The National Security Council
Samuel Berger - Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
James B. Steinberg - Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
Major General Donald Kerrick - Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs NATO Enlargement
Establishment of the National Security Council
The National Security Council was established by the National Security Act of 1947 (PL 235 - 61 Stat. 496; U.S.C. 402), amended by the National Security Act Amendments of 1949 (63 Stat. 579; 50 U.S.C. 401 et seq.). Later in 1949, as part of the Reorganization Plan, the Council was placed in the Executive Office of the President.
National Security Council's Function
The National Security Council is the President's principal forum for considering national security and foreign policy matters with his senior national security advisors and cabinet officials. Since its inception under President Truman, the function of the Council has been to advise and assist the President on national security and foreign policies. The Council also serves as the President's principal arm for coordinating these policies among various government agencies.
Membership of the National Security Council
The National Security Council is chaired by the President. Its statutory members, in addition to the President, are the Vice President and the Secretaries of State and Defense. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is the statutory military advisor to the Council, and the Director of Central Intelligence is the intelligence advisor. The Secretary of the Treasury, the U.S. Representative to the United Nations, the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, the Assistant to the President for Economic policy, and the Chief of Staff to the President are invited to all meetings of the Council. The Attorney General and the Director of the Office of National Drug ContrPolicy attend meetings pertaining to their jurisdiction; other officials are invited, as appropriate.
National Security Council Staff
The NSC staff, headed by the Executive Secretary, serves as the President's national security and foreign policy staff within the White House. The staff receives its direction from the President, through the National Security Advisor. The Executive Secretary assists the President and the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs in preparing for meetings with foreign leaders and in connection with the President's foreign travel. The staff performs a variety of activities in advising and assisting the President and the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, including participating in Presidential briefings, assisting the President in responding to Congressional inquiries and preparing public remarks. The NSC staff serves as an initial point of contact for departments and agencies who wish to bring a national security issue to the President's attention.
The NSC staff also prepares briefing materials for the President and the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs to assist them in making decisions regarding national security policy and operations, including preparation of meeting agendas, decision and discussion papers. Staff members participate in inter-agency working groups organized to assess policy issues in a coordinated fashion among several agencies at an initial staff level; they prepare analysis and recommendations for the Deputy Assistants to the President for National Security Affairs, the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and the President.
Executive Secretary Administrative Office. African Affairs. Asian Affairs. Central and Eastern Europe. Defense Policy and Arms Control. International Economic Affairs. European Affairs. Intelligence Programs. Inter-American Affairs. Legal Affairs. Legislative Affairs. Multilateral and Humanitarian Affairs. Near East and South Asian Affairs. Nonproliferation and Export Controls. Public Affairs. Records and Access Management. Russia/Ukraine/Eurasian Affairs. Strategic Planning. Systems & Technical Planning. Transnational Threats White House Situation room.
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