'Right-Sizing' the National Security Council Staff? [June 30, 2016]   [open pdf - 124KB]

"Currently, the main vehicle through which coordination among different U.S. government agencies on national security matters takes place is the National Security Council (NSC). As part of its defense reform deliberations, Congress is considering whether the modern National Security Council and its staff--established in 1947 to help oversee U.S. global security interests--is optimized to enable the United States to meet current and emerging threats (see CRS [Congressional Research Service] Report R44508, 'Fact Sheet: FY2017 [Fiscal Year] National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) DOD Reform Proposals', by Kathleen J. McInnis). [...] The National Security Council is the President's advisory body on matters related to national and international security. Pursuant to Title 50 U.S.C §3021, the NSC's statutory members are the President, Vice President, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of Energy. Other senior officials participate in NSC deliberations at the President's request. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of National Intelligence are the NSC's statutory advisers. The NSC is directed by the Presidentially-appointed National Security Advisor (NSA) and supported by a National Security Staff (NSS, or NSC staff) comprising permanent employees of the Executive Office of the President and 'detailees' from other government agencies serving temporary assignments. The NSC staff, and the interagency coordination processes it oversees, are the primary Executive Branch vehicles for synchronizing policy and adjudicating policy differences across U.S. government agencies on national security matters."

Report Number:
CRS Insight, IN10521
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html
Media Type:
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