What is a National Security Adviser?
There are a lot of government officials involved in the formulation and implementation of national security policies. The national security adviser is one of the most senior aides who assist the President in national security issues. The NSA reports directly to the president and acts as an in-house adviser on national security. The role requires knowledge across various military organizations and intelligence communities, such as NATO, the US Military, the CIA, the FBI, Homeland Security, and the Pentagon. Despite the high-level interactions and access, the NSA has no official authority like the Cabinet secretaries, who report to the president through their departments.
Job Description of the NSA and its relation to what the Cabinet Secretaries do
The national security adviser is a member of the U.S National Security Council and usually chairs meetings with top officials when the President is not in attendance. The role includes offering options to the President on issues related to national security, such as terrorism or political conflict with or between countries around the world.
The national security adviser helps plan everything from presidential foreign travel to NSC meetings and briefings. He is also responsible for providing background memos on world leaders, drafting speeches about the President’s policies, organizing congressional leader phone calls/meetings, responding to specific requests by the President – like information or briefing requests – and briefing him on hot topics.
Stephen Hadley, who served as President George W. Bush’s National Security Adviser between 2005 and 2009, described the scope of his job in a 2016 speech saying that he needed to advance the presidential initiatives within executive branches of government and advice on issues like foreign affairs and national security. However, Stephen cautioned against usurping the role of Cabinet members, specifically the Secretary of Defense.
When was the position of NSA created?
The National Security Council was created in 1947 to coordinate foreign affairs, defense, international economic policy, and intelligence. In 1953, Robert Cutler became the first NSA in United States history, who served under President Eisenhower.
Robert C. O’Brien, the 28th person to serve as the special presidential envoy for hostage affairs at the State Department, became one of three NSAs, including Henry Kissinger and Colin Powell. They would later become Secretary of State under their respective presidents.
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