WASHINGTON (April 8) – President Donald Trump has upended the U.S. national security establishment in ways perhaps unprecedented in American history. In particular, Trump has shifted political attention to China, but the move has been roughshod and disorienting. This might be to his tastes, but such methods are unsustainable after his presidency ends. The good news is that there is a better way.
In a new policy paper, R Street Energy Policy Manager William Murray, examines how an advisory board structure, which is much used within the executive branch, can be imported to Congress in order to correct this imbalance of power.
Over the years, Congress has abdicated its responsibilities in a number of areas, namely foreign policy. Shifting power back to Congress will strengthen, incentivize and stabilize legislative engagement in foreign policy, thereby making it a more enduring, cooperative enterprise between the two branches of government.
The author argues that the establishment of a National Security Council advisory board made up of congressmen and senators would create a deeper commitment to Congress’ construction of long-term strategic foreign policy missions and goals. The challenge will be to create a foreign policy “constituency” for lawmakers to “represent,” where there currently is none.
The author adds, “Reengaging Congress, then, will require helping legislators feel a sense of individual and collective accountability regarding longer-term strategic foreign policy missions and goals.”