Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs

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In the United States, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs or ASD (ISA) is the principal advisor to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy (USD (P)) and the United States Secretary of Defense on international security strategy and policy on issues of Department of Defense (DoD) interest related to the governments and defense establishments of the nations and international organizations of Europe (including the North Atlantic Treaty Organization), the Middle East, and Africa. The ASD (ISA) also oversees security cooperation programs and foreign military sales programs in these regions.[1] Despite the broad title of the offce, the ASD (ISA) does not develop policy related to Asia, the Pacific region, Latin America, or South America.

Responsibilities[edit]

According to a description provided by the Office of the USD (P),[1] the ASD (ISA) shall:

  • Conduct and manage day-to-day, multilateral, regional, and bilateral defense relations with all foreign governments in assigned areas of responsibility.
  • Develop regional security and defense strategy and policy, provide advice, and issue guidance to translate global and functional policies into regional-specific country strategies, and oversee their implementation in coordination with cognizant DoD officials.
  • For countries in assigned areas of responsibility, develop, coordinate, and oversee the implementation of:
    • Defense security policy and management of defense and military relations
    • Policy, plans, and activities, as well as uses of DoD resources engaged in encouraging the development of military capabilities, constitutional democracy and respect for human rights, including civilian control of the military, institutionalizing an appropriate role for the military in a constitutional democracy, and encouraging the development of standards of military professionalism that promote respect for elected civilian authorities and human rights.
    • DoD policy and recommendations concerning security cooperation programs and organizations, foreign military sales, military education and training, and other missions pertaining to security cooperation program relationships.
  • Develop, coordinate, and oversee the implementation of policy related to NATO, Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, the Partnership for Peace, and other institutions with a security dimension including the European Union, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and the African Union.
  • Provide policy guidance and oversight to the Defense Advisor, U.S. Mission to NATO, and Representative of the Secretary of Defense Representative to the OSCE on behalf of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. Promote coordination, cooperation, and joint planning on nuclear policy and strategy with NATO Allies, in coordination with the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict and Interdependent Capabilities.
  • Support the NATO Nuclear Planning Group and its subordinate body, the High Level Group and chair the High Level Group.
  • Represent the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy and the Secretary of Defense in interagency policy deliberations and international negotiations dealing with assigned areas of responsibility.
  • Monitor and provide policy recommendations related to the conduct of U.S. military operations in the countries or regions of focus or on the participation of such countries in operations outside of the region.
  • Perform such other functions as the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy or the Secretary of Defense may prescribe.

Office holders[edit]

The table below includes both the various titles of this post over time, as well as all the holders of those offices.

Assistant Secretaries of Defense (International Security Affairs)[2]
Name Tenure SecDef(s) Served Under President(s) Served Under
Assistant to the Secretary of Defense (International Security Affairs)
John H. Ohly March 27, 1949 - December 1, 1949 Louis A. Johnson Harry Truman
Maj. Gen. James H. Burns (USA) December 6, 1949 - August 27, 1951 Louis A. Johnson
George C. Marshall
Harry Truman
Frank C. Nash August 28, 1951 - February 10, 1953 George C. Marshall
Robert A. Lovett
Charles E. Wilson
Harry Truman
Dwight Eisenhower
Assistant Secretary of Defense (International Security Affairs)
Frank C. Nash February 11, 1953 - February 28, 1954 Charles E. Wilson Dwight Eisenhower
H. Struve Hensel March 5, 1954 - June 30, 1955 Charles E. Wilson Dwight Eisenhower
Gordon Gray July 14, 1955 - February 27, 1957 Charles E. Wilson Dwight Eisenhower
Mansfield D. Sprague February 28, 1957 - October 3, 1958 Charles E. Wilson
Neil H. McElroy
Dwight Eisenhower
John N. Irwin II October 4, 1958 - January 20, 1961 Neil H. McElroy
Thomas S. Gates
Dwight Eisenhower
Paul H. Nitze January 29, 1961 - November 29, 1963 Robert S. McNamara John F. Kennedy
Lyndon Johnson
William P. Bundy November 29, 1963 - March 14, 1964 Robert S. McNamara Lyndon Johnson
John T. McNaughton July 1, 1964 - July 19, 1967 Robert S. McNamara Lyndon Johnson
Paul C. Warnke August 1, 1967 - February 15, 1969 Robert S. McNamara
Clark M. Clifford
Melvin R. Laird
Lyndon Johnson
Richard Nixon
G. Warren Nutter March 4, 1969 - January 30, 1973 Melvin R. Laird
Elliot L. Richardson
Richard Nixon
Lawrence Eagleburger (Acting) January 31, 1973 - May 10, 1973 Elliot L. Richardson Richard Nixon
Robert C. Hill May 11, 1973 - January 5, 1974 Elliot L. Richardson
James R. Schlesinger
Richard Nixon
Vice Adm. Ray Peet (Acting) January 6, 1974 - April 1, 1974 James R. Schlesinger Richard Nixon
Amos A. Jordan (Acting) April 2, 1974 - June 4, 1974 James R. Schlesinger Richard Nixon
Robert Ellsworth June 5, 1974 - December 22, 1975 James R. Schlesinger
Donald H. Rumsfeld
Richard Nixon
Gerald Ford
Amos A. Jordan (Acting) December 23, 1975 - May 5, 1976 Donald H. Rumsfeld Gerald Ford
Eugene V. McAuliffe May 6, 1976 - April 1, 1977 Donald H. Rumsfeld
Harold Brown
Gerald Ford
Jimmy Carter
David E. McGiffert April 4, 1977 - January 20, 1981 Harold Brown Jimmy Carter
Francis J. West, Jr. April 4, 1981 - April 1, 1983 Caspar W. Weinberger Ronald Reagan
Richard L. Armitage April 2, 1983 - June 5, 1983 (Acting)
June 5, 1983 - June 5, 1989
Caspar W. Weinberger
Frank C. Carlucci III
William H. Taft IV (Acting)
Richard B. Cheney
Ronald Reagan
George H. W. Bush
Henry S. Rowen June 26, 1989 - July 31, 1991 Richard B. Cheney George H. W. Bush
James R. Lilley December 12, 1991 - January 20, 1993 Richard B. Cheney George H. W. Bush
Assistant Secretary of Defense (Regional Security Affairs)
Charles W. Freeman, Jr. July 6, 1993 - April 11, 1994 Leslie Aspin, Jr.
William J. Perry
William Clinton
Assistant Secretary of Defense (International Security Affairs)
Charles W. Freeman, Jr. April 11, 1994 - September 14, 1994 William J. Perry William Clinton
Joseph S. Nye, Jr. September 15, 1994 - December 16, 1995 William J. Perry William Clinton
Franklin D. Kramer March 29, 1996 - February 16, 2001 William J. Perry
William S. Cohen
Donald H. Rumsfeld
William Clinton
George W. Bush
Peter W. Rodman[3] July 16, 2001 - March 2, 2007 Donald H. Rumsfeld
Robert M. Gates
George W. Bush
Mary Beth Long[4] March 3, 2007 - December 21, 2007 (Acting)
December 21, 2007 - January 2009
Robert M. Gates George W. Bush
Alexander R. Vershbow April 3, 2009 - 2012 Robert M. Gates Barack Obama
Derek Chollet[5] June 2012 - Present Chuck Hagel Barack Obama

