specific federal appropriations: have been mapped to agency tasks as directed in the NCTC s National Implementation Plan; have produced tangible, calculable results in efforts to combat and defeat Al Qaeda, its related affiliates, and its violent ideology; or contribute to investments that have expected payoffs in the medium- to long-term. 91

110 7 R e s o u r c e O v e r s i g h t 92

111 8 M a n a g i n g t h e E n t e r p r i s e 8: Managing the Enterprise An organization s people define its culture, drive its performance, embody its knowledge base, and are the key to successful merger and transformation. David Walker, former Comptroller General of the United States This chapter is divided into two sections related to managing the DSOP enterprise Harmonizing and Synchronizing the Mission and Developing the Workforce. The former is focused on the importance of integrating, to the greatest extent possible, the breadth of DSOP s activities described in chapters five, six, and seven. The latter addresses some of the human capital requirements that are imperative to further developing a workforce that will enable the Directorate to continue to fulfill its mission over the long term. Harmonizing and Synchronizing the Mission As summarized in the preceding chapters of this report, a wide range of activities are conducted by DSOP today. These activities grew from an early focus on the NIP-WOT DSOP s foundational undertaking to fulfillment of a range of functions in the broad categories of planning, assessments, and resources. As the mission evolved and these functions matured, oftentimes the various activities were not entirely integrated with one another. This has resulted in numerous processes and products developed within the Directorate that are not always as streamlined and synchronized as they could be. As the organization continues to evolve, it will be critical, both for practical reasons of efficiency as well as more political reasons of perception, to ensure its activities are as harmonized and synchronized as possible. 93

112 8 M a n a g i n g t h e E n t e r p r i s e Finding: DSOP s strategic planning, assessment, and budget processes are loosely tied to one another but lack an overarching integrating architecture. The range of activities within DSOP s various groups are not sufficiently synchronized, resulting in a perception by interagency partners of too many data calls and excessive meetings. All of DSOP s activities related to strategic planning, assessments, and budget guidance should be further coordinated and s y n c h r o n i z e d within a single overarching architecture that can be codified and institutionalized. Discussion: DSOP undertakes a series of processes associated with the strategic plan (i.e., NIP-WOT) including plan development, IPR (e.g., impediments conference), assessments, and budget guidance. Currently, the latter seeks to integrate all of these various initiatives through an informal process culminating in the recommendation of budget guidance to OMB. While this overall process is productive and represents an improvement in linking all of DSOP s activities, it is yet to be institutionalized and is not completely synchronized. For example, DSOP s major assessment for the second strategic plan occurred outside the budget cycle and therefore was not tightly tied to the separate budget guidance process. Data calls and analysis associated with the CT impediments review and biannual assessment identify crucial capability gaps and should play a key role in informing the annual budget guidance. DSOP has already begun to address better synchronizing the activities of the Assessments and Resource Groups. The assessment is currently being redone to coincide with the next budget cycle. All of DSOP s activities related to strategic planning, assessments, and budget guidance should be further coordinated and synchronized within a single overarching architecture that can be codified and institutionalized. Better synchronizing these processes internally will also reduce the workload requirements within departments and agencies and help with the perception that DSOP issues too many data calls. Recommendation: DSOP should assign a dedicated senior-level position to oversee the integration function for the organization. Finding: The Senior Interagency Steering Team has not realized its full potential both to provide senior-level connectivity to department and agencies, as well as provide expert advice on counterterrorism to the cadre DSOP staff. 94

113 8 M a n a g i n g t h e E n t e r p r i s e Discussion: In many instances, interagency participation at DSOP is dependent on the activity. Resource reviews, assessments, and similar activities involve a wide range of interagency partners. Participation in tabletop exercises for a particular scenario may be more limited. The Senior Interagency Strategy Team is a standing senior body of representatives from departments and agencies that works closely with DSOP to facilitate the coordination, integration, and synchronization of CT issues, policy and efforts among pertinent departments and agencies. SIST members are members of the Senior Executive Service (or a general officer in the case of the Joint Staff). The position description for SIST members indicates two main functions for the SIST: Serving as the primary senior leadership advisory body to the deputy director of DSOP, and Facilitating reach-back to department and agencies. The SIST meets weekly as a body. Interviews with SIST members indicate that collectively the body has a wide range of experience, substantive knowledge of the mission, and outreach to a broad network of practitioners and policymakers within the counterterrorism community. In that regard, the SIST is ideally positioned to provide connectivity and transparency between DSOP and the rest of the interagency. However, interviews with both SIST members and DSOP leadership also indicate that the SIST has yet to realize its full potential. The group has played an integral role in defining and shaping key DSOP products over the years. At times, however, the SIST has been on the margins of DSOP activity. For instance, recent efforts within DSOP to develop counterterrorism-specific objectives within the overarching Afghanistan/Pakistan strategy review were essentially brought to the SIST as a fait accompli rather than in the shaping and formulation phase of their development. 95

114 8 M a n a g i n g t h e E n t e r p r i s e The PNSR study sees great value in a reinvigorated SIST both as connective tissue between DSOP and the interagency and as the senior body to provide advice and guidance to the DSOP cadre. The SIST has potential to support DSOP leadership in a host of activities setting organizational priorities, defining workforce requirements, and guiding the development of plans and assessments, to name a few. Recommendation: Reconstitute the SIST by: Identifying its role in the counterterrorism architecture executive order; Including a SIST charter as part of implementing guidance issued from the Assistant to the President & Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security & Counterterrorism; Providing the director of NCTC with authority to concur with department and agency nominations to the SIST; and Encouraging the active participation of the associate deputy director of DSOP in regular deliberations of the SIST. Finding: DSOP s major products in the areas of planning, assessments, and resources do not account for all interagency organizations with a role in the CT mission. Discussion: The Study Team recognizes that the major departments and agencies that represent the core of the CT mission (Defense, State, Homeland Security, Justice, and the Intelligence Community) are most essential to have at the table. However, the CT mission requires a broader approach and it is important for all mission partners to play a role to prevent mission-critical capabilities and perspectives from being overlooked and to ensure that a whole-of-government approach is realized. Both the first and second versions of the NIP-WOT were unprecedented in terms of their comprehensive scope and broad inclusion of the major federal departments and agencies with a role in the counterterrorism mission. However, not all mission partners were included in the process and/or incorporated into the plans. Organizations such as the Social 96

115 8 M a n a g i n g t h e E n t e r p r i s e Security Administration, Security and Exchange Commission, and the Department of the Interior, all of which play a role in the CT mission, were not involved. These gaps are currently being reconciled through the data call portion of the budget guidance process. Once the budget guidance process is complete, nearly 30 departments and agencies will have been identified as having a distinct role in the CT mission. Determining which organizations play a role in counterterrorism is challenging due to the fact that CT is only one of many overlapping national security missions. Often departments and agencies not directly involved in the counterterrorism mission as a core function do not recognize the contributory or supporting role their programs/ efforts may play in the attainment of CT objectives. Recommendation: DSOP should sponsor a formal mission analysis for the CT mission to identify the full range of ongoing and potential activities across the interagency and intergovernmental communities. The mission analysis should serve as a baseline to guide participation in future strategic planning and budgetary guidance by all interagency partners with a role in counterterrorism. Developing the Workforce DSOP, like any other organization, accomplishes its mission through its workforce. Effective workforce, or human capital, planning ensures that needed competencies and critical occupations are identified, appropriate talent is hired, and that both the performance and management of the workforce is efficiently linked to the organization s mission, vision, and values. Issues that serve as incentives to attracting, developing, and retaining a competent workforce have a direct, positive impact on mission accomplishment. Issues that serve as challenges and disincentives serve as barriers to achieving the NCTC/DSOP mission. An important component of the broader study of DSOP was to assess DSOP s human capital issues, including: 97

116 8 M a n a g i n g t h e E n t e r p r i s e reviewing workforce issues, specifically focusing on career development for counterterrorism experts and planners within NCTC/DSOP, assessing incentive structures necessary to ensure a pool of high-quality interagency personnel assigned to NCTC/DSOP, and assessing the challenges and opportunities associated with managing an interagency workforce comprised of different backgrounds, expertise, lexicon, and cultures. To carry out its mission, DSOP currently has a staff which includes: full-time permanent employees, detailees from various national security departments and agencies, assignees from various national security departments and agencies, SIST members from various national security departments and agencies, and contractors. Nearly half of DSOP s staff are currently permanent cadre. While this percentage is somewhat higher than Director Leiter s current forty percent target for NCTC, as was indicated by NCTC and DSOP personnel in various interviews, it represents the steady increases in permanent cadre that have taken place over the past few years. 98

117 8 M a n a g i n g t h e E n t e r p r i s e Section 1096 of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorist Prevention Act limited the ODNI s ability to create permanent cadre positions including positions within NCTC. In preparation for the 2006 Intelligence Authorization Act, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence encouraged the creation of a permanent cadre at NCTC to ensure institutional memory and build an NCTC analytic base independent of any particular Intelligence Community element and proposed language that would have granted this exception during the 2005 and 2006 fiscal years. 115 Although target levels were not specified in legislation, a February 2008 NCTC briefing to the United States Marine Corps indicated that NCTC was moving to an organizational structure consisting of: Small, permanent cadre (~20%); rotational detailees (~80%), 116 a ratio comparable to that of the former NCTC Director, Vice Admiral John Redd. 117 In his May 2008 Senate confirmation hearing, Director Leiter indicated in his written statement that he would pursue a strategy to ensure that the NCTC permanent cadre be approximately 30 to 35 percent of the NCTC total workforce, 118 a somewhat higher ratio than that of his predecessor. ODNI, NCTC, and DSOP personnel indicated in recent interviews that Director Leiter s current target for permanent cadre at NCTC stands at forty percent. Both NCTC and DSOP have witnessed significant growth over the past few years, thus compounding the challenge of maintaining a proper mix of permanent to rotational personnel. For DSOP, this issue centers partially on their role and relationship to partnering departments and agencies and to the National Security Staff (NSS). While increasing permanent staff may allow DSOP to ensure CT personnel trained in strategic operational planning are constantly available and can provide subject matter expertise to NSS, the related decrease in rotational staff can hinder DSOP s connectivity to other agencies and decrease DSOP s reach-back to these agencies through former DSOP detailees. 115 United States Senate, Senate Report , Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2006, Title IV, Matters Relating to Elements of the Intelligence Community, Subtitle A, Section 417 (The Library of Congress, Thomas). 116 NCTC briefing to the 2008 USMC PS Division Security Conference, February 2008, 18 November 2009 < NCTC%20Brief%20-%20PS%20Conference.ppt>. 117 United States Senate, Hearing Before the Select Committee on Intelligence of the United States Senate, One-Hundred Tenth Congress, Nomination of Michael Leiter to be Director, National Counterterrorism Center, Second Session, 06 May ibid. 99

118 8 M a n a g i n g t h e E n t e r p r i s e In contrast to NCTC, the DSOP workforce consists primarily of planners who operate in an environment within the ODNI that is largely populated by intelligence specialists/officers. In addition, DSOP officials have indicated that the counterterrorism planning competency does not exist in other agencies, making it difficult to recruit employees with these skills. Complicating its recruiting challenges, DSOP faces traditional issues associated with attracting detailees from other agencies. As noted in Forging a New Shield, individuals have relatively few incentives to join interagency teams, and departments and agencies have not been provided sufficient incentives to share personnel. 119 DSOP s experience has been no exception. Finally, not only does DSOP face considerable challenges in obtaining employees with the needed competencies, but the Directorate also faces high leadership turnover and an overall employee turnover rate approximately three times greater than other federal departments and agencies. Finding: The core competencies required by DSOP are not readily available in the USG. Discussion: Core competencies identified by DSOP include: interagency strategic planning, assessments, measuring and evaluation, negotiation, and counterterrorism acumen. As defined by the OPM, a competency is: an observable, measurable pattern of skills, knowledge, abilities, behaviors and other characteristics that an individual needs to perform work roles or occupational functions successfully PNSR (2008). 120 United States, Office of Personnel Management, Information Technology Competency-Based Job Profile, Suzy M. Barker (Washington: OPM), 18 November 2009 <http://www.opm.gov/compconf/ postconf01/it/sbarker.pdf>. 100

119 8 M a n a g i n g t h e E n t e r p r i s e More important than the availability of any single one of these competencies identified by DSOP is the challenge of finding a combination of any or all of them, even across the USG. One group within DSOP, the Strategic Assessments Group (SAG), is particularly challenged to consistently find personnel that have competency in strategic planning, as well as, measuring and evaluation. While DSOP has made some recent progress with new hires, it may be challenged in the long term to consistently find the right personnel (to assess both system outcomes and system processes). The qualities and skill sets of planners and assessors are different. Both talents are necessary for the SAG approach to reach its full potential. The majority of federal departments and agencies within the USG do not have parallel planning and assessment capabilities from which DSOP can draw. The majority of federal departments and agencies within the USG do not have parallel planning and assessment capabilities from which DSOP can draw. DSOP continues to contend with the fact that not every U.S. department and agency shares the same set of resources toward this mission area. The significant exception is the military, which over many years, has built a highly skilled planning workforce. This is evident in the workforce composition within DSOP, which is largely made up of current military on assignment or former military who have joined the cadre ranks. As noted earlier, the military-oriented nature of the current workforce can be seen at both the leadership and journeymen levels. Ultimately, this will not be rectified until the Executive Branch invests in parallel planning and assessments capacity building efforts in and across the departments themselves. Building these competencies across the interagency also increases the level of diversity 121 in the workforce, one of the four organizational values identified by NCTC: We create an inclusive, joint work environment to leverage the breadth of expertise and perspectives from across the counterterrorism community in the broadest sense, diversity implies a leadership style and approach which recognizes, appreciates and can utilize many views and talents and also signifies demographic diversity, experience diversity, ethnic/racial diversity, etc. 122 United States, National Counterterrorism Center, Strategic Intent (Washington: NCTC), 18 November 2009 <http://www.nctc.gov/about_us/strategic_intent.html>. 101

