National Security Advisor (United States)

Last updated

Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
US-WhiteHouse-Logo.svg
Robert C. O'Brien.jpg
Incumbent
Robert O’Brien

since September 18, 2019
Executive Office of the President
Member of National Security Council
Reports to President of the United States
Appointer President of the United States
Constituting instrumentNational Security Presidential Memorandum–4 [1]
Formation1953
First holder Robert Cutler
Deputy Deputy National Security Advisor
Website WhiteHouse.gov/NSC

The Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs (APNSA), commonly referred to as the National Security Advisor (NSA) or at times informally termed the NSC Advisor, [2] [3] is a senior aide in the Executive Office of the President, based at the West Wing of the White House, who serves as the chief in-house advisor to the President of the United States on national security issues. The National Security Advisor is appointed by the President and does not require confirmation by the Senate, [4] but an appointment of a three or four-star general to the role requires Senate reconfirmation of military rank. [5]

West Wing west office section of the White House, Washington DC

The West Wing of the White House houses the offices of the president of the United States. The West Wing contains the Oval Office, the Cabinet Room, the Situation Room, and the Roosevelt Room.

White House Official residence and workplace of the President of the United States

The White House is the official residence and workplace of the president of the United States. It is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C. and has been the residence of every U.S. president since John Adams in 1800. The term "White House" is often used as a metonym for the president and his advisers.

President of the United States Head of state and of government of the United States

The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of government of the United States of America. The president directs the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces.

Contents

The National Security Advisor participates in meetings of the National Security Council (NSC) and usually chairs meetings of the Principals Committee of the NSC with the Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense (the meetings not attended by the President). The National Security Advisor is supported by NSC staff who produce research and briefings for the National Security Advisor to review and present, either to the National Security Council or directly to the President.

United States National Security Council U.S. federal executive national security and intelligence forum

The White House National Security Council (NSC) is the principal forum used by the President of the United States for consideration of national security, military matters, and foreign policy matters with senior national security advisors and Cabinet officials and is part of the Executive Office of the President of the United States. Since its inception under Harry S. 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. The Council has counterparts in the national security councils of many other nations.

United States Secretary of State U.S. cabinet member and head of the U.S. State Department

The secretary of state is a senior official of the federal government of the United States of America, and as head of the United States Department of State, is principally concerned with foreign policy and is considered to be the U.S. government's minister of foreign affairs.

United States Secretary of Defense Leader of the United States armed forces following the president

The secretary of defense (SecDef) is the leader and chief executive officer of the United States Department of Defense, the executive department of the Armed Forces of the U.S. The secretary of defense's position of command and authority over the U.S. military is second only to that of the president. This position corresponds to what is generally known as a defense minister in many other countries. The secretary of defense is appointed by the president with the advice and consent of the Senate, and is by custom a member of the Cabinet and by law a member of the National Security Council.

Role

The influence and role of the National Security Advisor varies from administration to administration and depends not only on the qualities of the person appointed to the position, but also on the style and management philosophy of the incumbent President. [6] Ideally, the National Security Advisor serves as an honest broker of policy options for the President in the field of national security, rather than as an advocate for his or her own policy agenda. [7]

However, the National Security Advisor is a staff position in the Executive Office of the President and does not have line or budget authority over either the Department of State or the Department of Defense, unlike the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense, who are Senate-confirmed officials with statutory authority over their departments; [8] but the National Security Advisor is able to offer daily advice (due to the proximity) to the President independently of the vested interests of the large bureaucracies and clientele of those departments. [6]

Staff and line are names given to different types of functions in organizations. A "line function" is one that directly advances an organization in its core work. This always includes production and sales, and sometimes also marketing. A "staff function" supports the organization with specialized advisory and support functions. For example, human resources, accounting, public relations and the legal department are generally considered to be staff functions. Both terms originated in the military.

United States Department of State United States federal executive department responsible for foreign affairs

The United States Department of State (DOS), commonly referred to as the State Department, is a federal executive department responsible for carrying out U.S. foreign policy and international relations. Established in 1789 as the nation's first executive department, its duties include advising the U.S. President, administering the nation's diplomatic missions, negotiating treaties and agreements with foreign entities, and representing the U.S. at the United Nations.

