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date: 27 January 2022

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.

Keywords: National Security Council, U.S. foreign policy, U.S. security policy, National Security Advisor, Interagency Process, Presidential Decision-Making

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