120 8 M a n a g i n g t h e E n t e r p r i s e The organization embodies this value by attracting a diverse workforce, particularly in terms of agency diversity. DSOP is a critical component of NCTC and major contributor to the organization s ability to achieve its mission and demonstrate its organizational values. In late 2004 when DSOP was created, the organization was staffed with detailees and assignees from federal departments and agencies with counterterrorism responsibilities. According to DSOP officials, the NCTC total workforce continues to have a majority of representatives on detail; however, today s DSOP workforce has little more than 16 percent representation from other agencies through detailees and assignees. While this low percentage of detailees from other agencies seems inconsistent with the NCTC diversity value and NCTC recruitment strategy, there are several factors that have created the DSOP workforce of today: DSOP has experienced an almost 100 percent increase in fulltime staffing since FY DSOP has not found its mission-critical competencies in other partner agencies. DSOP cadre hires have been employees from other agencies, thus providing a certain degree of other-agency representation/ diversity. DSOP faces traditional challenges to attracting detailees and assignees. DSOP has addressed the challenge posed by this competency gap by providing on-the-job training to each of the new full-time hires and the detailees and assignees that join the staff. According to DSOP staff, 102

121 8 M a n a g i n g t h e E n t e r p r i s e this training program has not been documented or formalized in such a way that it is systematically initiated upon the arrival of a new hire. Since most detailees and assignees require on-the-job training, DSOP believes this staffing option is less desirable because, unlike full-time employees, detailees often leave DSOP in a relatively short timeframe. DSOP staff indicates this is a significant difference from the rest of NCTC which is able to locate mission critical competencies across the Intelligence Community. Examples of concerted efforts to develop core capabilities, such as planning, across civilian agencies have been scarce. One potential partner, though, in this endeavor may be the National Security Professional Development Implementation Office (NSPD-IO) which was established in 2007 by Executive Order to cultivate and groom a workforce of national security professionals with the ability to successfully contend with modern national security threats and events. 123 As GAO is currently in the process of compiling an inventory of interagency training and education as well as related rotational and collaborative initiatives that may be of future value to DSOP, anecdotal models may prove helpful in the meanwhile. For instance, the office of the State Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization (S/CRS) is working with civilian agencies that participate in the CRC (Civilian Response Corps) to build planning and reach-back capacity within their agencies. While this particular training model is still in its early stages of development and implementation and may be too broad for DSOP s needs, modifying the approach with a CT and planning content could eventually build both a source of CT-planners as well as career path opportunities for those personnel across agencies with CT missions. 123 United States Senate, Major General (retired) William A. Navas, Jr., Executive Director, National Security Professional Development Integration Office, Statement Before the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia (Washington: HSGAC) 30 April 2009, 18 November 2009 <http://hsgac. senate.gov/public/index.cfm?fuseaction=files.view&filestore_id=03d86a15-cad a8ae a6ba>. 103

122 8 M a n a g i n g t h e E n t e r p r i s e Recommendation: DSOP should: Identify, define, and document its mission-critical competencies; Document and formalize the training programs currently used for on-the-job training; Partner with organizations such as NSPD-IO or others to develop training curriculum and programs for strategic planners and assessors to address the USG need for these skills; Work with partnering agencies, the Intelligence Community, and NSPD-IO to determine whether interagency planners could be a National Security Professional specialty; and Partner with the Office of Personnel Management to develop government-wide series/standards for interagency planners. Finding: DSOP is experiencing a high employee turnover rate roughly three times greater than the national average of federal government agencies. Discussion: High turnover in organizations, whether public or private, can make it difficult for organizations to ensure that needed competencies are available to perform the organization s mission. While there are positive aspects to a fluid workforce, replacing employees is both costly and hampers workforce continuity. Some studies have placed the cost of replacing an employee from 30 to 200 percent of a single employee s annual wages, depending on the industry and the job role being filled. The federal government has recognized challenges with high turnover and has provided federal managers with incentives to reduce turnover rates. These incentives can be applied both during the hiring process and after an employee has been on board specifically, recruiting and retention incentives. When provided, both incentives require the employee to stay in his current position for a period of time often one or two years. Incentives can be as much as fifty percent of an employee s annual salary. 124 As indicated in interviews, DSOP had 124 The OPM Website provides access to information sheets on recruitment (http://www.opm.gov/oca/ 104

123 8 M a n a g i n g t h e E n t e r p r i s e a turnover rate in fiscal year 2008 of approximately thirty percent. This diverges from federal department turnover rates during the same period of between five percent (Justice) and eleven percent (Treasury) with a USG-wide average of eight percent. 125 DSOP officials have recognized that the employee turnover rate is high and have conducted exit interviews to provide information to analyze the situation. They noted that some employees have left for promotions. They also point out that employees leaving DSOP who return to counterterrorism agencies may have acquired skills at DSOP which will aid in the government s overall effort to fight terrorism as well as provide DSOP with individual conduits of communication, or reach-back, across departmental or agency lines. Recommendation: DSOP officials need to systematically review exit interviews to identify potential patterns or themes that may require correction. They also should conduct a follow-up study of a sample of former DSOP employees who have departed to identify the advantages, as well as the challenges, of DSOP employment and why they left. DSOP officials also need to determine an acceptable turnover rate and then develop an action plan to address undesired turnover. This plan should include an assessment of the use of recruitment, promotion, retention, and compensation incentives. Finding: No strategic human capital planning has been identified at the DSOP, NCTC, or ODNI levels which addresses DSOP s needs. Discussion: Strategic workforce planning, also called human capital planning, focuses on developing long-term strategies for acquiring, developing, and retaining an organization s total workforce (including full- and part-time staff and contractors) to meet the needs of the future. Workforce planning is an essential element of the institutional framework to ensure that an organization s human capital program pay/html/recbonfs.asp) and retention incentives (http://www.opm.gov/oca/pay/html/retincfed. asp). 125 Calculations are for permanent employees based on data available on OPM s Fedscope Website at 105

124 8 M a n a g i n g t h e E n t e r p r i s e capitalizes on its workforce s strengths and addresses related challenges in a manner that is clearly linked to achieving the agency s mission and goals. 106

125 8 M a n a g i n g t h e E n t e r p r i s e The Government Accountability Office described a typical workforce planning process and depicted it in the figure below. 126 Specifically, the four stages are designed to: 1. Link human capital plan to strategic goals, which helps to identify the workforce needed for the future, 2. Define the critical skills and competencies required for the future and compare to existing workforce skills to identify the skills gap, 3. Develop strategies tailored to address gaps in the number, skills and competencies, and deployment of the workforce and the alignment of human capital approaches that enable and sustain the contributions of all critical skills and competencies needed for the future, and 126 United States Government Accountability Office. Human Capital: Key Principles for Effective Strategic Workforce Planning GAO (Washington: GAO) December

126 8 M a n a g i n g t h e E n t e r p r i s e 4. Evaluate the contribution that the workforce plan makes to strategic results. The U.S. Intelligence Community s Five Year Strategic Human Capital Plan, published in June 2006, called for systematic workforce planning. Specifically, the plan stated: We have already begun to design and develop a more rigorous, requirements-based workforce planning system. We have acquired an IC-wide license for a computer-based workforce planning tool that offers the degree of sophistication we require, and we are in the process of reconfiguring that tool to reflect our major program budget categories and populating its database with element-level human resource information. The system is expected to achieve initial operating capability in time for the FY 2008 budget cycle. 127 ODNI and DSOP officials said that while some overall workforce planning has been done at the ODNI level, detailed planning has not taken place at the NCTC level or within DSOP. As noted earlier, DSOP is comprised primarily of permanent employees with relatively few detailees and assignees. This is contrasted by the approximate 60 percent of NCTC s staff who are detailees and assignees. DSOP officials noted that they have not identified a recipe of agency detailee representation for optimum performance. In addition, they have not systematically determined how best to obtain needed competencies. As a result, DSOP officials noted that they simply fill positions when they become vacant and hire up to the limitations imposed by the budget. Recommendations: workforce plan that: NCTC and DSOP should develop a strategic Specifically addresses DSOP s unique workforce needs, Identifies numbers and types of positions required, and 127 United States, Office of the Director of National Intelligence. The U.S. Intelligence Community s Five Year Strategic Human Capital Plan (Washington: ODNI) June

127 8 M a n a g i n g t h e E n t e r p r i s e Includes established goals for agency representation in DSOP s workforce. Note: While a Workforce Plan is something usually done by departments/agencies from an enterprise-wide perspective, and is not particularly common for such a small group (e.g., DSOP s approximately 110 personnel), DSOP s uniqueness and nascent capabilities makes a case for undertaking such strategic human capital planning within DSOP; at least in its initial phases until the human capital process and relationship within NCTC/ODNI has matured. Finding: Agencies/departments participation in and provision of detailees to DSOP has been uneven in the number and quality of personnel. Discussion: NCTC views itself as a partnership of organizations to include: Central Intelligence Agency; Department of Justice/Federal Bureau of Investigation; Departments of State, Defense, and Homeland Security; and other entities that provide unique expertise such as the Departments of Energy, Treasury, Agriculture, Transportation, and Health and Human Services; and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. While some agencies such as the Department of Defense have generally been strong supporters, other agencies support in terms of providing sufficient numbers and quality of detailees to DSOP has been uneven. In addition to the lack of availability of DSOP mission critical competencies in other agencies, DSOP also faces the traditional challenges of attracting employees of other agencies on detail assignments. These challenges include but are not limited to: Inconsistent legal requirements governing detailees Reluctance of contributing agency to provide resources from its limited supply Lack of contributing agency buy-in regarding value of DSOP and value of the detail 109

128 8 M a n a g i n g t h e E n t e r p r i s e Negative impacts of time away to an employee s advancement opportunities at their home agency. In the early phase of NCTC/DSOP, agency leadership worked with other agency heads to address NCTC/DSOP staffing requirements. Based on many of the factors that are addressed in this paper, this practice has stopped. Any detailees that are arranged for DSOP are now handled primarily through the human resources office. As a result of all of these factors, detailees and assignees comprise less than 20 percent of DSOP s workforce. Beyond the aforementioned challenges created by uneven participation in DSOP s workforce, the absence of agencies input and cooperation in DSOP s interagency activities may elicit additional adverse effects, as discussed in the following chapter, that reach beyond the standard human capital context. Recommendation: DSOP should identify the numbers of employees and levels of expertise it requires as detailees from its partner agencies to more effectively accomplish the DSOP mission. Through Executive Order and corresponding implementing guidance, interagency detailee requirements should be clearly stipulated. DSOP should also develop an outreach strategy that includes participation at the top levels of the organization, to gain full partnership and cooperation of the other agencies. 110

129 9 D S O P s C u s t o m e r s 9: DSOP s Customers The United States government runs on consensus. John Walters, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Decision-making processes that require consensus create excessive veto opportunities, encourage a search for least common denominator solutions, and typically yield policies that favor slow, incremental, and middle-of-the road courses of action. Forging a New Shield The Departments and Agencies Forging a New Shield found that most successful organizations find a way to communicate to all their members a strategy for success, including definitions of the challenges ahead and the best means of meeting them. A common understanding of the organization s strategy and approach to problem solving is essential if the members of the organization are to work together with unity of purpose. 128 The report then noted that absent strategic direction, each element of the system operates autonomously in pursuit of its narrow objectives. 129 In the counterterrorism community, a common understanding of the U.S. government s strategy and approach to problem solving is still evolving. This evolution has been complicated by different departmental cultures and unclear, often overlapping sets of authorities and capabilities. The State Department and the National Counterterrorism Center, for example, have fundamentally different cultural perspectives on the utility of long-term planning in a dynamic environment. The Department of Defense and the Central Intelligence 128 PNSR (2008), Ibid. 111

130 9 D S O P s C u s t o m e r s Agency have overlapping capabilities to conduct paramilitary operations against terrorists because of different understandings of their proper role within the counterterrorism mission. The Department of Justice has disputes with the State Department over which department should have the lead in extraterritorial law enforcement investigations. The Department of Homeland Security wrestles with competing agencies within its own department. Organizational reforms since 9/11 have gone a long way in realigning our national security system to better respond to the terrorist threat. On the tactical level, the proliferation of Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTFs), which are cross-functional teams characterized by missionfirst attitudes, task orientation, and synergy, are widely heralded as effective entities. 130 Regionally, Joint Interagency Coordination Groups (JIACGs) help ensure that an interagency perspective exists during operational planning for counterterrorism and other national missions at all regional combatant command headquarters. 131 Considering the much-improved counterterrorism coordination taking place in the field, achieving synergistic unity of effort at the national level should not be an unattainable goal. The 9/11 Commission report cited numerous instances of poor coordination prior to 9/11, and noted that in each of our examples, no one was firmly in charge of managing the case and able to draw relevant intelligence from anywhere in the government, assign responsibilities across the agencies (foreign or domestic), track progress, and quickly bring obstacles up to the level where they could be resolved. Responsibility and accountability were diffuse. 132 DSOP was created in part to facilitate integration of departments and agencies by assigning roles and responsibilities, developing national strategic operational plans, and monitoring the implementation of these plans, as well as performing other functions. 130 Goodman, William. Making Consequence Management Work: Applying the Lesson of the Joint Terrorism Task Force. Homeland Security Affairs: The Journal of the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security. August Charles N. Cardinal, Timber P. Pangonas, and Edward Marks. The Global War on Terrorism: A Regional Approach to Coordination. Joint Force Quarterly, Autumn /11 Commission Report,

