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United States National Security Council
Seal Of The President Of The Unites States Of America.svg
Agency overview
Formed 1947
Agency executives Barack Obama, Chairman, President of the United States
Vice President of the United States,
Secretary of State,
Secretary of Defense,
National Security Advisor,
Others as necessary
Parent agency Executive Office of the President of the United States
Website
NSC Website
President Barack Obama at a NSC Meeting in the Situation Room. Participants include Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. James Cartwright, DNI Dennis Blair, White House Counsel Greg Craig, CIA Director Leon Panetta, Deputy National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, NSC Advisor Gen. James "Jim" Jones, and Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel

The White House National Security Council (NSC) in the United States is the principal forum used by the President for considering national security and foreign policy matters with his senior national security advisors and Cabinet officials and is part of the Executive Office of the President of the United States. Since its inception under President Harry S. Truman, the function of the Council has been to advise and assist the President on national security and foreign policies. The Council also serves as the President's principal arm for coordinating these policies among various government agencies. The U.S. Council has counterparts in the national security councils of many other nations.

Contents

History

The National Security Council was created in 1947 by the National Security Act. It was created because policymakers felt that the diplomacy of the State Department was no longer adequate to contain the USSR in light of the tension between the Soviet Union and the United States.[1] The intent was to ensure coordination and concurrence among the Navy, Army, Air Force and other instruments of national security policy (such as the Central Intelligence Agency, or CIA, also created in the National Security Act).

On May 26th, 2009, President Obama merged the White House staff supporting the Homeland Security Council (HSC) and the National Security Council into one National Security Staff (NSS). The HSC and NSC each continue to exist by statute as bodies supporting the President.[2]

The decision process inside the structure has become less and less formal, but influence of the Council has become stronger and stronger. Detailed history of the National Security Council under each Presidential administration since its inception can be found at:

Membership

The National Security Council is chaired by the President. Its regular attendees (both statutory and non-statutory) are the Vice President, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Defense, and the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs (or National Security Advisor). The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is the statutory military advisor to the Council, and the Director of National Intelligence is the intelligence advisor. The Chief of Staff to the President, Counsel to the President, and the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy are also invited to attend any NSC meeting. The Attorney General and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget are invited to attend meetings pertaining to their responsibilities. The heads of other executive departments and agencies, as well as other senior officials, are invited to attend meetings of the NSC when appropriate.

Structure of the United States National Security Council (Current)
Chair Barack Obama (President of the United States)
Statutory Attendees Joe Biden (Vice President of the United States)
Hillary Clinton (Secretary of State)
Robert M. Gates (Secretary of Defense)
Military Advisor ADM Michael Mullen (Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff)
Intelligence Advisor Dennis C. Blair (Director of National Intelligence)
Regular Attendees James L. Jones (National Security Advisor)
Rahm Emanuel (Chief of Staff to the President)
Thomas E. Donilon (Deputy National Security Advisor)
Howard Schmidt (White House Cybersecurity Coordinator)
Additional Participants Tim Geithner (Secretary of the Treasury)
Eric Holder (Attorney General)
Janet Napolitano (Secretary of Homeland Security)
Bob Bauer (Counsel to the President)
Lawrence Summers (Assistant to the President for Economic Policy)
Susan Rice (Ambassador to the United Nations)
Peter Orzag (Director of Office of Management and Budget)

Staff

  • Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs: James L. Jones
    • Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism and Deputy National Security Advisor: John O. Brennan
      • Deputy Assistant to the President for Homeland Security: Heidi E. Avery
    • Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor: Thomas E. Donilon
      • Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications: Ben Rhodes
      • Deputy Assistant to the President and National Security Council Chief of Staff: Denis McDonough
        • Special Assistant to the President and Executive Secretary of the National Security Council: Nate Tibbits
        • Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Strategic Planning and Institutional Reform: Mary Carlin Yates
        • Special Assistant to the President, Senior Advisor and Coordinator for Afghanistan-Pakistan: Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute
        • Special Assistant to the President and White House Coordinator for Arms Control and WMD, Proliferation and Terrorism: Gary Samore
        • Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs: Samantha Power
        • Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Global Development, Stabilization and Humanitarian Assistance: Gayle Smith
        • Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Non-Proliferation: Dan Poneman
        • Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Defense: Barry Pavel
        • Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Intelligence Programs: Mike Epperson
        • Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Counterterrorism: Nick Rasmussen
        • Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Western Hemisphere Affairs: Dan Restrepo
        • Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Europe: Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall
        • Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Russia and Eurasian Affair: Michael McFaul
        • Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for the Central Region: Dennis Ross
        • Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Near East and North Africa: Daniel B. Shapiro
        • Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Africa: Michelle Gavin
        • Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for the Gulf States, Iran and Iraq: Puneet Talwar
        • Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for South Asia: Anish Goel
        • Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Asia: Jeffrey Bader

Authority

The National Security Council was established by the National Security Act of 1947 (PL 235 - 61 Stat. 496; U.S.C. 402), amended by the National Security Act Amendments of 1949 (63 Stat. 579; 50 U.S.C. 401 et seq.). Later in 1949, as part of the Reorganization Plan, the Council was placed in the Executive Office of the President.

Further reading

See also

References

  1. ^ Encyclopedia of American foreign policy, 2nd ed. Vol. 2, New York: Scribner, 2002, National Security Council, 22 April 2009
  2. ^ In Security Shuffle, White House Merges Staffs

External links

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Simple English

The White House National Security Council (NSC) in the United States is the principal forum used by the President for considering national security and foreign policy matters with his senior national security advisors and Cabinet officials and is part of the President's Executive Office. It began under President Harry S. Truman.


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