Since 9/11, there has been measurable progress in protecting the nation against terrorism and other threats to our national security. In recognition of the tenth year anniversary, Zoë Baird Budinger, President of the Markle Foundation, and Jeffrey H. Smith, a member of the Markle Task Force on National Security in the Information Age, concluded in a Washington Post Op-Ed that there is evidence in the fight against terrorism that, in fact, government has been able to transform itself.
More than ten years later there has been a virtual reorganization of government, a new way of thinking that inspires reform in the way agencies, people, and technology collaborate and communicate. The virtual reorganization of government is a new way of thinking that is changing how agencies, people, and technology collaborate and communicate. The “need to know” culture of the Cold War is being replaced by the “need to share” principle. Information is increasingly decentralized and distributed. Informal and flexible groups of analysts from different parts of government and the private sector are able to work together and share expertise. These findings, along with a discussion of the remaining challenges, were presented last year in testimony before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
The virtual reorganization that changed counterterrorism can also make a difference in other national interests, especially as economic and fiscal challenges heighten the need to reduce government’s cost and improve its function.
Over the years, the Markle Task Force on National Security in the Information Age has recommended ways to improve decisions affecting our national security by changing how government works, transforming business and information sharing processes.