131 9 D S O P s C u s t o m e r s However, although DSOP was given a robust mandate to integrate counterterrorism activities, safeguards in place to ensure departments and agencies fully participate in and actively support the interagency strategic operational planning process at DSOP are weak. Moreover, as a result of conflicting mandates, authorities, and cultures, the study found selective but critical situations where departments and agencies have stronger incentive to not cooperate with DSOP than to cooperate. Finding: Departments and agencies interpret their counterterrorism responsibilities largely based on their individual statutes, histories, bureaucratic cultures, and current leadership. Those departments and agencies are not accountable to DSOP and there is insufficient incentive for departments and agencies to participate in and fully support the interagency integration processes at DSOP. Discussion: The counterterrorism system is a spider web of overlapping missions, conflicting cultures, and ambiguous lines of authority. This diffusion of responsibility and accountability leads to ineffective management of the mission. Complicating ambiguous lines of authority and accountability are disparate understandings of departmental missions. Every major department and agency involved in counterterrorism has missions and mandates that predate the existence of DSOP. The Department of Justice (DoJ), for example, can trace its counterterrorism mission to 1985 following the hijacking of TWA flight 487. The CIA can trace its history dealing with counterterrorism to the establishment of the Counterterrorist Center in 1986 following the bombing of the Marine Barracks in Beirut. To the individual department or agency, its role in the counterterrorism mission is informed by the organization s history, culture, and leadership. Additionally, this role is often codified by statutes and Executive Orders, all products of the political and security environment at the time in which they were written. However, because of the constantly evolving nature of the counterterrorism threat, the need for departments and agencies to undertake new missions and responsibilities is critical. 113

132 9 D S O P s C u s t o m e r s Perhaps David Tucker illustrated the problem best in his 1997 book Skirmishes at the Edge of Empire: The United States and International Terrorism: When an agency concentrates on its core mission, it tends to neglect its peripheral missions where cooperation is most likely to be necessary. That Foreign Service Officers do not take seriously enough the demands of security complicates the job of the CIA s Directorate of Operations. That the CIA does not take counterintelligence seriously enough complicates the job of the FBI.That the Justice Department does not take our foreign relations seriously enough as it focuses on apprehending and prosecuting someone who breaks our laws, even if he is a head of state, complicates the job of the State Department. As the U.S. Attorney in Miami said, explaining why Manuel Noriega was investigated and indicted while the State Department was negotiating with him about how he would resign, the investigation resulting in the Noriega indictment was initiated and pursued without any consideration whatsoever to factors extraneous to law enforcement. As a State Department officer put it, with typical diplomatic understatement, the Justice Department did not have much perception of or sensitivity to the foreign policy implications of what it was doing. Defending mandates and focusing on core missions and the particular skills necessary to accomplish them impedes interagency cooperation. 133 Another aspect of this problem set is that departments and agencies are accountable principally to their department or agency s leadership and core mission. From an interagency perspective, when faced with competing priorities, there is currently little positive incentive to choose strategic operational planning responsibilities over daily departmental responsibilities. 133 David Tucker, Skirmishes at the Edge of Empire: The United States and International Terrorism (Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 1997)

133 9 D S O P s C u s t o m e r s There are a host of consequences to this reality. Most significantly, this dynamic affects the quantity and quality of department and agency participation at senior-level meetings and within DSOP-led functional working groups. It also impacts the quality and number of detailees and assignees that departments and agencies are willing to send to DSOP. Successful cross-functional teaming is contingent on a synergy of the right types of expertise. Although responsible for developing national strategic operational plans, DSOP must rely on requisite expertise from departments and agencies to do so. In some cases, the right people simply aren t at the table. As a result, there is evidence that DSOP has been forced to develop national plans without the expertise of some of the most important players. In one classified example, a plan was criticized because it did not incorporate CIA actions. In reality, the CIA had not participated in the planning process, so it was no surprise that its perspectives were not fully considered. In another classified example, DSOP lacked the regional expertise to develop a region-specific plan tasked to DSOP by the NSC because of a lack of State Department participation. The lack of full interagency participation in the strategic operational planning process has other consequences as well. When national plans lack full interagency buy-in, and when departments and agencies don t feel invested in the plan, implementation of those plans suffers. Further, DSOP has tended not use its authorities robustly and risk alienating its interagency partners and has favored a strategy of maintaining a coalition of the willing. For example, DSOP has traditionally tended to shy away from any assessment that holds departments and agencies accountable for fulfillment of NIP-WOT objectives. While DSOP has the authority to assign roles and responsibilities and monitor department and agency implementation of strategic operational planning, there have been instances where departments and agencies did not participate in the planning process, implement DSOP s strategic operational plans, or even perform the roles and responsibilities assigned to it. To truly understand the interagency challenges DSOP faces, one must understand the complexity of the trade-offs departments and agencies must make in order to satisfy the often-disparate direction they are 115

134 9 D S O P s C u s t o m e r s given from many sources: the president, the NSC, Congress, DSOP, and department and agency political leadership. This report looks at three illustrative examples: DSOP s relationship with the State Department, the Defense Department, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. These three examples were chosen because they most easily illustrate the range of difficulties of overlapping statutes and mandates, conflicting cultures, and the challenges of reconciling direction from multiple sources, among others. They are no more problematic than DSOP s relationship to the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and other departments and agencies involved in counterterrorism. State Department A solid working relationship between NCTC and the State Department is particularly critical to ensure that national-level strategic operational planning efforts are nested within the president s National Security Strategy and that they reflect the broader diplomatic goals of American foreign policy. However, this relationship has been uneasy for several reasons. The State Department has a long history of counterterrorism responsibilities dating back to the establishment of the Office for Combating Terrorism in 1972 after the terrorist attack on the Munich Summer Olympics. Although the name and functions of the office have evolved over the years, it has always (nominally) been the primary entity within the U.S. government responsible for managing international terrorist incidents and programs. Significantly, in 1998, Public Law [H.R. 4328], gave the office s coordinator a vague but seemingly robust duty to provide overall supervision (including policy oversight of resources) of international counterterrorism activities. The coordinator is to be appointed by the president, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, and would maintain the rank and status of ambassador at large. Under the legislation, the coordinator is designated as the department s top counterterrorism official and the secretary s principal advisor on international counterterrorism. 116

135 9 D S O P s C u s t o m e r s The coordinator was given no authority to compel action by other departments and agencies. Beyond this lone duty, the coordinator was also authorized to perform such duties and exercise such powers as the Secretary of State shall prescribe. Because of this long history in counterterrorism and its robust statutory mandate, the State Department s perceived role as the primary coordinator for counterterrorism has become deeply engrained in its understanding of its departmental mission. Today, the Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism (State/CT) describes its mission as developing and leading a worldwide effort to combat terrorism using all the instruments of statecraft: diplomacy, economic power, intelligence, law enforcement, and military, and providing foreign policy oversight and guidance to all U.S. Government international counterterrorism activities. Additionally, the office identifies itself as the leader of the the U.S. Government Counterterrorism Team and coordinates resources in a worldwide effort to defeat international terrorism. 134 The conflicting mandates and authorities have, over time, resulted in tension between DSOP and S/CT. It has been exacerbated by a general sense within the State Department that DSOP has evolved from a military planning culture, and often DSOPs processes and products reflect that. Traditionally, in contrast to the central tenets of the diplomatic mission, military planning focuses on establishing clear objectives, organizing task forces, and deploying capabilities. As a result of all of the above, national counterterrorism plans do not receive sufficient State Department input, and the ambiguous delineation of roles and responsibilities has resulted in duplication of effort and inefficiency. For instance, while the State Department is a crucial member of the Senior Interagency Strategy Team, its representatives do not regularly participate in meetings. Additionally, DSOP-led functional working groups (ATC, CVE, PD, and WMD-T) and a State-led regional working group put in place to help facilitate the interagency planning and coordination often do not work in harmony. Each of the CT functional working groups is chaired by the pillar lead at DSOP while the regional CT working group is chaired by 134 See: 117

136 9 D S O P s C u s t o m e r s a representative of the State Department. The study found very little interaction between the DSOP-led functional groups and the State-led regional groups. Another factor complicating this relationship is the fact that effective strategic operational planning must be done with a view of the president s broader strategic and foreign policy goals, and the State Department has a critical role in helping the president develop these goals. Often, counterterrorism threats can arise quickly and in places where the president hasn t articulated a clear strategy. In these cases, DSOP is forced to develop plans particularly dynamic plans that are not matched by sufficient long-term context in the form of national strategies or regional counterterrorism policy priorities. However, developing strategic operational plans without sufficient policy context can be very problematic for DSOP. As NCTC leadership has publically recognized: Counterterrorism is part of larger U.S. policy. Counterterrorism rarely, if ever, should be the lead in that policy. The challenges we face the terrorism challenges we face are different in different regions of the world and are interconnected to broader U.S. policy interests. Counterterrorism should be, in most cases, the tail, and we should not wag the broader policy dog. I think it is important for me to say that because I want to make clear that the counterterrorism community understands its role. We should be influencing a lot of policy, we should be informing a lot of policy, but ultimately there are broader issues here. Leiter speech, Aspen Institute, April 2009 The relationship between DSOP and the State Department remains complex. It is a natural outgrowth of balancing the need to respond to dynamic and time-sensitive terrorist threats and the need to take the necessary time to develop a broader set of United States government 118

137 9 D S O P s C u s t o m e r s strategic objectives for the region. A clearer understanding of roles and responsibilities must be established and organizational ties must be strengthened. The Department of Defense DSOP s relationship with the Department of Defense illustrates a different but just as challenging impediment to national planning efforts. In Chapter 6, the study noted that DSOP planning primarily captures existing department and agency activity and does not harmonize, synthesize, or prioritize those activities to drive strategic shifts in implementation. In many cases, the cause comes down to timing and multiple guidance documents from senior authorities. Rarely do national-level plans drive department and agency planning; instead, existing department and agency plans often drive national plans. DoD develops plans based on the direction given to it by a variety of sources. At the highest level, in accordance with the established and institutionalized chain of command, DoD planning efforts are designed to respond to the president s National Security Strategy and subordinate national documents developed by the president and his advisors at the NSC such as the National Counterterrorism Strategy, the National Homeland Security Strategy, and presidential directives 119

138 9 D S O P s C u s t o m e r s and Executive Orders. DoD develops subordinate strategies the National Defense Strategy and then the National Military Strategy and plans to implement the president s strategy. DoD further develops more refined plans for specific issues. One of these plans is the National Military Strategic Plan for the War on Terrorism (NMSP-WOT), the most recent version of which was signed by then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld on February 1, 2006, several months before the development of NIP After that, DoD develops a multitude of even more specific counterterrorism plans, with both regional and functional focuses. The DoD planners who develop these refined counterterrorism plans must align tasks and tactical goals to strategic objectives laid out in superior planning and strategy documents. Complicating this is that the overarching strategic objectives are not always clear-cut. Before DSOP, DoD planners conducted counterterrorism planning within the framework of DoD cascading plans. Now, however, DoD planners theoretically must also align activities to national objectives and tasks as laid out in DSOP strategic operational plans. And in a situation in which DoD plans and DSOP strategic operational plans set forth different priorities or differ in tasks and objectives, it is reasonable to presume that these DoD planners will be more likely to ascribe higher levels of importance to DoD planning documents than DSOP planning documents. This example of the difficulty in aligning DoD plans to DSOPdeveloped strategic operational plans is representative of the difficulty of doing so in all departments and agencies. In fact, it is often more difficult to do so in other departments and agencies. As discussed previously, DoD has a considerable influence on DSOP plans, and for this reason it would be rare that DSOP plans and DoD plans would differ significantly. However, other departments and agencies are more resource-constrained than DoD, have less of a tradition of jointness, and have less of an influence over the DSOP strategic operational planning process. Counterterrorism planning within the Intelligence Community provides another illustrative example. 135 NMSP-WOT is likely to change with the new administration. 120

139 9 D S O P s C u s t o m e r s Office of the Director of National Intelligence DSOP faces an array of systemic barriers to collaborative relationships with departments and agencies. DSOP s relationship with the ODNI, 136 however, is different than the ones described above. In this case, many of the barriers that preclude collaborative relationships do not exist. As a result, ODNI is able to align its activities to overarching national counterterrorism plans better than any other department in the U.S. government. This can be a challenge because, like all departments, the ODNI has its own set of policies, plans, and strategies intended to guide department activity. Three major causes underpin the reasons for this symbiotic relationship: ODNI s mission manager for counterterrorism (i.e., NCTC s Mission Management Directorate) is physically collocated with DSOP, facilitating communication and collaboration; The counterterrorism mission within the Intelligence Community has received significant presidential, DNI, and congressional attention and funding over the past several years; NCTC s Mission Management Directorate, which oversees the Intelligence Community s counterterrorism intelligence efforts, and DSOP, are accountable to the same leadership the Director of NCTC, who has the tools to ensure that their activities are integrated. Most departments and agencies, when planning for activities in a resource-constrained environment, will naturally prioritize activities which they are accountable to undertake. Thus, if a department is resource-constrained, and there is a conflict between DSOP strategic operational plans and activities that departments want to undertake, they will naturally choose the latter. NCTC Mission Management and DSOP, however, are accountable to the same leadership, who can ensure that the activities of one are coordinated with the other. For example, the overarching counterterrorism intelligence strategy in the Intelligence Community is the Counterterrorism Intelligence Plan 136 The NIP assigns roles and responsibilities at the departmental level. In the NIP, the Intelligence Community is denoted ODNI, which is the head of the Intelligence Community pursuant to IRTPA. In this section of the report, ODNI will be considered a department. 121

