National Security Council Layers Bureaucracy Onto Decisionmaking Process

Posted August 15, 2015 at 5:10am

The Washington Post : “When Susan E. Rice took over as President Obama’s national security adviser two years ago, she was struck by how the White House had grown. Since she had last served on the National Security Council, during the Clinton administration, its staff had nearly quadrupled in size, to about 400 people… But it may be too late to change impressions of an NSC bureaucracy whose size has come to symbolize an overbearing and paranoid White House that insists on controlling even the smallest policy details, often at the expense of timely and effective decisions.”  

“In the Defense Department, where mistrust of the White House has persisted since the administration began, Obama is described as resolute and bold when a quick executive action is needed on operations such as hostage rescues and targeted captures and killings… But on a host of other important issues, the NSC, designed in Harry Truman’s time to coordinate sometimes-conflicting diplomatic and defense views, is still widely seen as the place where policy becomes immobilized by indecision, plodding through months and sometimes years of repetitive White House meetings.”