United States Department of Defense United States federal executive department

The United States Department of Defense is an executive branch department of the federal government charged with coordinating and supervising all agencies and functions of the government directly related to national security and the United States Armed Forces. The DoD is the largest employer in the world, with nearly 1.3 million active-duty service members as of 2016. More employees include over 826,000 National Guard and Reservists from the armed forces, and over 732,000 civilians bringing the total to over 2.8 million employees. Headquartered at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C., the DoD's stated mission is to provide "the military forces needed to deter war and ensure our nation's security".

In times of crisis, the National Security Advisor is likely to operate from the White House Situation Room or the Presidential Emergency Operations Center (as on September 11, 2001), [9] updating the President on the latest events in a crisis situation.

Presidential Emergency Operations Center

The Presidential Emergency Operations Center (PEOC) is a bunker-like structure underneath the East Wing of the White House that serves as a secure shelter and communications center for the President of the United States and other protectees in case of an emergency.

September 11 attacks Attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001

The September 11 attacks were a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks by the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda against the United States on the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001. The attacks killed 2,977 people, injured over 6,000 others, and caused at least $10 billion in infrastructure and property damage. Additional people have died of 9/11-related cancer and respiratory diseases in the months and years following the attacks.

History

President George H. W. Bush meets in the Oval Office with his NSC about Operation Desert Shield, 1991 President Bush meets with General Colin Powell, General Scowcroft, Secretary James Baker, Vice President Quayle... - NARA - 186429.tif
President George H. W. Bush meets in the Oval Office with his NSC about Operation Desert Shield, 1991

The National Security Council was created at the start of the Cold War under the National Security Act of 1947 to coordinate defense, foreign affairs, international economic policy, and intelligence; this was part of a large reorganization that saw the creation of the Department of Defense and the Central Intelligence Agency. [10] [11] The Act did not create the position of the National Security Advisor per se, but it did create an executive secretary in charge of the staff. In 1949, the NSC became part of the Executive Office of the President. [10]

Cold War Geopolitical tension after World War II between the Eastern and Western Bloc

The Cold War was a period of geopolitical tension between the Soviet Union with its satellite states, and the United States with its allies after World War II. The historiography of the conflict began between 1946 and 1947. The Cold War began to de-escalate after the Revolutions of 1989. The collapse of the USSR in 1991 was the end of the Cold War. The term "cold" is used because there was no large-scale fighting directly between the two sides, but they each supported major regional conflicts known as proxy wars. The conflict split the temporary wartime alliance against Nazi Germany and its allies, leaving the USSR and the US as two superpowers with profound economic and political differences.

National Security Act of 1947 United States law restructuring its armed forces

The National Security Act of 1947 was a major restructuring of the United States government's military and intelligence agencies following World War II. The majority of the provisions of the Act took effect on September 18, 1947, the day after the Senate confirmed James Forrestal as the first Secretary of Defense.

Central Intelligence Agency National intelligence agency of the United States

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is a civilian foreign intelligence service of the federal government of the United States, tasked with gathering, processing, and analyzing national security information from around the world, primarily through the use of human intelligence (HUMINT). As one of the principal members of the United States Intelligence Community (IC), the CIA reports to the Director of National Intelligence and is primarily focused on providing intelligence for the President and Cabinet of the United States.

Robert Cutler was the first National Security Advisor in 1953. The system has remained largely unchanged since then, particularly since President John Kennedy, with powerful National Security Advisors and strong staff but a lower importance given to formal NSC meetings. This continuity persists despite the tendency of each new president to replace the advisor and senior NSC staff. [10]

President Richard Nixon's National Security Advisor, Henry Kissinger, enhanced the importance of the role, controlling the flow of information to the President and meeting him multiple times per day. Kissinger also holds the distinction of serving as National Security Advisor and Secretary of State at the same time from September 22, 1973, until November 3, 1975. [10] [11]

