National Security Council

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Masterminds of the Afghan crisis: (immediate right) Antony Blinken; (left, unmasked) Joe Biden; (far side of table) Jake Sullivan, Lloyd Austin, Mark Milley, unknown.

The National Security Council (NSC) was created in 1947 for coordinating and implementing national security and foreign policy. By law, the President, the Vice President,[1] Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, Secretary of Energy, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Director of National Intelligence, and the Director of National Drug Control Policy are members.

Beyond statutory requirements, each president is free to structure his administration as he sees fit. In the Trump administration,[2] the White House Chief of Staff, White House Counsel, National Security Advisor, Director of Central Intelligence, Attorney General, Treasury Secretary, OMB Director, and the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy are also members of the NSC or invited to attend meetings.

The NSC and its staff now consists of a Principals Committee of decision makers, known as policymakers, and a Deputies Committee charged with analysis, recommendations, and implementation.

Homeland Security Council

Immediately after the 9/11 attacks President George W. Bush created the Homeland Security Council (HSC) by Executive Order within the White House. Congress subsequently codified the HSC in the Homeland Security Act of 2002 which created the separate Department of Homeland Security. President Barack Hussein Obama merged the staff supporting the HSC with the staff supporting the NSC, howevet the two continue to exist by statute as independent councils advising the president. President Donald J. Trump has maintained the same structure.

Biden junta

See also: Biden junta

Robert Gates, who served as Defense Secretary in both Republican and Democrat administrations and began serving on the National Security Council one year after Joe Biden was first elected to the Senate in 1973, said of the former Vice President in 2014 and reiterated it in 2020:

I think he has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.[3]

Woke U.S. Gen. Mark Milley testified before Congress on June 23, 2021 that the Taliban controlled about 81 districts in Afghanistan. Milley was asked about closing Bagram Airforce Base. Milley replied, “Bagram is not necessary, tactically or operationally for what we are going to try to do here with Afghanistan."[4] Less than a month later, on July 21, 2021 he told reporters the Taliban controlled half of Afghanistan’s 419 districts, or more than twice as many as before. According to media reporting, the Taliban also controlled large stretches of multiple major highways, and at least six international border crossings. Civilian casualties hit a record high in May and June, according to the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan.[5]

Taliban mock U.S. flag raising at Iwo Jima in their victory over Mark Milley and America.[6]

In July 2021 the Pentagon said it was providing the Afghan Air Force 35 Black Hawk helicopters and three A-29 Super Tucanos. Less than a month later the Black Hawks helicopters and other aircraft were seized by the Taliban. Many of the aircraft and helicopters are armed. The A-29 Super Tucanos can fire laser-guided and other types of bombs. The Afghan government also had 50 American-made MD-530 attack helicopters, which are armed with machine guns and rockets. The Afghan Air Force had UH-60 Black Hawks and Russian-made Mi-17 helicopters, as well as C-130 and Cessna transports, and a small fleet of armed Cessnas.[7]

The U.S. military abandoned the strategic Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan at 3:00 AM on July 2, 2021 without informing Afghan National Army forces who were due to take it over.[8] Gen. Mir Asadullah Kohistani of the Afghan Army said he only discovered the Americans had left two hours after they were gone when they called from Kabul airport. By the time Kohistani arrived with his troops, looters had carried away many items left behind by soldiers such as laptops, stereos, bicycles and guitars. Gen. Kohistani said troops left behind Bagram's 5,000 Taliban inmates, arms, ammunition, along with hundreds of armored military vehicles, such as Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles (MRAPs) and thousands of civilian cars and trucks.[9]

On July 8, 2021, Joe Biden said from the White House,

"I trust the capacity of the Afghan military, who is better trained, better equipped, and more competent in terms of conducting war...The likelihood there's going to be the Taliban overrunning everything and owning the whole country is highly unlikely....There's going to be no circumstance where you're going to see people being lifted off the roof of an embassy of the United States from Afghanistan."[10][11][12]

Mark Milley told reporters at his July 21, 2021 press conference, “our drawdown continues in a safe and orderly manner.” He continued with the following excerpted statement:

“The Afghan Security Forces have the capacity to sufficiently fight and defend their country, and we will continue to support the Afghan Security Forces where necessary in accordance with the guidance from the president and the secretary of defense.[13]

There were reports of the seizure by the Taliban of a “massive boon” of U.S. weapons supplied to and now abandoned by U.S.-trained Afghani soldiers. “The Taliban now find themselves flush with American-supplied tools, without having to raise a single penny.”[14]

Trump administration

Main article : Trump administration
Donald Trump Syrian Military Strike April 2017.jpg

With the Trump administration a level of professionalism returned to the National Security Council staff which had been lacking during the eight years of Obama. Many Obama holdovers throughout the Executive Branch and within the Intelligence Community however, sought to derail and block President Trump's foreign policy and national security agenda articulated on the 2016 presidential campaign trail. Through surreptitious, illegal, and blatantly abusive misuse of America's covert intelligence gathering agencies they were largely successful.

Principals Committee

In the Trump administration[15] the Principals Committee is convened and chaired by the National Security Advisor and consists of the Secretary of State, Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of Defense, Attorney General, Secretary of Energy, Secretary of Homeland Security, White House Chief of Staff, Director of National Intelligence, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Director of Central Intelligence, National Security Advisor, Homeland Security Advisor, and Representative to the United Nations.