140 9 D S O P s C u s t o m e r s (CTIP), developed by NCTC Mission Management. As illustrated in an annex to this report, the CTIP is aligned very closely to the NIP. However, it must also be aligned with the National Intelligence Strategy (NIS). On the first page of the CTIP, it says that it promulgates how the Director, National Counterterrorism Center (D/NCTC) will oversee the execution of the objectives set forth in the National Intelligence Strategy (NIS) and the National Implementation Plan for the War on Terror (NIP-WoT). This is notable because the CTIP does not fit as one rung within a neat hierarchy of planning documents. Rather, it must be aligned with two superior planning documents. It is able to do so for the following reasons: The NCTC Office of Mission Management, as a senior component of both ODNI and NCTC, has a significant degree of ability to influence both the NIP and the NIS. This allows them to try to ensure that the direction given to them is aligned with the activities that they already want to undertake. The direction given to NCTC Mission Management in the NIS is somewhat general, giving them a high degree of latitude on how to interpret their responsibilities. Although the NIP counterterrorism intelligence needs are specific (in the CTIP, these are referred to as Mission Execution Goals), the capability development needs are addressed but not specified (in the CTIP, these are referred to as Capability Development Goals), giving NCTC Mission Management latitude on how to interpret their responsibilities. NCTC Mission Management is accountable to the director of NCTC, who is dual-hatted as the director of DSOP. In this capacity, the director of NCTC has the tools to ensure that CTIP components are aligned to both significant superior planning documents: the NIP and the CTIP. Consolidated Recommendations Many of the recommendations in this report focus on improving DSOP from the inside developing core competencies within the workforce, improving their planning processes, strengthening their assessments 122

141 9 D S O P s C u s t o m e r s and resource management. They will create a more capable DSOP. Key to DSOP s success, however, is a clear understanding of their role within the counterterrorism community and clear authority to carry out its mission. There is no silver bullet. The recommendations below and in the second section of this chapter, taken as a group are intended to: define the lanes in the road within the interagency, create productive organizational relationships, and empower DSOP to serve as an integrating mechanism for the USG. Key to DSOP s success is a clear understanding of their role within the counterterrorism community and clear authority to carry out its mission. Recommendation: Through an Executive Order clearly define the existing counterterrorism architecture of the United States government, with particular focus on interagency coordinating mechanisms and the role of DSOP. Included in this order would be the role of DSOP with a greater level of specificity to include: Its role in deliberate, dynamic, and contingency planning; conducting assessment; and advising on resources. The responsibility of departments and agencies to faithfully pursue all roles and responsibilities assigned to it by DSOP. Broad outlines of the personnel contribution that departments and agencies will make to DSOP though rotational assignments, including senior leadership assignments. The role of the SIST as the primary liaison between DSOP and departments and agencies. The role of sub IPC working groups. The requirement for NCTC/DSOP to provide an annual report to the president and Congress on progress in the national CT mission based on input from departments and agencies on the status of their counterterrorism objectives Section 1242 of Public Law [National Defense Authorization Act FY 2010] referred to as the 123

142 9 D S O P s C u s t o m e r s DSOP s role in all appropriate forums (including operational forums such as SVTCs and policy forums such as the CT BoD) to ensure its expertise is appropriately integrated. Recommendation: Concomitant with the Executive Order, the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism should issue implementing guidance which would provide: An operating charter for DSOP, which will include: o Specified mission, o Clear objectives, o Clarification of authorities. Specific FTE requirements for rotational assignments to DSOP identified by department and agency, and A charter for the SIST to include composition and duties. Recommendation: NCTC should establish the position of Associate Director to serve as the principle advisor to the Director on international affairs and foreign policy. This individual should be a senior Foreign Service officer at the ambassadorial rank on rotational assignment from the State Department. Recommendation: DSOP should diversify its future leadership beyond DoD in order to ensure it is more representative of the broader interagency CT community. Recommendation: Consistent with the intent of the 9/11 Commission Report, through Executive Order vest the director of NCTC with responsibility to provide advice to the president on the choices Success in Countering Al Qaeda Reporting Requirements Act of 2009 stipulates wide criteria for an annual report by the President to the Congress to be submitted by 30 September 2010, and the following two years. See Appendix 5 of this report for a more detailed description of this congressional requirement. 124

143 9 D S O P s C u s t o m e r s of personnel to lead the entities of the departments and agencies focused on counterterrorism. He should also have the authority to evaluate individuals assigned to the Center. 138 Relationship with the NSC System The concept for a whole-of-government Directorate of Strategic Operational Planning is both innovative and revolutionary. Never before has the U.S. government created a dedicated entity, sitting outside of the Executive Office of the President, to translate policy and strategy developed within the National Security Council system into integrated strategic operational plans carried out by the departments and agencies. Prior to DSOP, the NSC staff had attempted to perform this planning function, but as the 9/11 Commission noted, the NSC staff lacked the capacity in terms of staff, funding, and space. For these reasons, the Commission argued for vesting this planning function in the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), which would allow the NSC staff to focus on its core responsibilities, including the development of high policy and strategy and presidential staffing. At the same time, the Commission made clear that NCTC should not carry out this function in isolation. Instead, NCTC s planning should be directly tied to the policy direction of the president and the National Security Council. In other words, DSOP would be an arm of the NSC. This concept has largely been reflected in practice. As indicated through various interviews with former NSC staffers, DSOP has not only developed plans derived from the national counterterrorism policy and strategies, but it has frequently provided other services in response to direct taskings from the NSC staff. NSC System Background and Organizational Arrangements Under the National Security Act of 1947, the NSC was established to advise the President with respect to the integration of domestic, foreign, and military policies relating to the national security so as to 138 9/11 Commission Report, page

144 9 D S O P s C u s t o m e r s enable the military services and the other departments and agencies of the Government to cooperate more effectively in matters involving national security. In addition, the NSC was responsible for assessing and appraising objectives, commitments, and risks of the United States as they related to the actual and potential power of the U.S. military, and it was empowered to consider policies on matters of common interest to the national security community, i.e., interagency issues. 139 Today, as a matter of practice, the president has translated the general statutory authorization for the National Security Staff into specific functions that may be grouped into three categories. First, the staff performs interagency policy functions such as developing, coordinating, and integrating national security policies and strategies; monitoring and coordinating the implementation of these policies and strategies; assessing the progress of policies and strategies; and managing and planning for crises. These interagency functions generally support the committee structures set forth in Presidential Policy Directive 1, 140 including the NSC, the Principals Committee, the Deputies Committee, and Interagency Policy Committees, as well as specific policy reviews directed by the president or the national security advisor pursuant to the Presidential Study Directive series. Second, the staff performs a range of administrative functions, some of which are performed by the executive secretariat, including such important activities as managing the paper flow, scheduling meetings, preparing meeting agendas, taking meeting notes, summarizing discussions and decisions, and disseminating guidance throughout the national security system. Third, the staff is responsible for staffing the president by preparing briefing books, accompanying the president on foreign trips, and assisting with speech writing, among other things. The National Security Staff (known as the Staff), and the functions it is responsible for are perhaps more similar in nature to DSOP than any other entity in the Executive Branch. IRTPA envisioned that counterterrorism policy would be handled in the NSC system while derivative functions such as strategic operational planning and monitoring the implementation of those plans would be handled by DSOP. However, as is often the case, clear statutory lines of authority 139 Brown, Presidential Policy Directive 1 (Washington: White House, 2009). 126

145 9 D S O P s C u s t o m e r s blur once they are put into practice. Moreover, as will be discussed later in this chapter, the lines that separate and distinguish between national security processes such as policy, strategy, and plans development are often blurred as well. DSOP and the National Security Staff share some similar structural traits. Like DSOP, the Staff sits at the apex of the departments and agencies, yet below the president. Because of its position within the larger national security framework, the Staff, like DSOP, is uniquely situated to advise and assist the president in integrating all instruments of national power. The principals of both the Staff and DSOP report directly to the president on matters pertaining to interagency counterterrorism efforts. Though both the Staff and DSOP possess no actual authority to compel departmental action, they are both tasked with developing strategies or plans to guide departmental counterterrorism action. Though DSOP and the Staff do share some similar structural traits, they differ in several key areas. The Staff generally operates at the governmentwide policy and strategic level with its portfolio encompassing every national security mission. DSOP, on the other hand, focuses solely on counterterrorism. Though both DSOP and the Staff lack formal authority to compel departmental action, the Staff is vested with far greater informal authority than DSOP considering its proximity to the president and its historical role in policy formulation. Thus, while both DSOP and the Staff have responsibility for interagency counterterrorism efforts, the Staff has undoubtedly more informal authority at its disposal and thus more legitimacy within the interagency system. Finding: DSOP s relationship with the National Security Staff (Staff) is not institutionalized it is dependent on how Staff directors choose to use DSOP, as well as organizational realignments within the Staff. This results in a significant accordion effect within DSOP, with some Directorates extremely active and others atrophying. Discussion: Since its inception and to this day, the primary but not exclusive interface between DSOP and the White House national security policy apparatus has been through the counterterrorism office 127

146 9 D S O P s C u s t o m e r s of the National Security Staff. In the Bush administration, the senior official in that office was the deputy assistant to the president and deputy national security advisor for counterterrorism (DAP/CT), who both managed the NSC counterterrorism staff and chaired the CSG. When domestic counterterrorism issues were on the table, DSOP worked with both the NSC counterterrorism staff and the HSC staff. In effect, DSOP was treated as a planning arm of the counterterrorism apparatus of the NSC staff and the CSG. However, by most accounts, DSOP s link into the NSC system was through the office of the DAP/CT. This office generated most of DSOP s White House taskings, received many of DSOP s products, and provided the overall oversight of DSOP from above. Other National Security Staff officers had responsibilities for issues that had a close nexus to counterterrorism such as the senior director for counterproliferation and the deputy national security advisor for strategic communication and global outreach. In practice, however, within the NSC system of the last administration, the preponderance of activity for the broad spectrum of counterterrorism issues was centralized within the offices of the DAP/CT. Most of the time, other offices deferred to the DAP/CT when there were issues of overlapping portfolios. In 2008, the NSC Deputies Committee approved a Counterterrorism Architecture which formalized these organizational relationships and established four functional working groups and one regional working group, or sub-ipcs, all reporting to the CSG. The functional working groups corresponded to the four counterterrorism pillars identified in the NIP, and the chair of each functional working group was the pillar lead within DSOP. The region working group was chaired by an official from the State Department and deputy-chaired by an official at DSOP. The Counterterrorism Architecture further solidified the strong link between DSOP and the NSC CT offices. A New Lens on Counterterrorism With the change of administrations, several factors significantly influenced the organizational relationship between DSOP and the National Security Staff. First and foremost, there has been a reframing of the USG counterterrorism strategy and mission. In forwarding the 2006 National Security Strategy, President Bush opened with America 128

147 9 D S O P s C u s t o m e r s is at war. This is a wartime national security strategy required by the grave challenge we face the rise of terrorism fueled by an aggressive ideology of hatred and murder, fully revealed to the American people on September 11, Further in the strategy, the document describes the way ahead for USG counterterrorism efforts: From the beginning, the War on Terror has been both a battle of arms and a battle of ideas a fight against the terrorists and against their murderous ideology. In the short run, the fight involves using military force and other instruments of national power to kill or capture the terrorists, deny them safe haven or control of any nation; prevent them from gaining access to WMD; and cut off their sources of support. In the long run, winning the War on Terror means winning the battle of ideas, for it is ideas that can turn the disenchanted into murderers willing to kill innocent victims. However, with the change of administrations there has been a subtle but critical shift in thinking about the way the president s national security team views the counterterrorism mission. On June 6, 2009, President Obama s assistant to the president for security and counterterrorism, John Brennan, provided the administration s perspective on counterterrorism at a public speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies: The fight against terrorists and violent extremists has been returned to its right and proper place: no longer defining indeed, distorting our entire national security and foreign policy, but rather serving as a vital part of those larger policies. While this study makes no judgment on these differing views of the counterterrorism mission, it does note that the shifting lens through which the administration views national security has a real and profound impact on the management of the counterterrorism mission and a practical impact on the operations of DSOP. Under the last administration, for example, the nation s counter proliferation strategy was reshaped to focus on preventing terrorists from gaining access to WMD and our strategic communication strategy focused on winning the war on terror through winning the battle of ideas. In the 129

