Topic 1 provides an executive overview of the U.S. national security enterprise from the Secretary or Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff perspective.2 During this session the Secretary or Chairman identifies his principle challenges, provides his priority and discusses current decision-making environments. Ideally, the Secretary or Chairman would reference the primary offices, departments, and agencies involved in developing national security policy and describes how they interact. This topic should highlight executive and legislative branch responsibilities, as well as the White House offices and Congressional committees involved in national security affairs. This session demonstrates the importance of the workshop and provides the context for the subsequent sessions.
1. Identify Senior Leader U.S. national security enterprise challenges.
2. Describe constitutional and legislative authorities, traditional roles, and assigned missions.
3. Comprehend the dynamics in developing and implementing national security strategy.
4. Apply the fundamentals of national security decision-making to a contemporary topic.
1. Who are the key players (people and institutions) in the national security enterprise?
2. How are these roles and structures different from our key allies and partners?
3. Will you have a counterpart in another country’s Ministry of Defense and how will you work with them?
4. Will you have a counterpart in another U.S. government department or agency and how will you work with them?
1. U.S. Constitution (via National Archives)
2. U.S. Code (via U.S. House of Representatives Office of the Law Revision Counsel)
3. National Security Act of 1947
*PDF (via the CIA Reading Room)
4. Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986
*PDF (via the OSD Historical Office)
Notes and Special Requirements
Pocket copy of the U.S. Constitution
*For purchase from GPO at $1.50 each