The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has recommended that the U.S. government establish a central national security budget and then set aside money by responsibilities, instead of the current arrangement of letting departments and agencies decide how best to arrange their budgets. That setup has created "a patchwork of activities that waste scarce funds and limit the overall effectiveness of federal efforts," said Gene L. Dodaro, the GAO's director and acting U.S. comptroller general.
"Different organizational structures, planning processes and funding sources to plan for and conduct their national security activities . . . can hinder interagency collaboration," Dodaro said, with the result being "budget requests and congressional appropriations that tend to reflect individual agency concerns."
The Center for American Progress recently came out with a similar recommendation. In a report titled "Integrating Security," it called for "a unified national security budget that enables policymakers to more readily make the trade-offs necessary between defense, economic development and diplomacy."
It recommended that unified national security budget could be put together by the National Security Council and the Office of Management and Budget, and would "identify . . . security priorities within budgetary constraints." It would also include "a prioritized list of critical missions; and identify the major federal programs, infrastructure and budget plan designed to implement the strategy."