148 9 D S O P s C u s t o m e r s current administration, counterproliferation strategy has focused on more classic aspects of counterproliferation and winning the battle of ideas is only one aspect of a broader strategic engagement policy. A Different NSC Structure Presidents tailor the structure and processes of the NSC to reflect their leadership and decision-making styles. President Obama was no different: the first several months of his administration saw fundamental changes in the structure of the NSC. As DSOP had an institutionalized working relationship to the old NSC structure, these changes had a profound effect on DSOP s working relationship to the NSC. Significantly, President Obama merged the staffs of the NSC and HSC. The domestic policy offices of the HSC were reshuffled, reporting now to the national security advisor through the newly created position of deputy national security advisor and assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism. Notably, this directorate has a focus that expands beyond CT alone and is also responsible for handling the swine flu epidemic and other issues related to the broader homeland security portfolio. This position is currently filled by John Brennan. Further, within the National Security Staff, there are now two senior positions that can claim oversight of portions of the counterterrorism mission in addition to the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism. First, the new deputy national security advisor for global engagement leverages diplomatic, communications, development, and domestic engagement for the pursuit of national and homeland security objectives. This position arguably includes responsibility for the setting policy on countering violent extremism, a pillar of the counterterrorism strategy and one of working groups established under the counterterrorism architecture. The other position is the Assistant to the President and Coordinator for Arms Control and Weapons of Mass Destruction, proliferation, and terrorism ( Coordinator ). While the Obama administration, like the previous one, has chosen not to appoint a Senate-confirmed 130

149 9 D S O P s C u s t o m e r s official to this position, it is essentially the same Senate-confirmable position required by the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of The coordinator is supposed to manage not only issues relating to the prevention of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) proliferation, but is also supposed to work at the intersection of WMD proliferation and terrorism. In creating the position, Congress gave the coordinator several responsibilities relating to counterterrorism that could overlap with DSOP s responsibilities. Particularly problematic has been the role of the Coordinator vis-à-vis DSOP s WMD Terrorism pillar, which chairs the interagency WMD Terrorism Working Group established by the CT architecture. Within the legislation, the Coordinator is tasked with formulating a comprehensive strategy for preventing WMD proliferation and terrorism. This includes setting forth measurable milestones and targets, identifying gaps and duplication of efforts, and developing plans to coordinate USG efforts. The legislation proposes that the Coordinator lead interagency coordination of efforts to implement the strategy and policies developed and to ensure those strategies and policies are implemented. Finally, as previously discussed, the Obama administration eliminated the position of deputy assistant to the president for counterterrorism (DAP/CT), which focused solely on counterterrorism and was DSOP s nexus into the NSC. Some of the DAP/CT s responsibilities were pushed up to John Brennan, the Deputy National Security Advisor and Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, and some responsibilities were pushed down to the NSC s Senior Director for CT. The assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism now chairs the newly created CT Board of Directors, a body of selected deputy secretarylevel individuals with the purpose of working CT issues prior to presentation to the full Deputies Committee. The Counterterrorism Security Group, an assistant secretary-level Interagency Policy Committee, had traditionally been the senior counterterrorism body in the NSC and was chaired by the deputy assistant to the president for counterterrorism. In the current structure, the CSG is chaired by the senior director for counterterrorism. 141 Pub. L. No , 121 Stat. 266 (2007) (codified at 50 U.S.C. 2931). 131

150 9 D S O P s C u s t o m e r s The net effect of these organizational and policy changes have significantly impacted DSOP s relationship with the National Security Staff. DSOP s relationship with the White House, which once was primarily centralized through one senior official on the NSS, is now decentralized through several offices headed by multiple senior officials. In the case of the counterproliferation office, possibly conflicting and overlapping mandates have complicated that relationship. In addition, the creation of the deputy secretary-level CT BOD has resulted in a diminished authority for the assistant secretary level CSG as a policy forum exacerbated by the fact that the CSG is chaired by a senior director, whereas it was traditionally chaired by more senior level White House officials. For these reasons the CSG will likely lose some gravitas within the interagency. Establishing multiple lines of communication into the White House policy apparatus presents many challenges for DSOP. However, in interviews with several officials both inside DSOP and the broader CT community, it is clear that this new dynamic also provides many opportunities. Most officials within DSOP expressed confidence they can navigate these new organizational relationships and saw benefit to the CT mission writ large from looking at the problem set from multiple points of view. Issuance of the Executive Order recommended earlier, will reinvigorate and clearly define DSOP s role in the CT architecture and will help institutionalize DSOP s relationship with the White House. The challenge, particularly during a transition period between administrations, is being able to manage the DSOP enterprise as these new organizational relationships solidify. Over the past year, some offices within DSOP have forged new relationships with the White House staff and are robustly supporting multiple NSS directorates. In other cases, particularly when there are overlapping mandates and shifting strategic priorities, the relationship between DSOP Directorates and the corresponding National Security Staff office is nonexistent. This results in an accordion effect with some Directorates overwhelmed with Staff taskings and others searching for meaningful work. In order 132

151 9 D S O P s C u s t o m e r s to best support the sometimes dynamic organizational changes within the Staff, DSOP management must be willing to maintain a flexible and adaptive structure, shifting personnel where needed. Issuance of the Executive Order recommended earlier will reinvigorate and clearly define DSOP s role in the CT architecture and will help institutionalize DSOPs relationship with the White House. Finding: DSOP s proximity to the National Security Staff enhances its influence within the interagency. Former NSC directors have seen great potential for DSOP as an arm of the Staff, provided DSOP s functions are clarified and they are able to provide quality and timely products. Those taskings assigned to DSOP by either the NSC Policy Committees or National Security Staff officials come with significant (albeit informal) authority. Discussion: The dual-reporting chain of the director of NCTC to the President (via the Staff) has been important for the bureaucratic standing of DSOP. The Directorate is dependent at least in part upon the NSC system for influencing participation and action from departments and agencies. Activity at DSOP initiates from or is requested by multiple sources. Some of DSOPs activity is self generated, some is required by legislation, and some is requested by interagency partners. Those taskings assigned to DSOP by either the NSC Policy Committees (PC/DC/IPCs) or National Security Staff officials come with significant (albeit informal) authority. Recent evidence indicates that DSOP operates most effectively within the interagency when its interagency partners clearly understand the effort is in response to a White House request or guidance, such as a request to develop regional dynamic plans. That said, based on interviews with several former Staff officials, DSOP has periodically struggled to deliver timely and high-quality products in response to White House requests. As with any organization nested within a large bureaucracy, DSOP has on occasion had trouble clearly understanding and responding to the requirements levied on them by National Security Staff and other White House officials. Some directors within the Staff, which is relatively flat and unencumbered by bureaucratic structures, have perceived DSOP as tending to focus on plans for the sake of plans, rather than on how those plans impact events on the ground. Additionally, some former Staff officials have 133

152 9 D S O P s C u s t o m e r s expressed frustration that the priorities and activities of DSOP s functional working groups have not always been clearly linked with the priorities and activities of the Staff. Overall, those interviewed continue to see great potential in DSOP. The workforce challenges of identified in Chapter 8 came through as a consistent theme during these interviews. Some noted DSOP s high turnover of personnel has hindered a stronger institutional relationship with the Staff. Also of note was the problem of recruiting and training individuals with requisite skills and experience. These interviews suggest a strong desire to leverage DSOP as an interagency mechanism that serves as an arm of an overworked National Security Staff. Many of the recommendations already presented in this study will address these Staff concerns and promote a more active partnership with DSOP. However, this partnership pivots on clear understandings about both the substance and timeliness of products being requested. Clearer expectations on what is required must be established and channels of communications at both the working and senior levels must be enhanced. Finding: The dynamic and fluid nature of the terrorism threat make it difficult to clearly distinguish between policy formulation, strategy development, and planning. This has led to a blurring of the lines between responsibilities of the National Security Staff and the DSOP. Discussion: As discussed in Chapter 1, there are no common definitions of the component parts of the end-to-end management spectrum policy, strategy, resourcing, planning, execution, and assessments. In different situations, these terms are used to describe very different processes. The Strategic Framework presented definitions which were used by the Study Team, but these are certainly not universally accepted. This definitional issue has been a perennial problem between the interagency and the White House staff. While the National Security Staff is generally responsible for establishing policy and strategy, the current version of the National Implementation Plan, developed by DSOP, can arguably be characterized as more of a set 134

153 9 D S O P s C u s t o m e r s of strategic objectives than a plan. Likewise, the current National Security Strategy is as much a statement of administration policy as a strategy. These lines become even more blurred in the area of dynamic planning. As illustrated in Chapter 6, because of to the urgent nature of the threat, regional counterterrorism planning often proceeds without the luxury of being nested in broader regional policies and strategic objectives. Often times, dynamic planning involves policy analysis and the teeing up of options to senior decision-makers in the NSC system. While the IRTPA authorized DSOP to develop strategic operational plans and assessments, as already noted, it does not set a clear definition on the full nature of that activity and over time it has evolved. DSOP, as discussed earlier for instance, has taken on a role in providing analytical support for OMB even though it has no statutory responsibility to do so. Because of its location within the federal bureaucracy, NCTC and DSOP are in a unique position to not just develop plans for existing policies and strategies but also to evaluate and recommend USG counterterrorism policy options. DSOP, as a component of NCTC, has good visibility of the ever-changing threat environment. Through the SIST and the counterterrorism interagency working groups, DSOP has reachback to the policy structures of the interagency. Through its relationship with the National Security Directorate at OMB, DSOP can holistically evaluate the resource implications of counterterrorism policy decision. Of course, DSOP is constrained in this regard as its view of National Security policy is through the lens of a single mission. As noted earlier, the National Security Staff generally operates at the governmentwide policy and strategic level with its portfolio encompassing every national security mission. Only the Staff can look across the broad spectrum of USG national security interests to ensure our counterterrorism policy is consistent with and properly nested in those interests. For this reason, DSOP can add significant value to the Staff policy apparatus, but as properly articulated in the 9/11 Commission Report, overall policy coordination belongs in the National Security Council /11 Commission Report (2004),

154 9 D S O P s C u s t o m e r s Consolidated Recommendations DSOP s viability as an integrating mechanism for the counterterrorism community is dependent on strong and productive relationship with the National Security Staff. The recommendations below again taken as a group are intended to address the findings above by ensuring there is: a clear understanding by DSOP of what is required of them by National Security Staff, an ability to look across the end-to-end system management to holistically integrate policies, strategies and plans, and a seamless and effective management structure within the EOP able to tee up and evaluate polices, strategies and plans. Recommendation: With the stand-up of the CT Board of Directors, the CSG should focus on analyzing policy options and evaluating plans for that higher body. The CSG should be co-chaired by the senior director for counterterrorism on the National Security Staff and the Deputy Director of DSOP. While organizational ties should be established and nurtured with other elements on the National Security staff, the deputy director of DSOP should regularly report to CSG members the status of those relationships, particularly the status of taskings being assigned to DSOP from the various National Security staff elements. Note: This recommendation mirrors a similar structure on the Reconstruction & Stabilization Integrated Policy Committee, which is co-chaired by the coordinator for reconstruction and stabilization at the State Department and the National Security Staff s director of stability operations. 136

155 9 D S O P s C u s t o m e r s Recommendation: The National Security Staff should proactively use NCTC and DSOP to evaluate counterterrorism policy and to tee up policy options for consideration by the CT BOD and the CSG. DSOP should develop more robust capability to support the National Security Staff in this regard leveraging its existing organizational ties to the Intelligence Community and the interagency policy staffs. Non-Federal Partners Today s security environment must recognize the whole-of-government aspect of counterterrorism and planning must expand beyond the current federal-centric collaboration focus. State and local authorities, as well as the private sector, have equities that must be brought to the table and significant capabilities that must be accounted for. DSOP has begun to work with the broader intra-governmental community (Federal, State, local, territorial, and tribal governments of the United States) in selected instances. As discussed in Chapter 6, DSOP, in partnership with DHS, held a series of table top exercises to educate State and local officials on the types of support they could expect in the event of a Mumbai-style attack on a major metropolitan area. However, DSOP turns to DHS to bring non-federal issues forward. In fact, the Homeland Security Act of 2002 provides specific direction that the Secretary of Homeland Security shall coordinate with State and local government personnel, agencies, and authorities, and with the private sector, to ensure adequate planning, equipment, training, and exercise activities. 143 One perspective is that State and local authorities face a wide array of challenges every day. Preparedness efforts may include pandemic influenza, hurricanes, and illegal immigration, as well as terrorism. DHS, looking across the spectrum of State and local challenges and working closely with these intra-governmental authorities, is in the best position to articulate existing and needed capabilities for a particular mission such as counterterrorism. Nonetheless, a networked and collaborative environment, with full 143 Homeland Security Act of 2002, Public Law , 116 Stat

156 9 D S O P s C u s t o m e r s participation in the planning process, is critical to assessing risks, defining roles and responsibilities, identifying capabilities and capability gaps, and determining resource requirements. Former Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security James Loy says planning entities such as DSOP must make room in their planning culture for State and local perspectives. DHS, in fact, has written this collaborative approach into its planning doctrine. The National Response Framework, 144 developed by DHS as a guide to how the nation conducts all-hazards response, emphasizes the importance of planning as the cornerstone of national preparedness and states that Federal, State, tribal and local government planning is mutually supportive. It notes that planning across the full range of homeland security operations is an inherent responsibility of every level of government. The challenge remains effectively integrating the perspectives and requirements of thousands of intra-governmental, private-sector and nongovernmental organizations into the counterterrorism planning process. Possible options include: Establishing a counterterrorism strategic planning council to advise both NCTC and DHS, made up of representatives of the National Governors Association, the Business Executives for National Security, the National Emergency Managers Association, police chiefs of major metropolitan cities, and others. Expanding and leveraging the existing counterterrorism planning capabilities at State, and local levels. Establishing rotational positions within DSOP to be filled by State and local officials on temporary assignment. The study team encourages NCTC and DSOP, in partnership with DHS, to explore opportunities and possible statutory changes to allow for collaborative counterterrorism planning at all levels of government and the private sector. 144 Available online at: 138

