Thursday, February 18, 2010

Gordon Adams' Book: Buying National Security

Stimson Center fellow, Gordon Adams has released a new book entitled, Buying National Security (How America Plans and Pays for Its Global Role and Safety at Home). Quick blurb: 

The tools of American statecraft—defense, diplomacy, foreign and security assistance, homeland security and intelligence—are rarely examined together. Adams and Williams fill this gap by examining how these tools work, how they are planned for, and how they are budgeted. Seeing policy through the lens of the budget can help decision makers and ordinary citizens discern the genuine priorities of national leaders from the oftentimes illusory ones portrayed in rhetoric. Simply put, policies and strategies cannot be carried out without a corresponding allocation of resources.

Buying National Security weaves a tapestry around the institutions, organizations, tools, and processes that support planning and resource allocation across the breadth of the American national security enterprise. The authors analyze the planning and resource integration activities across agencies of the Executive branch as well as examine the structure and processes the Congress uses to carry out its national security oversight and budgetary responsibilities. Finally, they review the adequacy of the current structures and process and evaluate proposals for ways both might be reformed to fit the demands of the 21st century security environment.

Quick reviews from a couple of old foreign policy hands:

Gordon Adams and Cindy Williams have accomplished a rare feat: producing the first major study of how America budgets for national security while simultaneously substantiating the eternal political truth that money is policy.
Marc Grossman, Principal, Cohen Group; Former Director General of the Foreign Service

Gordon Adams and Cindy Williams write with deep knowledge and authority about the complex and difficult problems of funding our foreign policy and national security programs and objectives. Clear and concise, this book is a treasure trove of information on a vitally important and almost always difficult and confusing subject.
Tom Pickering, Vice-Chairman of Hills and Company; former Under Secretary of State; former Ambassador to the United Nations

Buying National Security is published by Routledge Books at can be purchased through the publisher or at

Gordon Adams is a Distinguished Fellow at the Stimson Center and a professor in the US Foreign Policy field at American University. Mr. Adams was most recently a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. For the previous seven years, he was a Professor at the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University and Director of the Schools Security Policy Studies Program. He was previously Deputy Director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, and served for five years as the Associate Director for National Security and International Affairs at the Office of Management and Budget as the senior White House budget official for national security.

He is a columnist for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. His writings are also posted in Budget Insight, the Stimson Center blog on National Security Spending.

You can follow him on Twitter at

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