Dating back to 1987 and the Goldwater-Nichols Act, the National Security Strategy (NSS) has become perhaps the most powerful single document to communicate the Executive branch’s vision to Congress, the American people, the many departments of the U.S federal government, as well as foreign friends and foes. When President Biden took office in January 2021, his administration produced an Interim NSS that many nicknamed the “skinny NSS” and released it March of that year. On 12 October 2022, the Biden-Harris administration released an updated NSS. We’ve got Carrie A. Lee and J.P. Clark in the studio to examine the contents of the new document and talk about what has changed, what is emphasized and what the new NSS communicates to the world. They join podcast editor Ron Granieri to highlight the themes and messages in the new product that is now twice as large as the original interim NSS.
So national security strategic documents like the NSS they serve two purposes. The first is as a signaling device both to domestic and international audiences, and then they also provide strategic direction to the rest of the bureaucracy that is the executive branch of government.
Carrie A. Lee is an associate professor at the U.S. Army War College, where she serves as the chair of the Department of National Security and Strategy and co-director of the USAWC Center on Civil-Military Relations. She received her Ph.D. in political science from Stanford University and a B.S. from MIT.
COL J.P. Clark is an Army War College Professor in the Department of Military Strategy, Planning, and Operations, as well as the editor-in-chief of War Room. His previous assignment was in the Pentagon, where he was the chief of the Strategy Division in the Army Staff.
Ron Granieri is an Associate Professor of History at the U.S. Army War College and the Editor of A BETTER PEACE.
Photo Description: The 46th President of the United States Joe Biden
Photo Credit: The White House