Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The NSC Powers Up and Across for Obama

The National Security Council (NSC) being stood up to advise President Obama is unlike any other in its scope and breadth. Under retired Marine General Jim Jones (covered previously on the DOD Energy Blog), the NSC is going to have representation from far outside DOD and intel, and will span domains that would not have met your father's definition of national security. This is an acknowledgement by Obama and Jones that the most pressing challenges facing the US in 2009 contain a mix of thoroughly inter-related factors including defense and diplomacy, climate and ecosystems, health, food, cyber and communications, and of course, energy. Here's a bit on Jones' thinking behind this change:
This ... will be a "dramatically different" NSC from that of the Bush administration or any of its predecessors since the forum was established after World War II to advise the president on diplomatic and military matters, according to national security adviser James L. Jones, who described the changes in an interview. "The world that we live in has changed so dramatically in this decade that organizations that were created to meet a certain set of criteria no longer are terribly useful," he said.
The toughest energy security challenges facing DOD and the nation will only be solved with strong leadership and swift promulgation of plans and policies to all subordinate departments. So far, the Obama/Jones-built NSC looks like a formula for success. There's more detail here from the Washington Post; you'll want to read this.

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