Home / Articles / A Broken National Security Council Process and America’s Inability to Prioritize Security Interests
Recent US security policy failures in Afghanistan and Iraq reflect a flawed National Security Council (NSC) process and capacity to identify and prioritize security interests and goals. Failure to recognize and adjust NSC analytical procedures is particularly problematic given growing security challenges, disturbing trends in America, and the fragile state of our Republic. President Joe Biden’s long-awaited national security strategy fails to correct this and is predictably flawed in the same fundamental ways as past NSC efforts. The document voices broad, aspirational goals describing what the administration wants to achieve, but is very ambiguous on the fundamental purpose of a strategy, describing how their goals will be achieved. Specifically, the document’s lofty yet ambiguous language articulates more policy than strategy, reemphasizing a fundamental NSC misunderstanding of strategy. This disconnect has direct implications to successful implementation. Ambiguous goals mean defining intent and formulation of supporting objectives are left to departmental and interagency interpretation. This invariably assures poor implementation towards disparate ends, and recently in abject failure.