The controversy over the New York Times Magazine profile of President Obama’s Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications, Ben Rhodes, reenergizes the debate over the relationship between the National Security Council at the White House…and the Defense Department. The Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Mac Thornberry, included a cap on the number of employees at the NSC in his committee’s markup of the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act. Barry Pavel is Vice President and Director of the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security at the Atlantic Council. He’s former Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Defense Policy and Strategy on the National Security Council staff…where he served both President George W Bush and President Obama. He’s also former Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for special operations/low-intensity conflict and interdependent capabilities. He explained the elements of a healthy relationship between the NSC and DoD on National Defense Week.
Photo: May 15, 2009: U.S. Army War College students discuss national security policy with Barry Pavel, senior director of defense policy at the National Security Council. Photo credit: Kelly Schloesser, Army War College Public Affairs Office.