The National Security Council (“NSC”) was established under the National Security Act of 1947. The NSC advices the President of the United States on matters related to national security and foreign policies. It is an integral part of the President’s executive office. Apart from the advisory and assistance role on National security matters, the NSC also assists the President by coordinating national security policies among different government agencies.
The President is the chairman of NSC. The NSC has both statutory and non statutory attendees. Generally, it is attended regularly by both the statutory and non statutory attendees and they are: the Vice President of the United States, Secretary of State, Secretary of Treasury, the Secretary of Defense, and the National Security Advisor (who is also the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs.) The NSC has a Military advisor, who is also the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The council’s intelligence advisor is the Director of National Intelligence.
At times, some of the President’s officials such as the Chief of Staff of the President, President’s Counsel, and the Assistant to the President on Economic Policies are invited to attend NSC meetings. Additionally the Attorney General, the Director of the Office of the Management and Budget, the heads of other executive departments and agencies, and senior officers are invited whenever their presence is required.
The staff of NSC comprises:
- The National Security Advisor
- Deputy National Security Advisor
- Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications
- Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism
- Special Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor and Coordinator for Afghanistan-Pakistan.
- Chief of Staff
- Secretary to the Council
Apart from the above, there is a Senior Director for Council and Senior Directors for different regions such as: Central Region, South Asia, Near East and North Africa, Gulf States, Iran and Iraq, Asia etc. Also, there are Senior Directors for Defense, Non-Proliferation, Multilateral Affairs, Development and sustainable Security. There is also a Senior advisor on Strategic Planning, a Spokesman and a Coordinator of the US office for the Prevention of WMD Proliferation and Terrorism.
National Security Council Website: http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/nsc/