- The Oxford Handbook of U.S. National Security
- About the Editors
- Foreword: U.S. National Security for the Twenty-First Century
- Introduction: Shape and Scope of U.S. National Security
- America’s Foreign Policy Traditions
- National Interests and Grand Strategy
- U.S. Foreign Policymaking and National Security
- Civil-Military Relations
- The Presidency and Decision Making
- The National Security Council: Is It Effective, or Is It Broken?
- The National Security Process
- Intelligence and National Security Decision Making
- Congress and National Security
- Diplomacy, the State Department, and National Security
- Development Assistance: Rationale and Applications
- Understanding and Improving U.S. Financial Sanctions
- The Political Economy of Security
- Budgeting for National Security
- Military Force Planning and National Security
- Military Operations and the Defense Department
- Alliances, Military Basing, and Logistics
- Homeland Security
- The United States and Iran: Challenges of Deterrence and Compellence
- U.S. Nuclear Strategy: The Search for Meaning
- International Cyber Conflict and National Security
- Encryption Wars: Who Should Yield?
- Space and National Security
- Human (In)Security
- Climate Change and Environmental Security
- Political Violence
- Women’s Participation in Political Violence
- International Terrorism
- Threats and Dangers in the Twenty-First Century
- International Rivalry and National Security
- Interstate Rivalry in East Asia
- The Transatlantic Security Landscape in Europe
- U.S. National Security in the Western Hemisphere
- Epilogue: Five Lessons for National Security Policymakers
Abstract and Keywords
As the engine room for the making of U.S. foreign and security policy, the National Security Council (NSC) is vital. But debates about its proper structure, role, and function endure. This chapter explores the three most common critiques of the modern NSC: first, that it is too big; second, that it is too operational and does the work government agencies should do; and third, that it has a proclivity for too much micromanagement and too little strategic thinking. As a way to understand what the NSC does and to answer the question about whether it is effective or broken, it is necessary to unpack these critiques and assess their persuasiveness.
Derek Chollet is Executive Vice President and Senior Adviser for Security and Defense policy at The German Marshall Fund of the United States. He served in senior positions during the Obama administration at the White House, State Department, and Pentagon, most recently as the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs. He is a contributing editor to Foreign Policy, where he coedits “Shadow Government,” and is a regular contributor to Defense One. He is also an advisor to Beacon Global Strategies, an Adjunct Senior Research Scholar at Columbia University’s Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies, and a Visiting Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perry World House. His most recent book is The Long Game: How Obama Defied Washington and Redefined America’s Role in the World.
Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.
If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.