157 A V i e w f r o m t h e H i l l 10 10: A View from the Hill In this way we advance a new strategic vision and a new organizational structure - so we will never again have to explain how something like September 11 could have happened. Senator Joseph Lieberman A number of questions have been thematic throughout this report, and several relate to Congress and the circumstances under which it authorized DSOP. The definition of strategic operational planning and the correlation between responsibilities and authorities are two of the most important of those issues. From the beginning, members of Congress struggled with the mission, authorities, and name of what would become DSOP. The idea of this new entity originated in the 9/11 Commission report, but the 9/11 Commission s vision for DSOP was not something Congress was prepared to accept wholesale. The 9/11 Commission recommended a joint operational planning capability for NCTC, deliberately using Defense Department concepts and even equating this new entity with the Pentagon s J-3 function (operational planning). 145 This technical direction raised some questions, causing confusion in the understanding of both the term joint operational planning, and the mission associated with it. The House of Representatives was wary of the type of planning recommended by the 9/11 Commission, favoring instead a Directorate of Strategic Planning charged with providing strategic guidance and plans. 146 The Senate, by contrast, took a more expansive view of planning than either the 9/11 Commission or the House and instead referenced a Directorate of Planning tasked with developing interagency counterterrorism plans in general /11 commissioners commented that our concept combines the J-2 and J-3 functions (intelligence and operational planning) in one agency, keeping overall policy coordination where it belongs, in the National Security Council. (Commission Report, 403). 146 H.10 (2004), 1021 (j). This bill also mentions strategic operational planning as one of NCTC s primary missions. Language in this section, however, was borrowed directly from EO and it appears that deletion of the word operational was an oversight rather than an intentional introduction of the SOP concept. Usage can be found in H (d)(2). 147 S.2845 (2004), 143 (h). 139

158 10 A V i e w f r o m t h e H i l l Negotiations on these points took place in the context of a rather acrimonious IRTPA conference. Conferees decided to compromise on the entity s name, deferring to the strategic operational planning term used by President Bush in creating NCTC under executive authority. 148 That compromise served the needs of advancing the legislation but did not represent a deep consensus on the concept of SOP. The language in the enacted IRTPA that most clearly implies a definition of SOP reads as follows: Strategic operational planning shall include the mission, objectives to be achieved, tasks to be performed, interagency coordination of operational activities, and the assignment of roles and responsibilities. 149 Yet whether this paragraph constitutes a definition of SOP is based on the interpretation of the reader. Specifying what SOP shall include rather than what it is appears to indicate that the list in this paragraph leaves room for DSOP to expand beyond those core tasks. In addition to the compromise on the name and definition of SOP, the House of Representatives entered into conference having given DSOP only one mission, to conduct strategic operational planning for counterterrorism activities, integrating all instruments of national power, including diplomatic, financial, military, intelligence, homeland security, and law enforcement activities within and among agencies. The Senate offered additional language that greatly informed and expanded upon the mission in the House bill. Rather than compromising between the Senate and House positions, however, conferees in an unusual step further broadened DSOP s mission responsibilities to include two additional items, developing a strategy to intercept terrorists, find terrorist travel facilitators, and constrain terrorist mobility and having primary responsibility within the United States Government for conducting net assessments of terrorist threats. 150 Although the enacted IRTPA gave DSOP a more expansive mission than either the House or Senate bills, that was not the case on the authorities DSOP would be given to accomplish this mission. Upon 148 Executive Order irtpa, 1021(j)(2). 150 irtpa, 1021(f)(1)(f) & (g). 140

159 A V i e w f r o m t h e H i l l 10 enactment, the IRTPA split the difference between relatively broad authorities in the Senate bill and relatively narrow authorities in the House bill. The Senate entered into conference with the position that the director of NCTC, on the behalf of DSOP, should report directly to the president on strategic operational planning and advise the president both on the selection of certain appointees and on the extent to which departmental programs and budgets reflect governmental priorities. It similarly proposed that DSOP be authorized to assign responsibilities for counterterrorism operations to the departments and agencies, to monitor the implementation of operations, and to receive reports from departments and agencies on their progress implementing assignments identified by DSOP plans. 151 The House, on the other hand, did not think the director needed to report to the president, and offered few meaningful authorities over the departments and agencies. Yet rather than providing authorities exceeding those in the Senate bill, as had been done with respect to DSOP s mission responsibilities, conferees halved the authorities outlined in the Senate version. As a result, the IRTPA as enacted provided the authority only for NCTC s director to report to the president on strategic operational planning and for DSOP to assign departmental responsibilities and monitor departmental implementation of plans. Importantly, of the authorities eliminated in conference, two of the three pertained to DSOP s relationship with the president. Looking back on the IRTPA s legislative history suggests that Congress may not have adequately aligned DSOP s authorities with its mission. To date, however, NCTC has not requested additional authorities. Admiral Redd testified at his confirmation that responsibility and accountability have a third, inseparable companion. That companion is authority. That said, my initial inclination is that the authorities are sufficient. 152 Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) chose to pursue this issue further during Director Leiter s confirmation hearing. Do you have the clout that you would need to convene people, let alone get direction, Sen. Whitehouse asked. How do you compete among bigger, stronger, closer-to-the-president entities that you would seek to bend to your will? Director Leiter oriented his response away from 151 S (h)(3)(c)&(d) & (j)(2)(c). 152 Adm. Redd before SSCI confirmation hearing, 21 July

160 10 A V i e w f r o m t h e H i l l statutory authorities in order to focus on relationships with leaders: What I require and what I so far have gotten over the past five to six months is a strong hand from the National and Homeland Security Councils. 153 DSOP s legislative history of the IRTPA provides some context for the current relationship between DSOP and Congress. However, many other factors come into play, including congressional committee oversight arrangements and perceptions of key committee staff regarding how DSOP has fulfilled its mandate. The rest of this chapter discusses those factors and provides recommendations for both Congress and the executive branch on how to ensure a more transparent and effective relationship. Finding: The current committee jurisdictional boundaries reduce congressional oversight of DSOP, decreasing their familiarity with the organization, its operations, and its authorities. Discussion: As PNSR s Forging a New Shield concluded, one of the central problems with the contemporary national security system is the fact that Congress conducts no routine oversight of interagency issues because no committee has jurisdiction over the national security system. 154 DSOP is an archetype of this problem. Although situated within an Intelligence Community organization, it does not fall fully under the intelligence committees jurisdiction because of its interagency orientation. Similarly, while its initial authorization fell clearly to the governmental affairs committees, those committees have evolved to focus very heavily on homeland security at the expense of DSOP s wider interagency involvement. As a consequence of this jurisdictional gap, nearly all of the instances in which the director of NCTC has been called to testify before Congress have pertained to the substance of terrorist threat rather than the effectiveness of interagency counterterrorism effort Leiter nomination SSCI hearing, 05 May PNSR (2008), The Team presently is aware of two instances in which hearings focused on the interagency planning process. The first, titled Improving Interagency Coordination for the Global War on Terror and Beyond, was held by the House Armed Services Committee on 04 April It was followed on 04 October 2007 by a hearing titled Homeland Security Beyond Our Borders: Examining the Status of Counterterrorism Coordination Overseas, held by the Subcommittee on Border, Maritime, and Global Counterterrorism of the House Committee on Homeland Security. 142

161 A V i e w f r o m t h e H i l l 10 Congress must create a more rational process to review the strategies, plans and, as necessary, the failures of our national security missions. The current rules regarding committee jurisdictions reduces congressional oversight of interagency organizations, including DSOP. Rep. Ike Skelton (D-MO), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, acknowledged that overseeing and legislating interagency national security matters is especially difficult for Congress because these topics cross jurisdictional lines. 156 Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D- CA) similarly noted this concern. It is very easy to get caught up in jurisdictional battles, she commented. We have that here in the Congress, and we have seen it quite a bit. 157 In the course of PNSR interviews with congressional staff, it became clear that at present, DSOP lacks a champion in either chamber of Congress. 158 Recommendation: Congress should establish a Counterterrorism Working Group in each chamber to look across committee jurisdictional boundaries, evaluate the effectiveness of the wholeof-government counterterrorism effort, and make recommendations to the relevant committees. These Working Groups should be comprised of the chairmen and ranking member (or their designee) of each committee with jurisdiction over counterterrorism matters. Finding: Congress has recently noted positive developments at DSOP. However, residual perceptions from early frustrations with DSOP are still evident. Discussion: Until recently, Congress has not focused on DSOP as a priority interest. However, the SSCI conference report of FY 2010 Intelligence Authorization Act stated that the Committee is encouraged by recent improvements in NCTC s Department [sic] of Strategic Operational Planning, a function the Committee will continue to focus on throughout 2009 and It has also demonstrated an increased focus on the interagency counterterrorism issues with the passage of Section 1242 of the 2010 NDAA formally titled the 156 Rep. Skelton s opening comments in 04 April 2006 HASC hearing. 157 Rep. Loretta Sanchez s opening comment at 04 Oct 2007 HCHS hearing. 158 interviews with congressional committee staffers. 143

162 10 A V i e w f r o m t h e H i l l Success in Countering Al Qaeda Reporting Requirements Act of 2009 which requires an annual report from the president for the next three years that would include: A judgment on the adequacy of interagency integration of the counterterrorism programs and activities and the balance of resource commitments among such departments and agencies ; A delineation of the boundaries and integration between the strategic operational planning role of the National Counterterrorism Center and similar organizations in the NSC, State and Defense Departments, CIA, and other departments and agencies; and An analysis of the extent to which specific Federal appropriations have been mapped to agency tasks as directed in the NCTC s National Implementation Plan. 159 While conference language has begun to reflect a changing perspective and increased focus on NCTC/DSOP, in interviews with select committee staff, residual perceptions from early frustrations with DSOP are still evident. These frustrations principally focused around two major issues: Concern that the first NIP document did not meet the high expectations that was envisioned by Congress and DSOP s Executive Branch partners, and A perceived unwillingness of NCTC to share its products with key committees and staff. PNSR presently is aware of two hearings that focused specifically on the process of DSOP s work. Rep. Curt Weldon (R-PA) introduced the first, an April 2006 House Armed Services Committee hearing titled Improving Interagency Coordination for the Global War on Terror and Beyond, by noting that if the way we are currently arranged is 159 H.R (b)(1)(b), (c), & (j). 144

163 A V i e w f r o m t h e H i l l 10 not flexible or responsive or comprehensive enough to meet this war s front line demands and that appears to be so we must critically examine our interagency relationships. 160 This critical House Armed Services Committee hearing was followed in October 2007 by another held by the Subcommittee on Border, Maritime, and Global Counterterrorism of the House Committee on Homeland Security. Rep. Loretta Sanchez s comments express the disapproval within Congress more forcefully and comprehensively than any other, and warrant quoting at length. After 6 years from 9/11, we are still struggling to coordinate our Nation s counterterrorism work. Congress passed the 2004 Intelligence Reform Act to try to address this problem, among many others. It requires that the National Counterterrorism Center, or NCTC, coordinate the strategic operational planning for all of the government s counterterrorism efforts. And while I understand that NCTC has a general plan for this coordination from June of 2006, we have no information on the development of operational guidance for implementing that broad plan. And we have heard from agencies within the Department of Homeland Security that they have not received clear guidance from the Department or from NCTC on how to best coordinate counterterrorism work with other agencies. And quite frankly, that is unacceptable. As the committee who has oversight on this, we believe that NCTC must do a better job of coordinating those counterterrorism efforts. 161 Rep. Sanchez was not alone in her frustration at this hearing. On the same occasion, Rep. James Langevin (D-RI) commented that NCTC was the agency tasked with developing a comprehensive strategy for combating terrorism abroad, but it is troubling that we still seem to lack this vital strategy. 162 Similarly, Rep. Sheila Jackson- Lee (D-TX) observed that the NCTC was created three years ago in order to enhance and coordinate our counterterrorism efforts abroad, 160 Rep. Curt Weldon s opening comments at 04 April 2006 HASC hearing. 161 Rep. Loretta Sanchez s opening comment at 04 Oct 2007 HCHS hearing. 162 Rep. James Langevin s comment at 04 Oct 2007 HCHS hearing. 145

164 10 A V i e w f r o m t h e H i l l however progress has yet to be seen and there have been problems and jurisdictional issues that could easily be resolved if the NCTC performed its prescribed functions. 163 Such frustration with DSOP principally in the 2006 and 2007 period was the result, in part, of the initial NIP. On Capitol Hill, this plan was widely viewed as a misstep perhaps reflecting opinions of some of DSOP s interagency partners. To many, it merely compiled interagency counterterrorism activities into a list without coordinating them, challenging them, or making them actionable. 164 However, frustration with DSOP was based not only on the perceived quality of the first NIP. Regardless of the plan s quality, Congress has struggled to get access to this plan and other information from DSOP. Indeed, DSOP has often overemphasized information security at the expense of constructive information sharing with Congress. NCTC rightly is concerned with securing the NIP from excessive distribution, yet the context of America s national security has changed from need to know to need to share. 165 DSOP does itself and its mission a disservice by failing to circulate its products with key congressional Members and staff. Although Representatives Sanchez, Langevin, and Jackson-Lee chose to focus their comments on the quality of counterterrorism planning, it was the issue of information sharing that led the Subcommittee on Border, Maritime, and Global Counterterrorism to hold this hearing. The hearing responded to a GAO report on counterterrorism in the context of law enforcement in which NCTC officials would not discuss the plan, its contents, or any issues raised in this report. 166 Some professional staff continue to experience such problems accessing DSOP products Prepared statement of Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee at 04 Oct 2007 HCHS hearing. 164 interviews with congressional committee staffers /11 Commission Report (2004). 166 GAO, Law Enforcement Agencies Lack Directives to Assist Foreign Nations to Identify, Disrupt, and Prosecute Terrorists (Washington, 2007). 167 interviews with congressional committee staffers 146

