COVERING THE SEAMS IN U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY BY APPLYING NETWORK AND TEAM ATTRIBUTES
AIR WAR COLLEGE MAXWELL AFB United States
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Since its establishment by the National Security Act of 1947, the modern U.S. national security system has evolved as a result of legislation, presidential preference, and because of changes in the U.S. and international security environments. With each evolution, the system has found ways to function in dealing with a wide range of threats facing the country. At the same time, each evolution has created unintended consequences and even some weaknesses. Today, one such weakness is the seams that exist in the system. Organizational criteria like geography, functions, and responsibilities often create these seams. These seams are exactly the kinds of weaknesses that are exploited by modern transnational and transregional threats, such as terrorists, criminals, and peer military competitors. Even, non-traditional threats like pandemics and environmental challenges are often made worse because of seams in the U.S. national security system. Simple reorganization or restructuring of the system is unlikely to achieve a more optimum outcome, and would likely just create different seams. However, considering that the U.S. national security system is itself a network, focusing on improving on attributes advantageous to networks and teams has the potential to reduce the seams, enable the U.S. to seize and retain initiative, and make the U.S. system--the U.S. network--stronger, more responsive, and more adaptable as the security challenges of the modern environment continue to evolve and adapt.