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date: 15 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Removing the friction of competing perspectives and bureaucratic interests by the various agencies of government (along with their supporters in the Congress and beneficiaries among businesses, interest groups, and the public) that would foster “unity of effort” and the ability to prioritize activity, budget accordingly, carry out policies crisply, and convey a consistent message by our government is chimerical. The interagency system cannot be structured to maximum efficiency in the United States. Efficiency is radically beside the point, because the purpose of the structure is to maximize consensus on the activity to be undertaken. The politics cannot be leached out of policymaking—nor should they be—because politics give policymaking its legitimacy.

Keywords: interagency, national security, foreign policy, president, national security council, decision making

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