The White House Counsel, Deputy Counsel for National Security Affairs, and Director of OMB may attend all meetings.

The Deputy National Security Advisor, Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategy, National Security Advisor to the Vice President, and the Executive Secretary attend all meetings, and the Assistant to the President for Intragovernmental and Technology Initiatives may attend as appropriate.

When international economic issues are on the agenda, the Committee’s regular attendees will include the Secretary of Commerce, United States Trade Representative, and Assistant to the President for Economic Policy (who shall serve as Chair for agenda items that principally pertain to international economics).

Deputies Committee

The Deputies Committee serves as the senior sub-Cabinet interagency forum for consideration of, and where appropriate, decision making on, policy issues that affect the national security interests of the United States. The Deputies Committee is convened and chaired by the Deputy National Security Advisor.

Regular attendees are the Deputy Secretary of State, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury, Deputy Secretary of Defense, Deputy Attorney General, Deputy Secretary of Energy, Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, Deputy Director of OMB, Deputy Director of National Intelligence, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Deputy Director of Central Intelligence Agency, Deputy National Security Advisor, Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategy, Deputy Homeland Security Advisor, Deputy National Security Advisor to the Vice President, and the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Other senior officials may be invited when appropriate.

Obama administration

See also: Obama administration and Obama war crimes

Barack Obama went through an unprecedented 4 Secretaries of Defense in 8 years,[16] and all came away with similar complaints of their advice being ignored and a lack of professionalism and discipline by the White House National Security staff. The Obama years saw major global upheavals in the standards of conduct of a great power, and the return and acceptance of slavery,[17] kidnappings,[18] and beheadings to enforce shariah law.[19] Major civil wars instigated by Obama's NSC staff created massive humanitarian refugee,[20] migrant, demographic shifts, and cultural clashes globally.[21]

It also saw the institution of a presidential "kill list" for persons – including US citizens – deemed Obama's enemies by a surreptitious process that likely violates US constitutional law[22] and most assuredly violates international law.[23] Having disposed of international agreements, the Russian government and others felt obliged to do the same.[24]

Jake Sullivan[25] to Hillary Clinton: 'Al Qaeda is on our side'.

Def. Sec. Robert Gates told NPR:[26]

I worked in the White House on the National Security Council staff and as deputy national security adviser for nearly nine years under four presidents. And I had certain ideas about how the national security staff and how the White House staff ought to comport themselves in discussions on national security and military issues. And let's just say that the way it worked in the Obama White House was not anything like I had seen before.

I had worked for probably three of the most significant and toughest national security advisers in our history: Henry Kissinger, Zbigniew Brzezinski and Brent Scowcroft. And there were things that went on in the Obama White House that, under those three guys, I am confident would have been a firing offense...

...domestic politics had a role in the debates about national security issues that I had not previously experienced.

Def. Sec. Leon Panetta said:[27]

[P]roximity is everything when you’re operating at the White House. The person that’s closest to the president has greater influence than even a cabinet member, who may be located elsewhere in a department...Staff people tried to read, 'what is it that the president wants?' And then try, through the back door, [to] influence the direction of policy. What that does is, it undermines the very process...

Def. Sec. Chuck Hagel reiterated;

Ambassador Rice would often start with, ‘This is what the president wants.’ ... that’s not the way our National Security Advisor should start a meeting with the National Security Council... there were a lot of reasons those meetings kind of descended into nonsense.

...[He] has a staff around him that is very inexperienced. I don’t think there’s one veteran on his senior staff at the White House. I don’t believe there’s one businessperson. I don’t believe there’s one person who has ever been elected to anything or ever run anything.

...[The president] has to fundamentally understand, and I’m not sure he ever did, nor the people around him, the tremendous responsibility the United States has. Not to be the world’s policeman, but to lead, and we’re the only ones who can.

See also


  1. President Truman, who signed the National Security Act of 1947 into law, was kept in the dark about the development and existence of the atomic bomb while serving as Vice President, and only learned of it after being sworn into office upon President Franklin Roosevelt's death. Prior to the National Security Act, vice presidents had little or no statutory duties in any administration other than their constitutional office as President of the Senate. For the first time a law was enacted giving the vice president duties and obligations within an administration, granting him access to its most classified secrets, and making the vice president an integral part of decision making.
  2. Federal Register, Vol. 82, No. 65, Thursday, April 6, 2017
  25. Obama Sec. of Defense Chuck Hagel said Sullivan is one of Obama's
    "35-year-old PhDs who love to talk, because that's the way you let everybody know how smart you are, is how much you talk."
    Hagel continues, "[Obama] has a staff around him that's very inexperienced. I don't think there's one veteran on his senior staff at the White House. I don't believe there's one business person. I don't believe there's one person who's ever run anything. Other than Vice President Biden, none of them have ever been elected to anything." Sec. Robert Gates criticized "staffers calling senior commanders out in the field and asking them questions, of second guessing commanders...I told my combatant commanders and field commanders … if you get calls from … the president, that's one thing. But if you get a call from some White House or National Security Council staffer, you tell them to call me instead, and then tell them, by the way, go to hell." Hagel also criticized Susan Rice's approach and subservience to Obama.