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The National Security EnterpriseThe National Security Enterprise

Navigating the Labyrinth

Roger Z. George and Harvey Rishikof

Narrated by Kevin Moriarty

Available from Audible

Book published by Georgetown University Press

Recent breakdowns in American national security have exposed the weaknesses of the nation's vast overlapping security and foreign policy bureaucracy and the often dysfunctional interagency process. In the literature of national security studies, however, surprisingly little attention is given to the specific dynamics or underlying organizational cultures that often drive the bureaucratic politics of U.S. security policy.

The National Security Enterprise offers a broad overview and analysis of the many government agencies involved in national security issues, the interagency process, Congressional checks and balances, and the influence of private sector organizations. The chapters cover the National Security Council, the Departments of Defense and State, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Office of Management and Budget. The book also focuses on the roles of Congress, the Supreme Court, and outside players in the national security process like the media, think tanks, and lobbyists. Each chapter details the organizational culture and personality of these institutions so that readers can better understand the mindsets that drive these organizations and their roles in the policy process.

Many of the contributors to this volume are long-time practitioners who have spent most of their careers working for these organizations. As such, they offer unique insights into how diplomats, military officers, civilian analysts, spies, and law enforcement officials are distinct breeds of policymakers and political actors. To illustrate how different agencies can behave in the face of a common challenge, contributors reflect in detail on their respective agency's behavior during the Iraq War.

This impressive volume is suitable for academic studies at both the undergraduate and graduate level; ideal for U.S. government, military, and national security training programs; and useful for practitioners and specialists in national security studies.

Roger Z. George is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University and is currently a senior analyst at the CIA's Global Futures Partnership. He is a career CIA intelligence analyst who has served at the Departments of State and Defense and has been the National Intelligence Officer for Europe. He has taught at the National War College and other private universities and is coeditor of Intelligence and the National Security Strategist: Enduring Issues and Challenges.

Harvey Rishikof is a professor of law and national security studies at the National War College and the chair of the American Bar Association Standing Committee on law and national security. He has served as legal counsel to the deputy director of the FBI, as a federal appellate law clerk, and as administrative assistant to the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.


“A first-rate addition to the literature and an equally important classroom tool. The National Security Enterprise provides the best one-volume compilation I've seen for understanding intelligence, its internal processes, and the environment in which it operates.”

International Journal of Intelligence & Counter Intelligence

The National Security Enterprise widens the perspective for those interested in how the IC functions, or should function.... Essential reading for students and potential managers. A really valuable addition to the intelligence literature.”

AFIO Intelligencer

“A thought - provoking series of essays that approach the national security enterpise (NSE) as a set of complex interactions between entities both within and beyond government.”

—i>International Journal of Intelligence Ethics

“Roger George and Harvey Rishikof have assembled a superb team of practitioners and academics, and the result is the most comprehensive analysis yet available of the system by which the United States makes its national security decisions. Especially insightful are the dysfunctions in the current system and the potential remedies to them. This book is essential reading for those concerned with US national security decisionmaking.”

—Robert Art, Christian A. Herter Professor of International Relations, Brandeis University

“This valuable contribution of insightful essays offers a distinctive contribution by analyzing the role of law in the functioning of the national security enterprise.”

—William E. Nelson, Edward Weinfeld Professor of Law and professor of history, New York University

The National Security Enterprise approaches the national security policymaking process from every imaginable angle—the intelligence community, the Congress, the State Department, the military, think tanks, lobbies, and much more. This volume's comprehensiveness is remarkable, surpassed only by the erudition of its authors, who are perfectly suited to lead the reader through the many twists and turns of how America formulates its foreign policy.”

—Lee H. Hamilton, president and director, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

“Rooted in decades of professional practice, The National Security Enterprise provides an insightful survey of the organizational cultures in our national security architecture that will serve as an invaluable resource for anyone seeking to understand key players as they construct US national security policy.”

—Graham Allison, director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University and author of Nuclear Terrorism: The Ultimate Preventable Cat

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