Structure[edit]

This office can trace its roots back to the early days of the modern national security establishment. It was created in 1949, two years after the National Security Act established the Department of Defense.

The ASD (ISA) is supported by four Deputy Assistant Secretaries (DASDs), each with coverage of a different region. The DASDs manage "principal directors" who in turn oversee "country directors" with more narrow geographic portfolios:

  • DASD Middle East
    • Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait
    • Israel, Palestine
    • Egypt, Jordan
    • Iraq
    • Iran, Syria, Lebanon
    • Oman, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Yemen
  • DASD Africa
  • DASD Europe & Nato
  • DASD Russia, Ukraine & Eurasia

The ASD (ISA) also oversees the DoD representative in the U.S. Mission to NATO, and the DoD representative to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

DASDs are appointed by the Secretary of Defense. Some are appointed from civilian life, while others are career defense officials. Once at the DASD level, the latter are considered a part of the DoD Senior Executive Service.

The ASD (ISA) is also supported by a Principal Deputy, or PDASD, who helps manage the day-to-day operations of the four DASDs and the NATO rep.

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretaries for International Security Affairs[edit]

Name Tenure ASD (ISA) Served Under USD(P) Served Under SecDef(s) Served Under President(s) Served Under
Joseph McMillan[6] May 2009 - Alexander R. Vershbow Michele Flournoy Robert M. Gates Barack Obama

Deputy Assistant Secretaries of Defense Reporting to the ASD (ISA)[edit]

The list below details the current DASDs in this office.

Name Tenure ASD (ISA) Served Under USD(P) Served Under SecDef(s) Served Under President(s) Served Under
Active Offices
DASD (ISA), Middle East
Colin Kahl[7] April 2009 - Alexander R. Vershbow Michele Flournoy Robert M. Gates Barack Obama
DASD (ISA), Africa
Vicki Huddleston[8] June 2009 - Alexander R. Vershbow Michele Flournoy Robert M. Gates Barack Obama
DASD (ISA), Europe & NATO
James Townsend Jr.[7] April 2009 - Alexander R. Vershbow Michele Flournoy Robert M. Gates Barack Obama
DASD (ISA), Russia, Ukraine & Eurasia
Dr. Evelyn Farkas [9] 2012 - Derek Chollet Dr. James Miller Chuck Hagel Barack Obama

See also[edit]

Under Secretary of Defense for Policy
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Global Strategic Affairs
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Americas' Security Affairs

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs". Policy.defense.gov. Retrieved 2012-08-05. 
  2. ^ "Department of Defense Key Officials". Historical Office, OSD. 2004. Retrieved 2011-02-01. 
  3. ^ "Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs". Policy.defense.gov. Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  4. ^ John Pike. "DoD News: Mary Beth Long Sworn in as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs". Globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  5. ^ "Derek Chollet: Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs". Department of Defense. Retrieved 7 December 2013. 
  6. ^ "Senior Executive Service Appointments". DoD Public Affairs. 2009-05-06. Retrieved 2011-08-29. 
  7. ^ a b "Senior Executive Service Appointments". DoD Public Affairs. 2009-04-01. Retrieved 2011-08-29. 
  8. ^ "Vicki Huddleston profile". Brookings Institution. Retrieved 2011-08-29. 
  9. ^ "Senior Executive Service Appointments And Reassignments". DoD Public Affairs. 2009-06-09. Retrieved 2011-08-29.