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The President’s and Congressional Committees’ Responsibilities Regarding National Security Policy Exploratory Essay


The US constitutional principles determine procedures for separating powers for the purpose of avoiding the concentration of political power. Limiting the exercise of power by every branch is one of the central issues of the national security strategy.

The restraints of power have both positive and negative consequences on the US national security establishment, complicating the decision making as to the country’s involvement into Iraq, Iran and North Korea issues, causing the disagreements between the current president and the congressional committees.

The National Security Act of 1947 has been the major document defining the national security policymaking model for more than 50 years. However, the events of 9/11 have demonstrated that the current system is inconsistent and requires reformations.

A number of political scientists point at the weak points of this model as the main preconditions of inability of the country to prevent the national tragedy. “bureaucratic turf battles prevented large parts of the national security bureaucracy (first created by the 1947 NSA) from preparing for the non-state actors who threatened the United States in the post-Cold War era” (Bolton 2008, 276).

On the one hand, focused on exploring the state enemies, the system did not consider the danger of such non-state actors as al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. On the other hand, the inner governmental controversies became a hindrance for taking appropriate risk prevention measures after analyzing the available information.

The 9/11 events reaffirmed the importance of standard procedures of reconsidering the country’s defense strategy before the beginning of each president’s administration when the US congressional committees review the formulation of the national security strategy (NSS). (Murdock 2004).

As it was mentioned in Freire’s interview by Kristine Frazao, the current president Obama seems to stay the course of his predecessor Bush, approaching the issues of national security.

For example, touching upon the issue of involvement into Afghanistan conflict, Obama noted that “We have supported the elections of the sovereign government, now we must strengthen its capacities…

I have no doubt that together with Afghanistan International partners we will succeed in Afghanistan” (“Could the creation of the X-51 be the next step in US domination”). The issue of national security and distribution of power between various branches remains rather debatable and controversial.

For the purpose of ensuring the unbiased approach to development of national security strategies, the intelligence agencies are separated from decision makers. However, this model causes certain problems with integrating and standardizing the procedures. “Intelligence officers who are dealing with policy makers are expected to maintain professional objectivity and not push specific policies.

If intelligence officers have a strong preference for a specific policy outcome, their intelligence analysis may display a similar bias” (Lowenthal 2008, 4). At the same time, the coordination and effective collaboration between various branches is of crucial importance for responding to various challenges of present day criminological situation.

The current procedures of establishing the national security strategies are inconsistent. “There is likely to be internal disagreement and debate within the national security establishment, between the establishment and other branches and agencies of government, and between all of these and the public” (Sarkesian, Williams, and Cimbala 2008, p. 21).

Appropriate measures need to be imposed for further analysis of the effectiveness of coordination between the current president and the congressional committees and improving the current model.

Reference List

Bolton, Kent. 2008. US national security and foreign policymaking after 9/11: Present at the recreation. Lanham: The Rowman and Littlefield Publishers.

Freire, J. “Could the creation of the X-51 be the next step in US domination”. Interview by Kristine Frazao.

Lowenthal, Mark. 2008. Intelligence: From secrets to policy. Washington: CQ Press.

Murdock, Clark. 2004. Improving the practice of national security strategy: A new approach for the post-Cold War world.

Sarkesian, Sam, John Williams, and Stephen Cimbala. 2008. US national security: Policymakers, processes, and politics. Michigan: Lynne Rienner Publishers.

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"The President's and Congressional Committees' Responsibilities Regarding National Security Policy." IvyPanda, 7 June 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/the-presidents-and-congressional-committees-responsibilities-regarding-national-security-policy/.

1. IvyPanda. "The President's and Congressional Committees' Responsibilities Regarding National Security Policy." June 7, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-presidents-and-congressional-committees-responsibilities-regarding-national-security-policy/.


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IvyPanda. "The President's and Congressional Committees' Responsibilities Regarding National Security Policy." June 7, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-presidents-and-congressional-committees-responsibilities-regarding-national-security-policy/.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "The President's and Congressional Committees' Responsibilities Regarding National Security Policy." June 7, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-presidents-and-congressional-committees-responsibilities-regarding-national-security-policy/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'The President's and Congressional Committees' Responsibilities Regarding National Security Policy'. 7 June.

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