FP Toolbox: The National Security Council with Dr. William Inboden

Welcome to the first episode in our brand new series, the Foreign Policy Toolbox! In the FP Toolbox, POFA will be unraveling the mysteries of the most important institutions, concepts, and policies that decision makers actually use to implement foreign policy. What is the National Security Council? How do sanctions work? What is the process for crafting international treaties? Sounds boring? Well don’t worry, POFA will be keeping it casual and informative to make sure you stay along for the ride. To help us investigate how the foreign policy sausage truly gets made, POFA will be inviting some of the world’s foremost experts on a variety of topics. So, put your safety glasses on, we’re opening up the Foreign Policy Toolbox.

To listen to this episode, find the Hopkins Podcast on Foreign Affairs on iTunes or Spotify, or click the link below!

In our first episode of the FP toolbox, we are dissecting one of the world’s most important, but often misunderstood, foreign policy institutions — the National Security Council. Created by President Truman in 1947, the NSC plays an instrumental role in the crafting of US foreign policy. The institution’s autonomy however has sparked heated criticisms, and in the case of the Iran Contra affair, National Scandal. So, how does this institution really work, are these criticisms legitimate, and what is it really like to work at the NSC?

 To help us answer these questions, today we are joined by Dr. William Inboden. William Inboden is Executive Director and William Powers, Jr. Chair at the William P. Clements, Jr. Center for National Security at the University of Texas-Austin. Previously he served as Senior Director for Strategic Planning on the National Security Council at the White House, where he worked on a range of foreign policy issues including the National Security Strategy, strategic forecasting, democracy and governance, and more. 



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