Free «National Security Act» Essay Sample

The impetuous for the enactment of the National Security Act of 1947 refers to the reorganization of the United States Intelligence and Military services due to the lessons learnt from the Second World War. It, therefore, led to the creation of the National Security Council, the Central Intelligence Agency and the United States Army was divided into separate services.

The Goldwater-Nichols Act was a reorganization Act which was sponsored by Barry Goldwater, a Senator with a primary objective of improving the ability of the United States’ Armed forced to carry out combined (interallied) and joint (interservice) operations in the field and enhance the DOD’s budgeting process. The act, therefore, established a joint officer specialization, increased influence and authority of the unified commands, which controlled the United States forces in the US and over the world, and strengthened the staff and influence of the JSC (Joint Chiefs of Staff).

Some of the members of the Intelligence Community, their missions and how the Cold War affected them include

  • The United States Department of Defense.
  • The United States Department of Homeland Security.
  • The United States Department of Justice.
  • The United States Department of Treasury.

The Cold War affected members of the Intelligence Community in that its posture prepared the IC to face various state sponsored threats, proliferation of nuclear weapons and conventional warfare, but left them ill equipped in confronting other smaller, decentralized threats .

The Purpose of the National Security Council is to advice the president on all foreign, domestic and military aspects regarding the national security of the country. The NSC, could at the direction or discretion of the President appraise and assess the risks to the United States’ National Security , make policies and then make any relevant recommendations to the President. The National Security Council, therefore, includes the Defense of the US and protection of its constitutional system of government together with advancing the interests of the United States government in the United States and around the world.

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The National Security Council has always been in the center of foreign policy coordination systems but it has been altered many times in order to suit the inclinations and needs of each succeeding Chief Executives. For instance, under President Truman, the covert intelligence operations that were supporting foreign policy were undertaken on a very broadening scale. This was despite the fact that after President Truman’s retirement, he denied any responsibility that was known as the dagger and cloak operations. The National Security Act was an Act of Congress that was signed by President Truman on the 26th of July in 1947. It was aimed at reorganizing and realigning the United States Armed Forces, Intelligence Community and Foreign Policy after the Second World War.

Under President Eisenhower, the NSC was strengthened and restructured through dividing the process into three parts. One of them included writing about policy papers which were examined and criticized by the Council. The second part included summaries of the meetings which took place between President Eisenhower and the Council’s members, while the third process involved Operations Coordinating Board which included Interdepartmental deputies or assistant secretaries.

The NSC, under President Kennedy, was completely dismantled and arrangements were established according to the President’s governing style. The President was convinced that the timid foreign policy was a result of the paper based structures established by President Kennedy. President Kennedy, therefore, used the NSC as an intimate forum used for discussions with his principal advisers alone. The National Security Policy making of the United States was changed as a result of President Kennedy’s irrevocable decisions.

The regular attendees of the NSC/PC meetings will be the Assistant to the President’s Counter Terrorism and National Security, The Director of Science and Technology Policy Office, Heads of Executive Agencies and Departments and additional senior officials. The NSC/PC meetings are chaired by the National Security Advisor.

President Clinton is known to have issued a policy directive which was a sharp curtailment of the US involvement in its future armed humanitarian interventions marking a retreat from the President’s earlier administrative rhetoric regarding assertive multilateralism.

The Department of Homeland’s Security was established nine years ago and its major purpose was to ensure that the homeland is secure, safe and resilient against terrorist and other possible threats. The Department, when first established, was headed by Secretary Chertoff with a view of addressing potential present and future threats that face the United States. It had a six point agenda; among them was enhancement of information sharing with partners and strengthening the country’s interior enforcement and border security.

A homeland security transition was difficult according to the Gilmore Commission because according to him, the creation of a domestic intelligence system that was separate from the existing governmental department was effective as opposed to the previous NSC. This was also similar to the pre-Goldwater-Nichols military system. Gilmore, therefore, voiced concerns that domestic spying tactics used in responding to terrorist threats might alter Americans lifestyle.

The Cold War during the 1970’s affected changes in the Federal government regarding Homeland Security in that a policy of confrontation was used to nations which had demonstrated any opposition to the US interests together with the nation’s capitalist economic system. The US, therefore, used the political, economic and military resources to convert the foreign governments into amenable to United States interests (Stuart, 2008).


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