Fateful Decisions: Inside the National Security Council

Paperback | February 3, 2004

EditorKarl F. Inderfurth, Loch K. Johnson

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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--areresponsible 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 relationsstudents. 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 theNSC 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 andthe 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, SamuelBerger, 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 toimprove the Council's performance. It is ideal for courses on the NSC, national security decision-making, and U.S. foreign policy.

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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--areresponsible for incredibly far-reaching decisions re...

Karl F. Inderfurth is at George Washington University. Loch K. Johnson is at University of Georgia.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:400 pages, 7.4 × 9.09 × 0.91 inPublished:February 3, 2004Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195159667

ISBN - 13:9780195159660

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Table of Contents

FiguresPrefaceI. OriginsEditors' Introduction1. Earnest R. May: The Development of Political-Military Consultation in the United States2. Ferdinand Eberstadt: Postwar Organization for National Security3. U. S. Congress: Legislative Debate on the National Security Act of 19474. U. S. Congress: The National Security Act of 1947II. Early YearsEditors' Introduction5. Stanley L. Falk: The NSC Under Truman and Eisenhower6. Fred I. Greenstein and Richard H. Immerman: Effective National Security Advising: Recovering the Eisenhower Legacy7. Henry M. Jackson: Forging a Strategy For Survival8. Jackson Subcommittee: Organizing for National SecurityIII. TransformationEditors' Introduction9. McGeorge Bundy: Letter to Jackson Subcommittee10. John P. Leacacos: Kissinger's Apparat11. Jimmy Carter: Presidential Directive/NSC-2IV. The Modern NSCEditors' Introduction12. Vincent A. Auger: The National Security Council System After the Cold War13. George W. Bush: National Security Presidential Directive 1V. National Security Advisers: RolesEditors' Introduction14. Woodrow Wilson International Center and Baker Institute: Forum on the Role of the National Security Adviser15. Colin L. Powell: The NSC Adviser: Process Manager and More16. Cecil V. Crabb, Jr. and Kevin V. Mulcahy: The Lessons of the Iran-Contra Affair for National Security Policy MakingVI. National Security Advisers: ProfilesEditors' Introduction17. Kai Bird: McGeorge Bundy18. Marvin Kalb and Bernard Kalb: Henry Kissinger19. Dom Bonafede: Zbigniew Brzezinski20. David Lauter: Brent Scowcroft21. R.W. Apple, Jr.: Samuel R. Berger22. Elaine Sciolino: Condoleezza RiceVII. PerformanceEditors' Introduction23. The Cuban Missile Crisis: 24. George H. W. Bush and Brent Scowcroft: The Transition from the Cold War25. Eric Moskowitz and Jeffrey S. Lantis: Conflict in the Balkans26. Dan Balz and Bob Woodward: The War Against TerrorismVIII. ControversiesEditors' Introduction27. Bert A. Rockman: America's Departments of State28. Tower Commission: The NSC Staff as Rogue Elephant29. Inouye-Hamilton Committee: Congress and the NSCIX. ReformsEditors' Introduction30. Tower Commission: Recommendations on Organizing for National Security31. Theodore C. Sorensen: The President and the Secretary of State32. Ivo H. Daalder and I. M. Destler: A New NSC for a New Administration33. Hart-Rudman Report: Road Map for National Security: Imperative for ChangeFor Further ReadingIndex