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National security of the United States is a collective term encompassing the policies of both U.S. national defense and foreign relations.[1]

Elements of policy

Measures taken to ensure U.S. national security include:

The Constitution

The phrase “national security” entered U.S. political discourse as early as the Constitutional Convention. The Federalists argued that civilian control of the military required a strong central government under a single constitution. Alexander Hamilton wrote: “If a well-regulated militia be the most natural defense of a free country, it ought certainly to be under the regulation and at the disposal of that body which is constituted the guardian of the national security.” [3]


U.S. National Security organization has remained essentially stable since July 26, 1947, when U.S. President Harry S. Truman signed the National Security Act of 1947. Together with its 1949 amendment, this act:

Civil liberties

After 9/11, the passage of the USA Patriot Act provoked debate about the alleged restriction of individual rights and freedoms for the sake of U.S. national security. The easing of warrant requirements for intelligence surveillance, under Title II of the Act, spurred the NSA warrantless surveillance controversy.[5] In August 2008, the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review (FISCR) affirmed the constitutionality of warrantless national security surveillance.[6]


In May 2015, the White House released the report The National Security Implications of a Changing Climate.[7]

See also


  1. ^ U.S. Department of Defense, Joint Chiefs of Staff, New Revised Edition, Joint Pub. 1-02, 1990. Full text online Archived October 10, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Encyclopedia of United States National Security, 2 Vol., Sage Publications (2005), ISBN 0-7619-2927-4.
  3. ^ Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist No. 29, “Concerning the Militia,” Jan. 9, 1788 Full text online
  4. ^ Amy B. Zegart, Flawed by Design: The Evolution of the CIA, JCS, and NSC, Stanford University Press (1999, ISBN 0-8047-4131-X.
  5. ^ Nola K Breglio, “Leaving FISA Behind: The Need to Return to Warrantless Surveillance,” Yale Law Journal, September 24, 2003. Full text PDF
  6. ^ "Court Affirms Wiretapping Without Warrants," New York Times, January 15, 2009. Full text online.
  7. ^ White House (May 20, 2015). "The National Security Implications of a Changing Climate". – via National Archives.