The National Security Council (NSC) is a tri-service assemblage of the president, vice president and Secretary of State. Its purpose is to assist in achieving the nation’s foreign policy objectives and enabling the various military services to work together more efficiently and effectively. A few members are chosen by the president to represent the different military branches.
The National Security Council has many facets. In addition to the usual suspects, the council has an undersecretary of state, an assistant to the president for national security affairs and an undersecretary of defense. These members will be tasked with identifying and implementing solutions to our nation’s security challenges and recommending strategies for addressing them. There is also a committee on transnational threats, headed by the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. Similarly, there is a joint intelligence community council, led by the director of national intelligence, and a Homeland Security Council. This may prove to be a daunting task for a time strapped President. To keep things interesting, the president can make a power play by designating a member of his cabinet to serve as the de facto head of the council in his stead. Those of you with a sense of humor and a good pair of heels might just get a few free dinners in the process.
Aside from the president and his staff, other members of the nexus include the heads of state from our allies, the members of Congress and the bureaucracy at large. As with any tri-service assemblage, the National Security Council is not without a few naysayers.