List of National Security Advisors

No.PortraitNameTerm of office [12] President(s) served under
StartEndDays
1 Robert Cutler (1895–1974)March 23, 1953April 2, 1955740 Dwight D. Eisenhower
2 No image.svg Dillon Anderson (1906–1974)April 2, 1955September 1, 1956519
3 William Harding Jackson.jpg William H. Jackson (1901–1971) [13] September 1, 1956January 7, 1957128
4 Robert Cutler (1895–1974)January 7, 1957June 24, 1958533
5 Gordon Gray - Project Gutenberg etext 20587.jpg Gordon Gray (1909–1982)June 24, 1958January 13, 1961934
6 McGeorge Bundy.jpg McGeorge Bundy (1919–1996)January 20, 1961February 28, 19661865 John F. Kennedy
Lyndon B. Johnson
7 Walt Rostow 1968.jpg Walt W. Rostow (1916–2003)April 1, 1966January 20, 19691025
8 Henry Kissinger.jpg Henry Kissinger (1923–)January 20, 1969November 3, 19752478 Richard Nixon
Gerald Ford
9 National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft at a meeting following the assassinations in Beirut, 1976 - NARA - 7064964.jpg Brent Scowcroft (1925–)November 3, 1975 (first appointment)January 20, 1977444
10 Zbigniew Brzezinski, 1977.jpg Zbigniew Brzezinski (1928–2017)January 20, 1977January 20, 19811461 Jimmy Carter
11 Richard V. Allen 1981.jpg Richard V. Allen (1936–)January 21, 1981January 4, 1982348 Ronald Reagan
12 William patrick clark.png William P. Clark, Jr. (1931–2013)January 4, 1982October 17, 1983651
13 Robert Mcfarlane IAGS.jpg Robert McFarlane (1937–)October 17, 1983December 4, 1985779
14 Admiral John Poindexter, official Navy photo, 1985.JPEG John Poindexter (1936–)December 4, 1985November 25, 1986356
15 Frank Carlucci official portrait.JPEG Frank Carlucci (1930–2018)December 2, 1986November 23, 1987356
16 ColinPowell.JPEG Colin Powell (1937–)November 23, 1987January 20, 1989424
17 Brent Scowcroft.jpg Brent Scowcroft (1925–)January 20, 1989 (second appointment)January 20, 19931461 George H. W. Bush
18 Anthony Lake 0c175 7733.jpg Anthony Lake (1939–)January 20, 1993March 14, 19971514 Bill Clinton
19 SandyBerger.jpg Sandy Berger (1945–2015)March 14, 1997January 20, 20011408
20 Condoleezza Rice cropped.jpg Condoleezza Rice (1954–)January 22, 2001 [14] January 25, 2005 [14] 1464 George W. Bush
21 Stephen Hadley.jpg Stephen Hadley (1947–)January 26, 2005 [14] January 20, 20091455
22 James L. Jones.jpg James Jones (1943–) [15] January 20, 2009October 8, 2010626 Barack Obama
23 Thomas Donilon.jpg Tom Donilon (1955–) [16] October 8, 2010July 1, 2013 [17] 997
24 Susan Rice official photo (cropped).jpg Susan Rice (1964–) [17] July 1, 2013 [17] January 20, 20171299
25 Michael T Flynn.jpg Michael Flynn (1958–)January 20, 2017February 13, 201724 Donald Trump
Acting Keith Kellogg 2000.jpg Keith Kellogg (1944–)February 13, 2017February 20, 20177
26 H.R. McMaster ARCIC 2014.jpg H. R. McMaster (1962–)February 20, 2017April 9, 2018412
27 John R. Bolton official photo (cropped).jpg John R. Bolton (1948–)April 9, 2018September 10, 2019520
Acting Reagan Contact Sheet C42578 (cropped).jpg Charles Kupperman (1950–)September 10, 2019September 18, 20199
28 Robert C. O'Brien.jpg Robert O’Brien September 18, 2019present0
  Denotes acting

Brent Scowcroft is the only person to have held the job in two non-consecutive administrations: in the Ford administration and in the G.H.W. Bush administration. Robert Cutler also held the job twice, both times during the Eisenhower administration. Henry Kissinger holds the record for longest term of service (2,478 days). Michael Flynn holds the record for shortest term of service (24 days).

