Fateful Decisions Inside the National Security Council

ISBN-10: 0195159667
ISBN-13: 9780195159660
Edition: 2003
List price: $54.95
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Description: The National Security Council (NSC) is the most important formal institution in the U.S. government for the creation and implementation of foreign and defense policy. The Council's four principal members--the President, Vice President, Secretary of  More...

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Book details

List price: $54.95
Copyright year: 2003
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 1/29/2004
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 400
Size: 7.50" wide x 9.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.738
Language: English

The National Security Council (NSC) is the most important formal institution in the U.S. government for the creation and implementation of foreign and defense policy. The Council's four principal members--the President, Vice President, Secretary of State, and Secretary of Defense--are responsible for incredibly far-reaching decisions regarding war and peace, diplomacy, international trade, and covert operations. Despite its obvious importance, the NSC has been subject to relatively little scholarly scrutiny, and therefore remains misunderstood by most international relations students. Fateful Decisions: Inside the National Security Council provides students with valuable insights into the origins, workings, strengths, and weaknesses of the NSC. Covering the period from 1947 to 2003, Fateful Decisions features seminal articles, essays, and documents drawn from a variety of sources. The book presents and illuminates several obscure documents regarding the beginning of the NSC and its early years. It then examines the transformation of the NSC from a newly established, and initially ignored, advisory committee to the nation's premier forum for national security deliberations. The selections--written by prominent scholars, journalists, and practitioners--offer revealing coverage of major topics, such as key challenges to the NSC and the role of the NSC in a post-Cold War environment. The articles also discuss the rise of the National Security Adviser to a position of prominence and provide profiles of those who have held the position, including McGeorge Bundy, Henry Kissinger, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Brent Scowcroft, Samuel Berger, Colin Powell, and Condoleezza Rice. Chronicling the performance of the NSC over the years, Fateful Decisions dissects both its successes and its failures--from the Cuban Missile Crisis through the Iran-contra affair, to the current war against global terrorism--and offers reform proposals to improve the Council's performance. It is ideal for courses on the NSC, national security decision-making, and U.S. foreign policy.

Each section begins with an Introduction.
Preface
Origins
The Development of Political-Military Consultation in the United States
Postwar Organization for National Security
Legislative Debate on the National Security Act of 1947, U. S. Congress
The National Security Act of 1947, U. S. Congress
Early Years
The NSC Under Truman and Eisenhower
Effective National Security Advising: Recovering the Eisenhower Legacy
Forging a Strategy For Survival
Organizing for National Security
Transformation
Letter to Jackson Subcommittee
Kissinger's Apparat
Presidential Directive/NSC-2
The Modern NSC
The National Security Council System After the Cold War
National Security Presidential Directive 1
National Security Advisers: Roles
Forum on the Role of the National Security Adviser
The NSC Adviser: Process Manager and More
The Lessons of the Iran-Contra Affair for National Security Policy Making
National Security Advisers: Profiles
Henry Kissinger
Zbigniew Brzezinski
Brent Scowcroft
Condoleezza Rice
Performance
The Cuban Missile Crisis
The Transition from the Cold War
Conflict in the Balkans
The War Against Terrorism
Editors' Introduction
America's Departments of State
The NSC Staff as Rogue Elephant, Tower Commission
Congress and the NSC, Inouye-Hamilton Committee
Reforms
Recommendations on Organizing for National Security, Tower Commission
The President and the Secretary of State
A New NSC for a New Administration
Road Map for National Security: Imperative for Change, Hart-Rudman Report
For Further Reading
Index

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