United States National Security Council

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
United States National Security Council
Seal of the Executive Office of the President of the United States 2014.svg
Agency overview
Formed September 18, 1947 (1947-09-18)
Headquarters Eisenhower Executive Office Building
Agency executives
Parent agency Executive Office of the President of the United States
Website NSC Website
President Barack Obama at an NSC Meeting in the Situation Room. Participants include Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, NSC Advisor Gen. James "Jim" Jones, Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Dennis Blair, Deputy National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, White House Counsel Greg Craig, CIA Director Leon Panetta, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. James Cartwright, and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel

The White House National Security Council (NSC) is the principal forum used by the President of the United States for consideration of national security and foreign policy matters with 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.

History[edit]

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 Army, Marine Corps, Navy, 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.[2] The name of the staff organization was changed back to National Security Council Staff in 2014.[3]

On January 29, 2017, President Donald Trump restructured the Principals Committee (a subset of the full National Security Council), assigning a permanent invitation to Steve Bannon, White House Chief Strategist, while at the same time altering the attendance of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Director of National Intelligence.[4] According to a White House memorandum, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Director of National Intelligence shall sit on the Principals Committee as and when matters pertaining to them arise, but will remain part of the full National Security Council.[5][6] However, Chief of Staff Reince Priebus clarified the next day that they still are invited to attend meetings.[7] The reorganization however placed the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development as a permanent member of the Deputies Committee, winning moderate praise.[8]

Detailed history[edit]

History of the United States National Security Council by year:

Membership[edit]

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 Secretary of Energy (statutory), the National Security Advisor (non-statutory), and the Secretary of the 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[9]
Chair President of the United States
Statutory Attendees[10] Vice President of the United States
Secretary of State
Secretary of Defense
Secretary of Energy
Military Adviser Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
(Removed of permanent status on the Principals Committee on January 28, 2017.)[11]
Intelligence Adviser Director of National Intelligence
(Removed of permanent status on the Principals Committee as of January 28, 2017.)[11]
Drug Policy Adviser Director of National Drug Control Policy
Regular Attendees National Security Advisor
Deputy National Security Adviser
Attorney General
White House Chief of Staff
White House Chief Strategist (Added on January 28, 2017.)
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 Adviser[11]

Staff[edit]

  • Assistant to the President and National Security Advisor: H.R. McMaster[12]
    • Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor: K.T. McFarland[13]
      • Assistant to the President, Executive Secretary of the National Security Council and Chief of Staff: Keith Kellogg
        • Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications: Michael Anton
        • Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Planning: Kevin Harrington
        • Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economic Affairs: Kenneth Juster
        • Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Transnational Issues: VACANT
        • Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Regional Affairs: David Cattler[14]
        • Deputy Assistant to the President, Deputy White House Counsel, and Legal Advisor to the National Security Council: John Eisenberg
          • Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Executive Secretary of the National Security Council: Jason Galui
          • Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Records Access and Information Security Management: John Fitzpatrick
          • Special Assistant to the President and White House Coordinator for the Middle East, North Africa, and the Gulf Region: Derek Harvey
          • Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Non-Proliferation and Nuclear Issues: Christopher Ford
          • Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Israel, Egypt and the Levant: Yael Lempert[15]
          • Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Gulf States: Joel Rayburn
          • Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for North Africa and Yemen: Eric Pelofsky
          • Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Western Hemisphere Affairs: VACANT[16]
          • Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for South Asia: Fernando Lujan (ACTING)
          • Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Asia: Matthew Pottinger
          • Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Strategic Assessments: Victoria Coates[17]
          • Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director of Transborder Security: Monte Hawkins[18]
          • Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Resilience Policy: David Adams
          • Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Defense Policy and Strategy: David Kriete (ACTING)
          • Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Cybersecurity Policy: Andrew Grotto
          • Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Intelligence Programs: Brett Holmgren
          • Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Africa: Kyle Murphy (ACTING)[19]
          • Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Global Engagement: Courtney Beale
          • Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for European Affairs: Eric Ciaramella (ACTING)
          • Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Russia and Central Asia: Jeffrey Edmonds (ACTING)
          • Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for WMD Terrorism and Threat Reduction: Andrea Hall
          • Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Development and Democracy: Mary Beth Goodman
          • Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Energy and Climate Change: UNKNOWN
          • Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Counterterrorism: UNKNOWN

Authority[edit]

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.

The High Value Detainee Interrogation Group also reports to the NSC.[20]

Kill authorizations[edit]

Main article: Disposition Matrix

A secret National Security Council panel pursues the killing of an individual, including American citizens, who has been called a suspected terrorist.[21] In this case, no public record of this decision or any operation to kill the suspect will be made available.[21] The panel's actions are justified by "two principal legal theories": They "were permitted by Congress when it authorized the use of military forces against militants in the wake of the attacks of September 11, 2001; and they are permitted under international law if a country is defending itself."[21]

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".[22]

Reuters has reported that Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen, was on such a kill list and was killed accordingly.[21]

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.[23]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  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
  3. ^ "NSC Staff, the Name Is Back! So Long". whitehouse.gov. 2014-02-10. Retrieved 2016-12-18. 
  4. ^ "With National Security Council Shakeup, Steve Bannon Gets A Seat At The Table". Npr.org. 2017-01-29. Retrieved 2017-01-29. 
  5. ^ "Presidential Memorandum Organization of the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council". The White House. 31 January 2017. Retrieved 31 January 2017. 
  6. ^ Garamone, Jim (31 January 2017). "No Change to Chairman's Status as Senior Military Adviser, Officials Say". US Department of Defense. Retrieved 31 January 2017. 
  7. ^ Yuhas, Alan (29 January 2017). "Trump chief of staff: defense officials not off NSC after Bannon move". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 January 2017. 
  8. ^ Morris, Scott. "Maybe the Trump Administration Just Elevated Development Policy, or Maybe Not". Center for Global Development. 
  9. ^ Policy Directive 1 (PDD-1), White House, Feb 13, 2009
  10. ^ "National Security Council". The White House. www.whitehouse.gov. Retrieved 4 April 2012. 
  11. ^ a b c https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/3436428/NSC-Order.pdf
  12. ^ Trump names Army Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster as NSA, replacing the ousted Michael Flynn Washington Post accessdate=2017-02-20
  13. ^ Vice Admiral Robert Harward turns down national security adviser job, on the strength of his demand that he choose his own deputies accessdate=2017-02-16
  14. ^ White House Press Office White House National Security Advisor Announces NSC Senior Staff Appointments
  15. ^ Haaretz Trump's New Senior Middle East Adviser: Hawkish on Iran, Friendly to Egypt
  16. ^ White House dismisses NSC aide after harsh criticism of Trump accessdate=2017-02-19
  17. ^ American Thinker Trump picks Ted Cruz’s anti-jihadi adviser for National Security Council
  18. ^ Virginia Tech School of Public and International Affairs SPIA Convenes Expert Panel to Answer: Fifteen Years After 9/11, Are We Safer?
  19. ^ Robin Townley's request for security clearance for sensitive compartmented information has been rejected by the CIA. accessdate=2017-02-11
  20. ^ "Elite High Value Interrogation Unit Is Taking Its First Painful Steps", by Ed Barnes, Fox News Channel, May 12, 2010
  21. ^ a b c d "Secret panel can put Americans on "kill list'". Reuters. 5 October 2011. 
  22. ^ [[John O. Brennan's April 2012 Wilson Center Speech: The Efficacy and Ethics of U.S. Counterterrorism Strategy (Transcript and Video).]
  23. ^ DOJ Whitepaper

Additional sources[edit]

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]