Three and four-star generals require Senate confirmation due to the statutory nature requiring Congress to appoint their military rank. [5] The prior National Security Adviser, H. R. McMaster, is a three-star lieutenant general and his military rank was reconfirmed by the Senate on March 15, 2017. [18] [19] On Thursday, March 22, 2018, President Donald Trump announced, via Twitter, that McMaster would be replaced as the National Security Advisor by former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John R. Bolton, effective April 9, 2018. [20] On September 10, 2019, President Trump announced on Twitter that he "informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House", and that Bolton had resigned. [21] On September 18, 2019, President Trump announced on Twitter that Robert C. O'Brien will become the next National Security Advisor. [22]

See also

Related Research Articles

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Defence minister minister in charge of defence affairs of a state

The title Defense Minister, Minister for Defense, Minister of National Defense, Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State for Defense or some similar variation, is assigned to the person in a cabinet position in charge of a Ministry of Defense, which regulates the armed forces in sovereign states. The role of a defence minister varies considerably from country to country; in some the minister is only in charge of general budget matters and procurement of equipment; while in others the minister is also, in addition, an integral part of the operational military chain of command.

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United States Homeland Security Council

The Homeland Security Council (HSC) is an entity within the Executive Office of the President of the United States tasked with advising the President on matters relating to Homeland Security. The immediate former Homeland Security Advisor was Tom Bossert, who held the rank of Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism. The current Homeland Security Advisor is Rear Admiral Doug Fears, who took office in April 2018.

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References

2009-02: The National Security Advisor and Staff (PDF). WhiteHouseTransitionProject.org. 2009.

  1. "National Security Presidential Memorandum–4 of April 4, 2017" (PDF).
  2. The National Security Advisor and Staff: p. 1.
  3. Abbreviated NSA, or sometimes APNSA or ANSA in order to avoid confusion with the abbreviation of the National Security Agency.
  4. The National Security Advisor and Staff: p. 29.
  5. 1 2 "McMaster will need Senate confirmation to serve as national security adviser". Archived from the original on March 1, 2017. Retrieved March 12, 2017.
  6. 1 2 The National Security Advisor and Staff: pp. 17-21.
  7. The National Security Advisor and Staff: pp. 10-14.
  8. See 22 U.S.C.   § 2651 for the Secretary of State and 10 U.S.C.   § 113 for the Secretary of Defense.
  9. Clarke, Richard A. (2004). Against All Enemies . New York: Free Press. p. 18. ISBN   0-7432-6024-4.
  10. 1 2 3 4 George, Robert Z; Harvey Rishikof (2011). The National Security Enterprise: Navigating the Labyrinth. Georgetown University Press. p. 32.
  11. 1 2 Schmitz, David F. (2011). Brent Scowcroft: Internationalism and Post-Vietnam War American Foreign Policy. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 2–3.
  12. "History of the National Security Council, 1947-1997". National Security Council. White House. August 1997. Archived from the original on March 6, 2008. Retrieved September 5, 2008.
  13. Burke, John P. (2009). Honest Broker?: The National Security Advisor and Presidential Decision Making. Texas A&M University Press. p.  26. ISBN   9781603441025.
  14. 1 2 3 The National Security Advisor and Staff: p. 33.
  15. "Key members of Obama-Biden national security team announced" (Press release). The Office of the President Elect. December 1, 2008. Archived from the original on December 1, 2008. Retrieved December 1, 2008.Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  16. "Donilon to replace Jones as national security adviser". CNN. October 2010. Archived from the original on November 8, 2012. Retrieved October 8, 2010.
  17. 1 2 3 Scott Wilson and Colum Lynch (June 5, 2013). "National security team shuffle may signal more activist stance at White House". Washington Post . Archived from the original on October 25, 2017.
  18. Tritten, Travis J. (March 7, 2017). "Senate panel gives nod to McMaster's 3-star status". Stars and Stripes. Washington, D.C. Archived from the original on March 7, 2017.
  19. Tritten, Travis J. (March 15, 2017). "Senate vote allows McMaster to retain 3 stars as Trump adviser". Stars and Stripes. Washington, D.C. Archived from the original on March 15, 2017.
  20. "National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster to resign, replaced by former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton". WLWT. March 22, 2018. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  21. Baker, Peter (September 10, 2019). "John Bolton Out as National Security Adviser". The New York Times .
  22. Trump, Donald J. (September 18, 2019). "I am pleased to announce that I will name Robert C. O'Brien, currently serving as the very successful Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs at the State Department, as our new National Security Advisor. I have worked long & hard with Robert. He will do a great job!". @realDonaldTrump. Retrieved September 18, 2019.

Further reading