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“Inside the Committee that Runs the World”

David J. Rothkopf argues in Foreign Policy (March/April 2005) that members of the inner circles of the U.S. national security community, i.e. the National Security Council (NSC), is a -- if not the most -- powerful committee in the history of the world.

However, the NSC seems split because of diverging ideological views between traditionalists and transformationalists -- with Condoleezza Rice at the center of the rift. The author describes the power dynamics between different agencies and key officials and points out the axis of power between the Office of the Secretary of Defense and Vice-President Cheney.

In terms of the NSC's future influence he thinks that personalities of the individuals within it play a greater role in determining its true function than does any preconceived aspect of its structure. What kind of approach these individuals choose will depend on whether the divides within the Republican foreign-policy establishment, which empowers the NSC, will ease up or create further imbalance.

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