Accession Number : AD1042201

Title :   People, Process, and Policy: Case Studies in National Security Advising, the National Security Council, and Presidential Decision Making

Descriptive Note : Technical Report


Personal Author(s) : Brupbacher,Jared J

Full Text :

Report Date : 01 Jun 2017

Pagination or Media Count : 124

Abstract : This study analyzes the conception, growth, and management of the United States (US) National Security Council (NSC). The author traces the history of the NSCs creation, and assesses its role in the national strategy process during the first terms of the Eisenhower, Clinton, and George W. Bush administrations. It analyzes not only the Councils structural and procedural characteristics, but more importantly the roles of the president, principals, and National Security Advisors (NSA) in managing the NSCs functions. It concludes that, while the NSC remains the central and most relevant organization for conducting strategy and executing the interagency process, its role has become relegated to a crisis-management body rather than a grand strategy forum as originally intended in 1947. As determined by each presidents desires, the principals and NSAs influence on the foreign policy decision-making waxes and wanes from administration to administration, from term to term, and even from crisis to crisis. The NSA, as the leading foreign-policy advisor to the president and the manager of the NSC strategy process, must respond to the presidents decision-making style to determine the appropriate role for the NSA. They must also be prepared to depart from their expected role, typically the honest broker model, and assume other roles such as policy advocate or entrepreneur, to compensate for the president's shortfalls or to balance the principals approach to the strategy process. Just as the NSA shapes their own role, they must also adapt the NSCs functions to synchronize the administrations strategy process with the president's management and decision-making style. By examining three unique US president-NSA-NSC case studies, this thesis shows how different levels of presidential support for the NSA and their NSC strategy and interagency processes, more than any factor, defines the success of the system.

Descriptors :   interagency coordination , public policy , national security , department of state , political systems , foreign relations , homeland security , personnel management , department of defense , intergovernmental organizations , governments , international organizations , Decision making

Subject Categories : Administration and Management
      Government and Political Science

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE