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05 March 2024

Obama to revamp National Security Council

US President Barack Obama looks at a teleprompter while speaking in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC (GETTY IMAGES)

By Reuters
US President Barack Obama plans to expand the membership of the National Security Council and increase its authority to set strategy on a wide range of domestic and international issues, The Washington Post reported on Saturday, quoting his national security adviser.

The council, which was established after World War Two to advise US presidents on military and diplomatic matters, would become "dramatically different" after the overhaul, national security adviser James Jones told the paper in an interview.

"The world that we live in has changed so dramatically in this decade that organizations that were created to meet a certain set of criteria no longer are terribly useful," Jones, a retired Marine general, was quoted as saying.

He said sections of the government not traditionally part of the council would be brought in on a case-by-case basis -- he named the Energy Department, Commerce Department and Treasury, and all the law enforcement agencies, including the Drug Enforcement Administration.

"New NSC directorates will deal with such department-spanning 21st-century issues as cyber security, energy, climate change, nation-building and infrastructure," the Post said.

Jones said the new structure would be outlined in a presidential directive, probably in the coming week.