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NSC Structure Comparison Paper

NSEC501_D02_202030 – 202030 SUMMER 2020 NSEC 501-D02 LUO

NSC Structure Comparison Paper

Alfreda Dunlap on Tue, Jul 28 2020, 8:49 AM

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Submission ID: 24eddd8c-2e69-4dfe-acd4-b9a1973bd6f2

· NSCStructureComparisoned.docx

Word Count: 2,005

Attachment ID: 3175657587


Citations (11/11)

1. 1Another student’s paper

2. 2Another student’s paper

3. 3https://www.everycrsreport.com/files/20080421_RL30840_dfb966d879e0acda6ba0b580acd9bbe6a61cbec1.html

4. 4https://gsdrc.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/043-National-Security-Advisor-Office.pdf

5. 5Another student’s paper

6. 6https://www.hsdl.org/?search&exact=Rollins%2C+John&searchfield=creator&collection=limited&submitted=Search&advanced=1&release=0

7. 7Another student’s paper

8. 8https://www.npr.org/2017/01/30/512489785/fact-check-spin-aside-trumps-national-security-council-has-a-very-big-change

9. 9Another student’s paper

10. 10https://www.everycrsreport.com/files/20111228_RL30840_c98e4da2a46c126e9c85ee1f5a284df66f9141a3.html

11. 11Another student’s paper



2 NSC Structure Comparison

Name Alfreda Dunlap

Liberty University

Course NSEC501

Professor Michael Perez

Date 8/2/20

2 I attest this submission represents my own work, and not that of another student, scholar, or internet source. I understand I am responsible for knowing and correctly utilizing referencing and bibliographical guidelines.

NSC Structure Comparison

National Security Council (NSC) structure is imperative in advising and assisting the ruling president in making decisions on national and foreign security policies. The structures differ from one another as per the president’s preferences. This can be seen in the case of the structure during Trump’s administration and President Bush’s administration. Defense strategies, intelligence, and coordination are considered in the policymaking procedures carried out after analyses of expected and current threats. Recommendations presented by the advisory through the presidents are formed from the intelligence of various security committees. The paper will examine the National Security Council structures during Trump’s and Bush’s administrations and evaluate their similarities and differences. Also, the strengths and weaknesses of each structure will be reviewed. The development of a proposed structure for the POTUS will also be included. Global Security Council structures are significant to evade crises and threats. In this paper, the similarities, differences, strengths, weaknesses, and the POTUS proposed structure of Trump’s and Bush’s administration will be explained.


Both structures in the countries depend on interagency systems. Intelligence obtained from the systems is combined, as reported by the committee heads and secretaries. The National Security Advisor is appointed to lead the advisory board in coordinating and advising the president (Bell, 2019). In addition, the agencies must cooperate and liaise with each other for clarity of intelligence, enabling the advisory process to be effective. Both leaders uphold consultations from the agency systems on National Security affairs. Even during crises, interagency coordination is highly considered in the policy development processes (Bell, 2019). For example, the defense secretary, homeland security, foreign secretary, Central Intelligence Agency, and Trade secretary must be involved from the agencies and ministries. The president with other statutory attendees such as the secretary of defense, treasury, state, and vice president form the committee (Bolton, 2017). The committee serves as the right hand in coordinating security policies in conjunction with other security agencies.

A National Security Advisor is appointed in the structures to provide expert advice. Additionally, the advisor is responsible for coordinating policies and initiatives among ministries and agencies (Hardley, 2016). This is imperative in enabling a sense of agency in the interagency processes, as advocated by the executives. Intelligence obtained from the agencies plays a significant role in obtaining an understanding and support of policies presented to the Security Council and how the council heads will support the policies (Hardley, 2016). This is determined by the coordination of the agencies and ministries and their input when relaying information on policy matters. The advisor also enables emergency coordination bodies during policies and resource allocation support from the executives in dealing with national threats. This increases the executive’s ability to make decisions and policies that observe unity and high authority (Bolton, 2017).

Strategies in both security structures follow priorities, threats, resource allocation, and response on defense positions increasing the national preparedness. This is imperative in ensuring that both current and anticipated threats have developed contingency plans (Thomson & Blagden, 2018). Security reviews carried out not only improve on the policies already developed but also new policies that are coherent in improving the overall security policymaking process. This is because the decisions are made through joint assessment through oversight and intelligence from the agencies. Further, the strategies have a military balance in which security forces heads provide an overview of the strategies (Thomson & Blagden, 2018). That ensures that strategies consider senior military intelligence in the advisory committee influencing National Security Structures. Principals, policy coordination, and deputies’ committees review and monitor policies attained from the interagency systems (Bell, 2019).

3 Both President Trump and the Bush administration considered the separate roles of Homeland Security and the National Security Council. With the NSC foreseeing international security threats and issues, the Homeland Security Council is concerned with the domestic threats and priorities as per the CSR report (2017). In addition, the NSC can integrate domestic and military policies on matters pertaining to international security. That led to changes in who has authority on both entities. According to the CSR report in both administrations, the assistant to the president in matters concerning national security has authority over the two entities (2017). 2 Corinthians 10:12 The Message We’re not, understand, putting ourselves in a league with those who boast that they’re our superiors. We wouldn’t dare do that. But in all this comparing and grading and competing, they quite miss the point. Paul answers that he and his friends would do everything he wrote in his letters, no matter how unimpressive he might appear. Paul is not participating in the cultural competency to be the most popular or most followed public personality. He describes his opponents as being without understanding—they are unwise—as proven by their continual need to measure themselves against each other


A political advisor in Trump’s administration has been included in the structure as a regular and permanent attendee. That is compared with Bush’s administration in which a political strategist was a regular attendee (McInnis & Rollins, 2017). The political advisor must regularly attend the council meetings and offer his advice on policies from a political point of view. That is especially imperative in policies and strategies regarding international security threats. The advisor also bears positive strategies for the president being his chief strategist (McInnis & Rollins, 2017). The changes also reduced the secretary of energy to become an irregular attendee to the council meetings. During Bush’s tenure, the secretary of energy was a statutory member of the council.

