United States National Security Council
|Formed||September 18, 1947|
|Parent agency||Executive Office of the President of the United States|
The White House National Security Council (NSC) is the principal forum used by the President of the United States for a peaceful consideration of 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 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 Council has counterparts in the national security councils of many other nations.
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. The intent was to ensure coordination and concurrence among the Navy, Marine Corps, Army, Air Force and other instruments of national security policy such as the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), also created in the National Security Act.
On May 26, 2009, President Barack 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.
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:
The National Security Council is chaired by the President. Its members are the Vice President (statutory), the Secretary of State (statutory), the Secretary of Defense (statutory), the National Security Advisor (non-statutory), and the Secretary of Treasury (non-statutory).
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is the statutory military advisor to the Council, the Director of National Intelligence is the statutory intelligence advisor, and the Director of National Drug Control Policy is the statutory drug control policy advisor. The Chief of Staff to the President, Counsel to the President, and the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy are also regularly invited to attend NSC meetings. The Attorney General, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and The Director of the Central Intelligence Agency 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|
|Chair||President of the United States|
|Statutory Attendees||Vice President of the United States
Secretary of State
Secretary of Defense
|Military Advisor||Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff|
|Intelligence Advisor||Director of National Intelligence|
|Drug Policy Advisor||Director of National Drug Control Policy|
|Regular Attendees||National Security Advisor
White House Chief of Staff
Deputy National Security Advisor
|Additional Participants||Secretary of the Treasury
Secretary of Homeland Security
White House Counsel
Assistant to the President for Economic Policy
Ambassador to the United Nations
Director of Office of Management and Budget
Homeland Security Advisor
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (May 2011)|
- Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs: Susan Rice
- Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism and Deputy National Security Advisor: Lisa Monaco
- Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor: Avril Haines
- Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications: Ben Rhodes
- Deputy Assistant to the President, Deputy White House Counsel, and Legal Advisor to the National Security Council:
- Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economic Affairs:
- Deputy Assistant to the President, Executive Secretary of the National Security Council and Chief of Staff: Suzy George
- Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Strategic Planning and Institutional Reform:
- Special Assistant to the President and White House Coordinator for Defense Policy, Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction, and Arms Control: Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall
- Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs:
- Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Development and Democracy: Gayle Smith
- Special Assistant to the President and Cybersecurity Coordinator: Michael Daniel
- Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Non-Proliferation:
- Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Intelligence Programs:
- Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Western Hemisphere Affairs:
- Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Europe:
- Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Russia and Central Asia: Celeste Wallander
- Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for the Central Region:
- Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Near East and North Africa:
- Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Africa:
- Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Gulf States: Jeffrey Prescott
- Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for South Asia:
- Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Asia:
- Senior Director for Community Partnerships:
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.
High Value Detainee Interrogation Group
A secret National Security Council panel may pursue the killing of an individual who has been called a suspected terrorist. In this case, no public record of this decision or any operation to kill the suspect will be made available. No laws govern criteria for killing such suspects, nor mandate the existence of the panel.
National Security Advisor Susan Rice, who has helped codify targeted killing criteria by creating the Disposition Matrix database, has described the Obama Administration targeted killing policy by stating that "in order to ensure that our counterterrorism operations involving the use of lethal force are legal, ethical, and wise, President Obama has demanded that we hold ourselves to the highest possible standards and processes".
On February 4, 2013, NBC published a leaked Department of Justice memo providing a summary of the rationale used to justify targeted killing of US citizens who are senior operational leaders of Al-Qa'ida or associated forces.
- National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection and Counter-Terrorism
- National Security Medal
- Iran Contra
- Targeted killing
- Tower Commission
- Encyclopedia of American foreign policy, 2nd ed. Vol. 2, New York: Scribner, 2002, National Security Council, 22 April 2009
- In Security Shuffle, White House Merges Staffs
- Policy Directive 1 (PDD-1), White House, Feb 13, 2009
- "National Security Council". The White House. www.whitehouse.gov. Retrieved 4 April 2012.
- "White House Announces New Executive Secretary / Chief of Staff for the National Security Council Staff". The White House: President Barack Obama. 29 July 2014. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- Rogin, Josh (March 19, 2013). "Liz Sherwood-Randall promoted to new White House position". The Cable, Foreign Policy Magazine. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
- "Elite High Value Interrogation Unit Is Taking Its First Painful Steps", by Ed Barnes, Fox News Channel, May 12, 2010
- "Secret panel can put Americans on "kill list'". Reuters. 5 October 2011.
- John O. Brennan's April 2012 Wilson Center Speech: The Efficacy and Ethics of U.S. Counterterrorism Strategy (Transcript and Video).
- DOJ Whitepaper
- NSC page at the White House website
- Story on the NSC in Foreign Policy journal.
- Annual Report To Congress On White House Office Staff; Executive Office of the President, Wednesday, July 1, 2009
- Ivo H. Daalder and I.M. Destler, In the Shadow of the Oval Office: Profiles of the National Security Advisers and the Presidents They Served—From JFK to George W. Bush Simon & Schuster; 2009, ISBN 978-1-4165-5319-9.
- Karl F. Inderfurth and Loch K. Johnson, eds. Fateful Decisions: Inside the National Security Council. Oxford University Press, 2004. ISBN 978-0-19-515966-0.
- James Peck (2006). Washington's China: The National Security World, the Cold War, and the Origins of Globalism. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press.
- David J. Rothkopf, Running The World: the Inside Story of the National Security Council and the Architects of American Power, PublicAffairs; 2006, ISBN 978-1-58648-423-1.
- Journey to the Center of the World: U.S. National Security Council – Arzın Merkezine Seyahat: ABD Ulusal Güvenlik Konseyi – Article on US NSC in Turkish
- Cody M. Brown, The National Security Council: A Legal History of the President's Most Powerful Advisers, Project on National Security Reform (2008).
- M. Kent Bolton, U.S. National Security and Foreign Policymaking after 9/11: Present at the Re-Creation, Rowman & Littlefield; 2007, ISBN 978-0-7425-4847-3.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to National Security Council.|
- Official National Security Council website
- History of the NSC from the White House at the Wayback Machine (archived March 12, 2008)
- Records of the National Security Council (NSC) in the National Archives
- White House Office, National Security Council Staff Papers, 1948–1961, Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library
- Homeland Security Watch (www.HLSwatch.com) provides current details on the NSC as it pertains to homeland security.
- Works by United States National Security Council at Project Gutenberg
- Works by or about United States National Security Council at Internet Archive