National Security Council
The National Security Council (NSC) is part of the Executive branch of the United States government, designed to advise and assist the President on national security and foreign policy. The NSC consists of the President, Vice President, Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, National Security Advisor, and the Secretary of the Treasury. The Chairman of the Join Chiefs, Director of National Intelligence, Drug Czar, White House Chief of Staff, Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security, among others, participate in NSC meetings.
The National Security Act of 1947 created the National Security Council. Many officials in the State Department felt that diplomacy between the United States and the USSR needed a coordinating body for the various intelligence and military services in the US.
The role of the National Security Agency changes under each Administration. President Kennedy, for example, took a more freewheeling, hands-on approach to diplomacy, and the influence of the NSC waned in the 1960s. The NSC under President Nixon concentrated on providing him with detail written options, while President George H.W. Bush had extensive foreign policy experience. President Clinton expanded the NSC to include the Secretary of the Treasury and UN Representative. The National Security Councilunder President Obama has come under scrutiny for supposedly maintaining a kill list of high-level suspected terrorists.