Trump’s NSC structure has increased Congress’s input compared to Bush’s structure during his presidency. For instance, the appropriation of subcommittees and staff personnel influences the operations micromanagement as per the CSR report (2017). The limited congress numbers of individuals in the policymaking processes have increased due to the separation of Homeland and National Security councils compared to Bush’s tenure. That has been due to the organization of the security staff from the executive office and other government agencies. That also has a consideration of the attendees and participants that the current structure approach that has been undertaken by President Trump. According to the CSR report (2017), the revised security organization changed the roles some directors had to remain as permanent attendees, such as the Director of National Intelligence.


Trump’s structure has been able to address and appreciate its American Dream strengths. That has been through the implementation, alignment, and coordination of defense policies for military strategy, competition, and economic advancement (Strange, 2018). That is significant to the nation for both domestic and international growth through the political advisor’s advice. Assessment of the council objectives, commitments, and risks concerning policies ensures that the president makes decisions that carry out government policies. The structure boasts of containment of threat and crisis capabilities through cooperation and intelligence operations (Strange, 2018). That articulates the responsibilities of the executive branch of the government to been performed with effectiveness as expected by the public.

Both Trump’s and Bush’s structures have integrated the Homeland Security Council and the National Security Council as separate entities. That has enabled the effectiveness of security functions and coordination (McInnis & Rollins, 2017). With Homeland Security increasing its focus on internal domestic security defense, the National Security Council focuses more on international and transnational security issues. That subjected the councils to obtain concrete intelligence on the threats increasing the effectiveness of the policies. That has created a balance on policies held in addressing inconsistencies with the increased risk of terror activities.


The weaknesses seen in Trump’s structure is the increased inability to consider the advice of the council. That can be due to the inclusion of the political advisor to the committee. The political advisor may have limited expertise in global security affairs, which influences the council’s advice to the president during policymaking decisions (Montanaro, 2017). That creates loopholes when political agendas are prioritized compared to the prioritization of domestic and foreign security threats. That can limit the professionalism that the administration takes when employing expert advice on national matters.

During Bush’s administration, a weakness could be seen in integrating statutory advisors to the council to attend the principals’ meetings. That could impact the decision-making processes in cases where responsibilities and expertise opinions differed in discussions (McInnis & Rollins, 2017). The current administration changed the roles and participation of some regular members in the security meetings. That would ensure that end decisions and policies were in respect to the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Also, Bush’s administration’s weakness in the intentions of the security meetings participations could influence the advice given to the head of the state.

POTUS Proposed Structure

A proposal on the removal of the political advisor from the current National Security would be applicable. That would reduce the notion that the president’s political agenda is higher than the security of the nation. The political advisor’s role could instead be taken by the Director of Intelligence becoming a permanent participant of the principals’ committee. The current changes in the structure could also involve the secretary of energy. That is because the secretary plays a huge role in the production of military power through energy. Nuclear weapons production and distribution, for instance, require the input of the secretary to ensure safety and deterrence during use. The secretary would also offer oversight on the governance of nuclear energy towards combating security threats and the impact it can have on domestic threats.


National Security Council structures are as designed and modeled by the current ruling presidents as per their preferences. Trump’s and Bush’s presidency tenures are articulated to have a lot of similarities as compared to differences. For instance, both presidents chose to treat Homeland Security and the National Security Councils as different entities. This increased focus on intelligence regarding policies on domestic and foreign threats, respectively. Major differences are observed in the organization and the inclusion of council participants. The inclusion of a political advisor during Trump’s administration increases the notion of prioritization of political agendas compared to national security and defense. That has created a huge controversy on the strengths of the adopted structure. Despite this, both Bush and Trump’s tenures have facilitated national security policies to meet the nation’s purpose. The protection and safety of the citizens have been held within the structures as per the statutory foundations. That has ensured consistency in facing significant challenges and threats in the past and the future, from domestic and foreign domains.


Bell, M. (2019). DoD in the interagency system. Preparing senior staff officers for joint strategic assignments.

Bolton, L. (2017). 4 National Security Office responsibilities and functions.

Hadley, J. (2016). 5 The role and importance of the National Security Advisor. 4 Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs. http://defense360.csis.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Scowcroft-Paper-1_Hadley_The-Rolland-Importance-of-the-NSA.pdf

McInnis, K. & Rollins, J. (2017). 6 Trump Administration changes to the National Security Council: 7 frequently asked questions. CSR insight. 2 https://fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/IN10640.pdf

Montanaro, D. (2017). 8 Spin aside, Trump’s National Security Council has a very big change. 9 https://www.npr.org/2017/01/30/512489785/fact-check-spin-aside-trumps-national-security-council-has-a-very-big-change

Strange, L. (2018). 10 The National Security Council: A tool for decision. 10 American Enterprise Institute. https://www.aei.org/research-products/report/the-national-security-council-a-tool-for-decision/ The CSR report. (2017). 10 The National Security Council: 11 Background and Issues for Congress. Retrieved from https://www.everycrsreport.com/reports/R44828.html

Thomson, c. & Blagden, D. (2018). A very British National Security state: Formal and informal institutions in the design of UK security policy. The British journal of politics and international relations 20(3).

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