Report advises next administration on national security

In June, the Atlantic Council published a report on the organization and performance of the National Security Council (NSC) system. The report provides insight and advice intended to help the next administration build an effective national security structure and clear up “strategic confusion.”

The report is the result of multiple interviews and seminars with over sixty senior foreign service policy, defense, and intelligence leaders. The authors to conclude that structural and personnel failures at the NSC in the management of foreign, defense, intelligence, and legal policy have led to serious mistakes in foreign and defense policy.

According to the authors, an incoming president has seven fundamental decisions to make regarding the organization, staffing, and management of the NSC:

  • Focus the National Security Council Mission
  • Define the National Security Advisor’s Role
  • Reduce and Restrict the Size of the NSC Staff
  • Designate a Strategic Planning Staff
  • Use Interagency Teams and Task Forces
  • Coordinate Legal Advice
  • Prepare for the Transition Now

The authors suggest that reforming the size, mission, and staffing of the NSC can bring a return to models that have succeeded over many decades, saying that “Good structure does not guarantee success, but bad structure almost always overcomes good people and leads to poor results.”

Foundational Report  - June 2016

For more of this report, please follow the link below.
A Foundational Proposal For The Next Administration, Atlantic Council

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