165 A V i e w f r o m t h e H i l l 10 Recommendation: ODNI and NCTC should actively engage with congressional members and staff to better educate them on the broad range of activities currently under way at DSOP. Higher priority should be given to information sharing, especially with the concerned members and committees. Recommendation: Section 1242 of the FY 2010 NDAA directs significant new congressional reporting requirements. The EOP and DSOP should leverage this opportunity to establish more robust lines of communication with its congressional constituencies. 147

166 10 A V i e w f r o m t h e H i l l 148

167 C o n c l u s i o n s 11 11: Conclusions and Lessons for the Interagency Community It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the most responsive to change. Charles Darwin Both the 9/11 Commission and the IRTPA articulated a need for a wholeof-government integrating mechanism to confront terrorism, and in 2004 the IRTPA established the nation s first dedicated interagency CT planning cell, mandating it to conduct strategic operational plan for counterterrorism, integrating all instruments of national power. Over the past five years DSOP has worked to carve out the interagency space in which to fulfill this function. This evolution of an interagency team has taken place within a vertically oriented system in which the concept of empowered horizontal teams for cross-cutting national missions remains somewhat foreign. Overall, DSOP has made significant progress in fulfilling its mission to provide the connective tissue between national counterterrorism policy and strategy established by the president, normally via the National Security Council system, and counterterrorism operations conducted by the departments and agencies. The Directorate has added value to its customers in the interagency space and the interagency community primarily by serving as a facilitator collecting information, hosting forums, and coordinating activities within the interagency but also as a source of expertise on the counterterrorism mission. It is conducting a broad range of interagency planning, assessment, and resource oversight to help ensure a holistic and whole-of-government approach to counterterrorism. Specifically, DSOP is involved with three distinct types of planning, policy analysis, teeing up policy options to decision-makers, table top exercises, a range of assessments, and resources oversight activities. Over the course of its evolution, DSOP has trended from the most strategic deliberate planning (i.e., 149

168 11 C o n c l u s i o n s the NIP-WOT) to a greater focus on problem solving, policy analysis, and the more operational planning required to confront a dynamic threat environment. Its assessments are expanding from a limited near-term focus to the institutionalization of a broader assessments regime that accounts for the long-term evolution of the adversary. In the area of resources, DSOP has forged a strong relationship with OMB, collaborating in areas such as the issuance of budget guidance to departments and agencies with a role in the CT mission. While DSOP embodies one of the most mature models of a national-level interagency team in the U.S. government today, numerous obstacles persist and prevent DSOP from becoming an even more efficient and effective entity. Many of these impediments are systemic, ranging from issues of authorities and resources to those stemming from cultural differences and governmentwide human capital constraints. Others are more specific to the inner workings of the Directorate itself, such as challenges related to its processes, products, and personnel systems. The study examined the range of challenges associated with conflicting mandates and cultures, and key relationships between: DSOP and the NSC; DSOP and departments and agencies; and DSOP and Congress. It looked deep inside the Directorate, but focused on understanding the systemic impediments to achieving a whole-of-government approach to counterterrorism. Major systemic impediments identified in the report include: DSOP is involved in a significant breadth of activity, but department and agency stakeholders have varying degrees of awareness of these activities and the value-added of DSOP to its customers is not universally understood. DSOP s relationship with the National Security Staff (NSS) is not well institutionalized it is dependent on the personality of NSS directors and how they choose to use DSOP, as well as organizational realignments within the NSS. 150

169 C o n c l u s i o n s 11 Overlapping authorities real or perceived have resulted in lack of participation by certain departments and agencies. Current congressional committee structure is not equipped to oversee interagency mechanisms such a DSOP, resulting in confusion over jurisdiction and no champion in Congress. The USG is currently unable to organize interagency resources and capabilities to anticipate emerging problems within the CT mission, as well as to prioritize and make trade-offs across multiple mission areas. DSOP workforce planning and development needs are challenged by the scarcity across the USG of needed core competencies in strategic planning and assessments, a lack of viable career paths within the organization, significant levels of turnover, and uneven participation of agencies in terms of number and quality of personnel. Numerous integrating functions and authorities are proposed to enable DSOP to more effectively operate within this context, and all are linked to core problems impeding performance of DSOP and the CT community writ large. There is no silver bullet no single recommendation that ensures an integrated and unified counterterrorism mission. Rather, a series of recommendations building blocks for reform that will lead to a more integrated mission. Several of the major solutions put forth in this report include: DSOP should remain in the Intelligence Community. In the U.S. government s current organizational structure there is no ideal place to house DSOP, and for the short term until the U.S. government carves out a clear interagency space between departments and the White House it should remain within the NCTC, both physically and organizationally. 151

170 11 C o n c l u s i o n s The President should issue an Executive Order to address the full scope of the counterterrorism architecture to define the lanes in the road within the interagency, facilitate a common understanding of the scope of CT, create productive organizational relationships, increase department and agency accountability, and thereby empower DSOP to serve as an integrating mechanism for CT in the U.S government. NCTC should establish the position of Associate Director to serve as the principle advisor to the Director on international affairs and foreign policy. This individual should be a senior Foreign Service officer at the ambassadorial rank on rotational assignment from the State Department. The Counterterrorism Steering Group (CSG) should be cochaired by the senior director for counterterrorism on the National Security Staff and the deputy director of DSOP. With the stand-up of the deputy secretary-level Counterterrorism Board of Directors, the CSG should focus on analyzing policy options and evaluating plans for that higher body. DSOP should develop a strategic workforce plan that specifically addresses the Directorate s unique workforce needs, identifies numbers and types of positions required, and includes established goals for agency representation in the DSOP workforce. As proposed in the 9/11 Commission Report, the Director of NCTC should be given the responsibility to provide advice to the president on the choice of personnel to lead the entities of the departments and agencies focused on counterterrorism, and also to have the right to evaluate individuals assigned to the Center. 168 In addition to findings and recommendations specific to DSOP and the CT community, this study offers valuable lessons for the national security community writ large. For high-priority, high-complexity issue areas such as CT, PNSR has found that an interagency team can be an effective mechanism to integrate whole-of-government capabilities 168 9/11 Commission Report (2004),

171 C o n c l u s i o n s 11 and to fulfill various functions on the end-to-end spectrum of national security processes. 169 While each national mission and issue area is distinct due to a unique set of internal system and external environment dynamics this particular case study can provide valuable lessons to the broader U.S. government on its approach to complex national missions that cut across multiple departments and agencies. Specifically, this study highlights the importance of: Interagency coordination mechanisms or teams below the level of the National Security Staff to allow the Staff to focus on highlevel national strategy and policy; A reporting chain to the president to convey the informal authority associated with proximity to the president that is required to lead an effective interagency team; Untangling of overlapping mandates and authorities to ensure that all actors understand the need for the existence of, and leadership from, an interagency team; Seamless and institutionalized linkage to customers in the interagency space including relevant NS Staff Directorates, NSC Committees, and OMB staff that is necessary to stay relevant and add value as organizational arrangements and policy priorities shift within and across administrations; Strong links between policy, strategy, and resources critical to turning policy, strategy, and plans into action, and especially difficult for complex national missions that lack mission-based budgeting and require quick, strategic resource tradeoffs to account for rapidly changing priorities; A government-wide human capital system that provides personnel with the necessary experience and expertise to form an effective interagency team; and Champions on the Hill that allows for congressional support for the interagency team and streamlined oversight of the national mission. 169 PNSR (2008) 153

172 11 C o n c l u s i o n s 154

173 1 A p p e n d i x 1 : R e c o m m e n d a t i o n s Appendix 1: Recommendations DSOP Today Recommendation 5.1: The Directorate of Strategic Operational Planning should remain within the National Counterterrorism Center both physically and organizationally at least for the shortterm. Planning and Assessments Recommendation 6.1: Through Executive Order, define DSOP s role in strategic operational planning (SOP) with a greater level of specificity, which should include a caveat that DSOP can fulfill other functions as driven by customer needs (e.g., and other duties as assigned by the president ). In addition to current statutory functions, specific functions related to SOP should include: a. Deliberate planning: Long-term planning that articulates the mission and objectives to be achieved and codifies roles and responsibilities for the national counterterrorism mission writlarge or for a specific functional/geographic area. (e.g., NIP- WOT, action plans, etc.). b. Dynamic planning: Near-term functional/geographic planning that articulates the mission, objectives to be achieved, and tasks to be performed, defines roles and responsibilities, and as appropriate, conducts policy analysis, tees up policy options, and coordinates interagency activities for an emerging crisis or opportunity (e.g., IA task force, problem-based planning, threat specific planning, etc.). 155

174 1 A p p e n d i x 1 : R e c o m m e n d a t i o n s c. Contingency planning: Scenario-based ( what if ) functional/ geographic planning that articulates objectives to be achieved, tasks to be performed, and roles and responsibilities for a potential crisis or opportunity (e.g., countermeasures, escalation options, etc.). Recommendation 6.2: Prototype an IPC, DC and PC standardized decision support process for gaining presidential approval of a limited number of high-priority DSOP plans during plan development and at plan completion. Overall plan approval and resolution and/or identification of major issues would be done at the IPC level. The decision support process would facilitate approval by DC, PC, and ultimately the president with minimal impact on schedules (requiring an average of minutes, not hours, per week). Scheduled dates for DC and PC review and approval would instill discipline in the process and accelerate and/or elevate decision-making on conflicting views and approaches. Recommendation 6.3: To better link the NIP to current CT policy and strategic direction, update the plan and include it as a classified Strategic Objectives annex to the successor of the current National Strategy to Combat Terrorism (2006). Recommendation 6.4: In addition to adding value as a static umbrella document outlining USG strategic objectives, as well as departmental roles and responsibilities, ensure the NIP-WOT is actionable by: Continuing in-progress reviews of those strategic objectives; and Furthering the regionalization of strategic objectives to tee up policy and resource priorities. Recommendation 6.5: As DSOP continues to evolve, it should continue to play a role in all types of planning, but should focus on dynamic planning as a core competency due to its proven viability and value added among stakeholder communities. 156

175 1 A p p e n d i x 1 : R e c o m m e n d a t i o n s Recommendation 6.6: DSOP should seek to adopt plan formats that resonate with all stakeholders to the greatest extent possible 170 and limit the use of matrices primarily as a tool for senior leaders and as a starting point for synchronizing and rehearsing the first plan; they should not be used in lieu of a comprehensive plan or to coordinate implementation. Recommendation 6.7: NCTC/DSOP should lead a public/private partnership to: 1) identify and update criteria for successand 2) study initiatives to establish outcomes-based metrics for other difficultto-define mission areas such as post-conflict reconstruction and stabilization. Recommendation 6.8: NCTC should further develop a longer-term assessments capability that will provide insight into future terrorist capabilities, intentions, and vulnerabilities. The USG, led by the National Security Staff, should put in place a formal process for adjusting programs, strategic plans, and policies in anticipation of future trends. Resource Oversight Recommendation 7.1: Continue to nurture and strengthen the OMB/ NSC/DSOP relationship as the mechanism to evaluate the effectiveness and adequacy of USG CT programs. Recommendation 7.2: CT program and budget guidance should be nested within broader national security guidance as well as any future updates to the National Strategy to Combat Terrorism. Institute a set of processes led by the National Security Staff and OMB that would periodically produce three documents: a National Security Review to assess strategic challenges and capabilities, a National Security Strategy to focus the Executive Branch, and a National Security Planning and Resource Guidance to implement and fund the strategy. 170 The recently developed CT portion of the Af-Pak plan has been viewed by some interagency stakeholders as one potential interagency format to replicate. 157

176 1 A p p e n d i x 1 : R e c o m m e n d a t i o n s Recommendation 7.3: Through Executive Order, vest the director of NCTC with the responsibility to oversee all USG counterterrorism funding as an analytic arm of OMB and recommend such realignments to OMB and the NSC. Any such realignment recommendations should be made in coordination with department heads of affected agencies. Recommendation 7.4: Congress should provide more flexible authority to transfer funds between departments to meet short-term emergent contingencies, fund new initiatives, and accommodate shifting counterterrorism priorities. Recommendation 7.5: OMB should consider the further step of requesting an annual two percent (less than $2 billion) of the USG CT budget as a contingency and initiative fund. OMB would allocate these funds to specific programs and agencies in the year of execution to allow rapid support of the president s policy objectives for counterterrorism. To ensure Congressional support, the president would be required to annually report to Congress on the state of the nation s counterterrorism efforts and provide notifications as to how the funds will be used to reduce unacceptable risk or capitalize on strategic opportunities. Of this, half should be requested to address emergent domestic CT needs and appropriated through the homeland security appropriation subcommittee. Additionally, half should be requested to address international CT needs and appropriated through the Foreign Operations Appropriations subcommittees. Recommendation 7.6: In coordination with the interagency community and OMB, DSOP should develop and submit to Congress a consolidated interagency CT budget display which will serve as a crosscutt ing analysis of all federal government agencies counterterrorism budgets. The integrated budget justification material should reflect how each department and agency s budget aligns with underlying counterterrorism assessments, strategy, and resource guidance. 158

