The Contemporary Presidency
Organizing the National Security Council: I Like Ike's
Published In: Presidential Studies Quarterly, v. 43, no. 3, Sep. 2013, p. 592-606
Posted on RAND.org on September 01, 2013
The United States' national security establishment lacks an integrated strategic planning capability. The current National Security Council (NSC) system relies heavily on part-time committees that lack the clout and time to execute strategic planning. The president could overcome this difficulty by looking to President Eisenhower's NSC system. Eisenhower's NSC relied on a Planning Board—which was neither a part-time committee nor fulltime staff—to get realistic planning that was not captive to parochial interests and to foster a national, strategic mindset without falling prey to an ivory-tower mind-set divorced from reality.