Limiting Size of NSC Staff
Assessing Defense Reform Series
July 1, 2016The growth of the NSC in both its staff size and its role in national security decisionmaking has received attention recently. With the size of the NSC staff approaching 400, up from 40 in 1991, the National Security Council has assumed more of an operational role as opposed to focusing on strategic planning and interagency coordination. Both former Secretaries of Defense Robert Gates and Leon Panetta have complained about the NSC and White House staff’s centralization of decision making and intrusion into operational and tactical details.