National Security Experts


Dov S. Zakheim

Biography provided by participant

From 2001 to April 2004 Dov S. Zakheim served as the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) and Chief Financial Officer for the Department of Defense, acting as the Secretary of Defense's principal advisor on financial and budgetary matters, developing and managing the world's largest budgets, overseeing all aspects of the Department's accounting and auditing systems, and negotiating five major international defense agreements. From 2002-2004 Zakheim was DOD's coordinator of civilian programs in Afghanistan. He also helped organize both the June 2003 UN donors' conference on Iraq reconstruction and the October 2003 Madrid Donors' Conference. From 1987 to 2001 he was both corporate vice president of System Planning Corporation, a technology, and analysis firm based in Arlington, Va. and chief executive officer of its subsidiary, SPC International Corp.. During the 2000 presidential campaign, he served as a senior foreign policy advisor to then-Governor Bush. From 1985 until March 1987, Zakheim was Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Planning and Resources in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Policy), playing an active role in the Department's system acquisition, strategic planning, programming and budget processes. Zakheim held several other DOD posts from 1981 to 1985. Earlier, he was a principal analyst in the National Security and International Affairs Division of the Congressional Budget Office. Zakheim has served on a number of government, corporate, non-profit and charitable boards. His government service includes two terms on the United States Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad(1991-93); the Task Force on Defense Reform (1997); the first Board of Visitors of the Department of Defense Overseas Regional Schools (1998); and the Defense Science Board task force on "The Impact of DOD Acquisition Policies on the Health of the Defense Industry" (2000). He is Chairman of the National Intelligence Council's International Business Practices Advisory Panel, and a member of the Defense Business Board, which he helped establish, the Commission on Wartime Contracting, the Secretary of the Navy's Advisory Board, the Chief of Naval Operations Executive Panel and the Council on Foreign Relations. A 1970 graduate of Columbia University with a B.A., summa cum laude, Zakheim also studied at the London School of Economics. He holds a doctorate in economics and politics at St. Antony's College, University of Oxford, where he held three fellowships. Zakheim is a Senior Advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and was an adjunct Senior Fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations and an adjunct Scholar of the Heritage Foundation. He has been an adjunct professor at the National War College, Yeshiva University, Columbia University and Trinity College, Hartford, Conn., where he was a Presidential Scholar. The author of a dozen books or monographs, and of numerous articles, Dr Zakheim has lectured and provided print, radio and television commentary on national defense and foreign policy issues domestically and internationally. He is the recipient of numerous awards for his government, professional and civic work, including the Defense Department's highest civilian award in 1986, 1987 and 2004.

Recent Responses

June 29, 2010 06:33 PM

I am in full agreement with those who argue that the current system is fundamentally sound. Nothing gets the media more riled up than refusing to provide it with information. Reporters, when denied access to authoritative sources, still have to file their stories. They do so by relying on second- or third-hand information, documentary materials that invariably are in draft form, and rumor, gossip and innuendo. That is not to say that these less-than-genuine sources will not find their way into the public domain, if only via blogs. It is to say, however, that providing reporters with first-hand access to officers andf troops reduces the likelihood that bad or misleading information will be treated as genuine.

I have dealt with reporters for over three decades. The vast majority are dedicated, patriotic professionals. If fed junk, and if they also have access to genuine material, they will invariably discard the junk. They will only use questionable materials when they have nothing else to work with, and when they have not had the access to those who could authoritatively ch

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June 23, 2010 03:49 PM

We went into Afghanistan in 2001 for two primary reasons: to weaken, if not destroy, al-Qaida, and to change the Taliban regime. Democracy and nation building never really entered the equation at that time.

Nine years later we have not destroyed al-Qaida, the Taliban has re-emerged as a threat to the Karzai regime, and we have taken on the mission of building an Afghan nation--something that makes nation building in Haiti (where we have never succeeded despite multiple attempts to do so) look like child's play.

Does that mean Afghanistan is not important? Or that we should pull up our tents and leave? I would argue, "not yet." We cannot afford to enable the Taliban to resume power in Kabul; al-Qaida will not be far behind. Of course, some will argue that if al-Qaida rebuilt its training camps, we could always hit them with cruise missiles. Perhaps. But just as the Iranians learned from the Israeli attack on the Osirak reactor that it was important to disperse and harden their nuclear program, so too al-Qaida is likely to avoid creating a tempting tar

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