Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee

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Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee (DPBAC) is more commonly known by the shorter form Defense Advisory Board. According to the official charter, it serves the following role:

1. The Defense Policy Board will serve the public interest by providing the Secretary of Defense, Deputy Secretary and Under Secretary for Policy with independent, informed advice and opinion concerning major matters of defense policy. It will focus upon long-term, enduring issues central to strategic planning for the Department of Defense and will be responsible for research and analysis of topics, long or short range, addressed to it by the Secretary of Defense, Deputy Secretary and Under Secretary for Policy.
2. Individual Defense Policy Board members will be selected by the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy with the approval of the Secretary of Defense. Membership will consist primarily of private sector individuals with distinguished backgrounds in national security affairs, but may include no more than four (4) government officials. Membership will be approxomately thirty (30). From time to time, associate members may be appointed to the Defense Policy Board to participate in an assessment of a particular issue. They shall number no more than four (4) at any one time.
3. The Defense Policy Board's sole function will be advisory, and it will operate under the provisions of Public Law 92-463."


Historically, the DPBAC has mostly served as a method for the Pentagon to leverage consulting expertise in the private sector. However, the DPBAC now serves a very powerful and influential role in foreign policy and the George Walker Bush Presidency. One time chairman Richard Perle, a neo-conservative, is a staunch supporter for a war with Iraq. Perle and other members of the Board have strong ties to private interests that can potentially profit financially from a war. Some of his ties have raised conflict of interest and ethical issues, leading Perle to resign his chairmanship in an attempt quiet the criticism.[1][2][3]

Other members of the board also have strong ties to private business, especially defense contractors. Members disclose their business interests with the Pentagon, but they are not made available to the public, leaving only the Pentagon as the ethical arbitar of the Board. Companies with ties to DPBAC include Bechtel, Boeing, TRW, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin and Booz Allen Hamilton and smaller players like Symantec Corp., Technology Strategies and Alliance Corp., and Polycom Inc. [4]

Board Members (2002 and 2003)

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