177 1 A p p e n d i x 1 : R e c o m m e n d a t i o n s Recommendation 7.7: DSOP, in coordination with OMB and the NSS, should be responsible for consolidating other congressional reporting requirements (as specified in NDAA for FY2010, Section 1242), which includes an analysis of the extent to which specific federal appropriations: have been mapped to agency tasks as directed in the NCTC s National Implementation Plan; have produced tangible, calculable results in efforts to combat and defeat Al Qaeda, its related affiliates, and its violent ideology; or contribute to investments that have expected payoffs in the medium to long term. Managing the Enterprise Recommendation 8.1: DSOP should assign a dedicated senior-level position to oversee the integration function for the organization. Recommendation 8.2: Reconstitute the Senior Interagency Steering Team by: Identifying its role in the counterterrorism architecture executive order; Including a SIST charter as part of implementing guidance issued from the Assistant to the President & Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security & Counterterrorism; Providing the director of NCTC with authority to concur with department and agency nominations to the SIST; and Encouraging the active participation of the associate deputy director of DSOP in regular deliberations of the SIST. Recommendation 8.3: DSOP should sponsor a formal mission analysis for the CT mission to identify the full range of ongoing and potential activities across the interagency and intergovernmental communities. 159

178 1 A p p e n d i x 1 : R e c o m m e n d a t i o n s The mission analysis should serve as a baseline to guide participation in future strategic planning and budgetary guidance by all interagency partners with a role in counterterrorism. Recommendation 8.4: DSOP should: Identify, define, and document its mission critical competencies; Document and formalize the training programs currently used for on-the-job training; Partner with organizations such as National Security Professional Development Integration Office (NSPD-IO) or others to develop training curriculum and programs for strategic planners and assessors to address the USG need for these skills; Work with partnering agencies, the Intelligence Community, and NSPD-IO to determine whether interagency planners could be a National Security Professional specialty; and Partner with the Office of Personnel Management to develop government-wide series/standards for interagency planners. Recommendation 8.5: DSOP officials need to systematically review exit interviews to identify potential patterns or themes that may require correction. They also should conduct a follow-up study of a sample of former DSOP employees who have departed to identify the advantages, as well as the challenges, of DSOP employment and why they left. DSOP officials also need to determine an acceptable turnover rate and then develop an action plan to address undesired turnover. This plan should include an assessment of the use of recruitment, promotion, retention, and compensation incentives. Recommendation 8.6: NCTC and DSOP should develop a strategic workforce plan that: Specifically addresses DSOP s unique workforce needs; 160

179 1 A p p e n d i x 1 : R e c o m m e n d a t i o n s Identifies numbers and types of positions required; and Includes established goals for agency representation in DSOP workforce. Note: While a Workforce Plan is something usually done by departments/agencies from an enterprise-wide perspective, and is not particularly common for such a small group (e.g. DSOP s approximately 110 personnel), DSOP s uniqueness and nascent capabilities makes a case for undertaking such strategic human capital planning within DSOP; at least in its initial phases until the human capital process and relationship within NCTC/ODNI has matured. Recommendation 8.7: DSOP should identify the numbers of employees and levels of expertise it requires as detailees from its partner agencies to more effectively accomplish the DSOP mission. Through Executive Order and corresponding implementing guidance, interagency detailee requirements should be clearly stipulated. DSOP should also develop an outreach strategy that includes participation at the top levels of the organization, to gain full partnership and cooperation of the other agencies. DSOP s Customers Recommendation 9.1: Through an Executive Order clearly define the existing counterterrorism architecture of the United States government, with particular focus on interagency coordinating mechanisms and the role of DSOP. Included in this order would be the role of DSOP with a greater level of specificity to include: Its role in deliberate, dynamic, and contingency planning; conducting assessment; and advising on resources. The responsibility of departments and agencies to faithfully pursue all roles and responsibilities assigned to it by DSOP. 161

180 1 A p p e n d i x 1 : R e c o m m e n d a t i o n s Broad outlines of the personnel contribution that departments and agencies will make to DSOP though rotational assignments, including senior leadership assignments. The role of the SIST as the primary liaison between DSOP and departments and agencies. The role of sub IPC working groups. The requirement for NCTC/DSOP to provide an annual report to the president and Congress on progress in the national CT mission based on input from departments and agencies on the status of their counterterrorism objectives. 171 DSOP s role in all appropriate forums (including operational forums such as SVTCs and policy forums such as the CT BoD) to ensure its expertise is appropriately integrated. Recommendation 9.2: Concomitant with the Executive Order, the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism should issue implementing guidance which would provide: An operating charter for DSOP, which will include: o Specified mission, o Clear objectives, o Clarification of authorities. Specific FTE requirements for rotational assignments to DSOP identified by department and agency, and A charter for the SIST to include composition and duties. 171 Section 1242 of Public Law [National Defense Authorization Act FY 2010] referred to as the Success in Countering Al Qaeda Reporting Requirements Act of 2009 stipulates wide criteria for an annual report by the President to the Congress to be submitted by 30 September 2010, and the following two years. See Appendix 5 of this report for a more detailed description of this congressional requirement. 162

181 1 A p p e n d i x 1 : R e c o m m e n d a t i o n s Recommendation 9.3: NCTC should establish the position of Associate Director to serve as the principle advisor to the Director on international affairs and foreign policy. This individual should be a senior Foreign Service officer at the ambassadorial rank on rotational assignment from the State Department. Recommendation 9.4: DSOP should diversify its future leadership beyond DoD in order to ensure it is more representative of the broader interagency CT community. Recommendation 9.5: Consistent with the intent of the 9/11 Commission Report, through an Executive Order vest the director of NCTC with responsibility to provide advice to the president on the choices of personnel to lead the entities of the departments and agencies focused on counterterrorism. He should also have the authority to evaluate individuals assigned to the Center. 172 Recommendation 9.6: With the stand-up of the Counterterrorism Board of Directors (CT BOD), the CSG should focus on analyzing policy options and evaluating plans for that higher body. The CSG should be co-chaired by the Senior Director for Counterterrorism on the National Security Staff and the Deputy Director of DSOP. While organizational ties should be established and nurtured with other elements on the National Security staff, the Deputy Director of DSOP should regularly report to CSG members the status of those relationships particularly the status taskings being assigned to DSOP from the various National Security staff elements. Recommendation 9.7: The National Security Staff should proactively use NCTC and DSOP to evaluate counterterrorism policy and to tee up policy options for consideration by the CT BOD and the CSG. DSOP should develop more robust capability to support the National Security Staff in this regard leveraging its existing organizational ties to the Intelligence Community and the interagency policy staffs /11 Commission (2004),

182 1 A p p e n d i x 1 : R e c o m m e n d a t i o n s A View from the Hill Recommendation 10.1: Congress should establish a Counterterrorism Working Group in each chamber to look across committee jurisdictional boundaries, evaluate the effectiveness of the whole-of-government counterterrorism effort and make recommendations to the relevant committees. These Working Groups should be comprised of the chairmen and ranking member (or their designee) of each committee with jurisdiction over counterterrorism matters. Recommendation 10.2: ODNI and NCTC should more actively engage with congressional Members and staff to better educate them on the broad range of activities currently underway at DSOP. Higher priority should be given to information sharing, especially with the concerned Members and committees. Recommendation 10.3: Section 1242 of the FY 2010 NDAA directs significant new congressional reporting requirements. The EOP and DSOP should leverage this opportunity to establish more robust lines of communication with its congressional constituencies. 164

183 2 A p p e n d i x 2 : L i s t o f A c r o n y m s Appendix 2: List of Abbreviations and Acronyms ATC Attacking Terrorist Capacity AP & DNSA and HS & CT Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism CIA Central Intelligence Agency COCOMs Combatant Commands COI Community of Interest CRC Civilian Response Corps CSG Counterterrorism Security Group; Coordinating Sub-Group CT Counterterrorism CT BoD Counterterrorism Board of Directors CTC Counterterrorism Center CTIP Counterterrorism Intelligence Plan CVE Countering Violent Extremism D/NCTC Director, National Counterterrorism Center DAP/CT Deputy National Security Advisor for Counterterrorism DC Deputies Committee DCI Director of Central Intelligence DHS Department of Homeland Security DI Directorate of Intelligence DNI Director of National Intelligence DoD Department of Defense DoJ Department of Justice DoS Department of State DSOP Directorate of Strategic Operational Planning EO Executive Order EOP Executive Office of the President FAA Federal Aviation Administration FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation FEMA Federal Emergency Management Agency FTE Full-Time Equivalent GAO Government Accountability Office HPSCI House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence HSC Homeland Security Council 165

184 2 A p p e n d i x 2 : L i s t o f A c r o n y m s HSGAC Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee IG/T Interdepartmental Group on Terrorism IPC Interagency Policy Committee IRTPA Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act ITF Interagency Task Force JIACGs Joint Interagency Coordination Groups JTFs Joint Task Forces JTTFs Joint Terrorism Task Forces MPICE Measuring Progress in Conflict Environments NCTC National Counterterrorism Center NIP National Implementation Plan NIPWOT National Implementation Plan War on Terror NIS National Intelligence Strategy NMSP-WOT National Military Strategic Plan for the War on Terrorism NSC National Security Council NSPD National Security Presidential Directive NSS National Security Staff ODNI Office of the Director of National Intelligence OMB Office of Management and Budget ONDCP Office of National Drug Control Policy OPM Office of Personnel Management P&R Programs and Resources PC Principals Committee PCC Policy Coordinating Committee PDB Presidential Daily Brief PDD Presidential Decision Directive PNSR Project on National Security Reform ProDef Protect and Defend S/CRS State Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization S/CT Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism SAG Strategic Assessment Group SCC Special Coordination Committee SES Senior Executive Service SIST Senior Interagency Strategy Team SOP Strategic Operational Planning SSCI Senate Select Committee on Intelligence SVTC Secure Video Teleconferences TTIC Terrorism Threat Integration Center 166

185 2 A p p e n d i x 2 : L i s t o f A c r o n y m s TTX Table Top Exercises USAID United States Agency for International Development USG United States Government USIP U.S. Institute of Peace WMD Weapons of Mass Destruction WMD-T Weapons of Mass Destruction Terrorism 167

186 2 A p p e n d i x 2 : L i s t o f A c r o n y m s 168

187 A p p e n d i x 3 : I n t e r a g e n c y M i s s i o n s 3 Appendix 3: Interagency Missions: Comparative Analysis of Existing Authorities Overview Today there are few examples of officers of the United States who are responsible for missions that cut across the federal interagency system. Each of these officers maintains unique sets of authorities to influence people, resources, or actions in departments and agencies. Three of the most robust examples are the director of national intelligence, the director of the office of national drug control policy, and the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, as head of NCTC s Directorate of Strategic Operational Planning. Definition of officer of the United States : An appointee who exercises significant authority pursuant to the laws of the United States. Buckley v. Valeo. Comparisons Director of NCTC, as head of DSOP Director of National Intelligence Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy Categories of Authorities Processes: Development of policy, strategy, coordination, assessments, etc. Resources: Budget guidance, budget development, allocation, transfers, etc. Personnel: Personnel standards, incentives, concurrences, evaluations, etc. Enablers: Reporting chains, access to agency information, annual reports, etc. 169

188 3 A p p e n d i x 3 : I n t e r a g e n c y M i s s i o n s Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Processes Develops policy and strategy Develops goals, objectives, and priorities Coordinates and oversees implementation Requires agencies to submit annual assessments Certifies drug control policy changes by agencies Notifies agencies of noncompliance Resources Issues budget guidance to agencies Reviews and certifies agency budgets Develops a consolidated budget Monitors execution of budgets Approves transfers and reprogramming of funds Directly transfers and reprograms funds (concurrence) Receives annual detailed accounting of funds Issues fund control notices Conducts audits and evaluations Personnel Evaluates employees detailed to office Enablers Reports directly to the president Advises the President on changes in organization, management, budgets, and personnel Has access to information in agencies Submits an annual report to Congress Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Processes Develops goals, objectives, and priorities Determines requirements (intelligence) Adjudicates disputes 170

189 A p p e n d i x 3 : I n t e r a g e n c y M i s s i o n s 3 Resources Issues budget guidance to agencies Develops a consolidated budget Directly allocates funds Monitors execution of budgets Reports inconsistencies by agencies comptrollers Approves transfers and reprogrammed funds Directly transfers and reprograms funds Conducts audits and evaluations Personnel Establishes personnel standards for professional development Establishes personnel incentives and regulations Requires interagency service for promotion Recommends and concurs on select nominees Enablers Reports directly to the President Has access to information in agencies 171

190 3 A p p e n d i x 3 : I n t e r a g e n c y M i s s i o n s Director of National Counterterrorism Center (DSOP) Processes Advises on policy (participation in NSC process) Develops strategy (strategic-operational) Coordinates and oversees implementation Assigns roles and responsibilities for departments and agencies Conducts assessments Resources Advises the DNI on counterterrorism budgets Personnel None Enablers Reports directly to the president Access to information in agencies Note: This chart illustrates authorities by quantity. It does not pass judgment on the degree to which each authority can be used to influence department and agency activity. 172

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