K-Schoolers Aided Tower Panel
Experts Provided Case Studies
Three faculty members at the Kennedy School served as advisors to the Tower Commission by preparing case studies which were used in assessing the impact of the Iran-contra affair.
The Tower report, which was released last Thursday, listed Kennedy School Lecturer Robert J. Murray as a consultant to the President's Special Review Board and cited the help of Graham T. Allison '62, the dean of the Kennedy School, and Lecturer Gregory F. Treverton in formulating the case studies.
The Special Review Board, which served as an adjunct to the three-man Tower Commission appointed by President Reagan three months ago, wrote the report which examined the arms-for-hostages deals and reviewed the workings of the National Security Council (NSC).
The case studies were used by the Commission and Review Board in their analysis of the development of the NSC, said David M. Kennedy, the senior case writer at the school of government.
Kennedy, who was not associated with the Tower Commission, said that all of the case studies used preparing the report explore "how organizations dealt with important issues of managing national security." He added that "the Kennedy School is academically concerned with how elected officials should handle [issues] in situations like that."
Referring to Harvard faculty participation on the Special Review Board, Kennedy said that "[Allison and Treverton] made use of their educated sense on national security issues. Some of those things are obviously germane to the discussion at hand."
The letter that accompanied the report when it was submitted to Reagan says that the case studies were used as a tool for understanding the context of the current White House crisis.
"For the last three months, we have reviewed the evolution of the NSC system since its creation forty years ago. We had extensive discussions with almost every current and former senior official involved in national security affairs. Case studies from several Administrations were also conducted to inform our judgements," reads the letter.
Some of the case studies used by the Commission include: the "Cuban Missile Crisis," the "Iran Hostage Negotiation" and the "Achille Lauro."
Murray, the director of the Kennedy School's National Security programs, served as a general consultant to the Board on intelligence issues. He is attending a conference at the Pentagon and could not be reached for comment yesterday.
The intelligence expert has been at the Kennedy School since 1983, and served in the Nixon, Ford and Carter Administrations in a variety of defense policy positions.
Neither Allison, who is a consultant for the Defense Department, nor Treverton, a former staff member of the NSC, could be reached for comment.
The Kennedy School uses different versions of some of the case studies used by the Tower Report in courses taught at Harvard, said Richard E. Neustadt, Littauer professor of public administration and a leading expert on the presidency.
Kennedy said that the school's case program provides studies of original research based on fieldwork and interviews. Classes at the School operate on a case study method comparable to the Business and Law Schools, Kennedy said.
"The studies are usually detailed and objective, but still colorful and lively accounts of current issues," said Kennedy.