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W&M professor named to national panel assessing U.S. strategic posture

Photo by Stephen Salpukas

(Williamsburg, VA) – Mitchell B. Reiss, vice provost for international relations at the College of William and Mary accepted an appointment this month to the Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States. Reiss will serve in the capacity of an expert advisor on the Countering WMD Proliferation & Terrorism Expert Working Group. He will take on these duties in addition to his responsibilities at William and Mary.

Reiss has been asked to advise the commission on a strategic conditions and trends assessment, as well as to provide a detailed review of nuclear weapons policy, strategy and force structure. He has considerable foreign policy experience having served as the special envoy for the Northern Ireland peace process for President George W. Bush and as the director of policy and planning for the State Department under former Secretary of State Colin Powell. Reiss is also an editor of and contributor to the recent book The Nuclear Tipping Point: Why States Reconsider Their Nuclear Choices.

Over the coming months, the commission will formulate assessments and recommendations for submission to Congress and the administration. The commission's recommendations are due to Congress and the president by December 1, 2008. The commission's deliberations will be concentrated in five areas: national security strategy and policies; deterrent force posture of the United States; nuclear infrastructure; countering weapons of mass destruction (WMD) proliferation and terrorism; and external conditions and trends.

The work of the commission will be organized and supported by the United States Institute of Peace. Paul D. Hughes of the United States Institute of Peace will serve as its executive director. The group is chaired by former Secretary of Defense William Perry.

The commission was established by the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2008 as an independent, bipartisan body. It is charged with making a forward-looking assessment of the nation's strategic posture and examining the consequences for future American security interests. The review will include an assessment of the role of nonproliferation programs and missile defenses in U.S. strategic policies.

For additional information about the commission visit www.usip.org.