Home / Articles / The Role of the National Security Advisor and the 2006 Iraq Strategy Review
According to the honest broker model, when national security advisors press for specific policy outcomes, they compromise their ability to focus on improving the quality of the decision- making process. That model is tested here in the case of the 2006 Iraq Strategy Review. It found that national security advisor Stephen Hadley was able to act as honest broker, and that this did in fact improve the quality of the decision process. At the same time, he was able to act as a policy entrepreneur, connecting existing problems to alternative policy ideas. Consequently the two roles were not incompatible. Moreover, he was able to do both primarily because he acted as a credible agent of the president. The implication is that the national security advisor must be first and foremost an effective presidential agent, if he or she is to play any constructive role—including that of honest broker.