The U.S. National Security Council (NSC) was established by Congress in 1947 as an advisory and coordinating body chaired by the President. From 1949 onwards its statutory members were: VicePresident, Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of Central Intelligence Agency served as statutory advisers. During NSC meetings these six persons were often accompanied by many other senior officials. NSC's main task was to coordinate the diplomatic, military and intelligence activities of the United States. Although in Harry Truman's years NSC existed as a weak and marginalised agency, under Dwight Eisenhower it evolved into a highly institutionalised and very important component of the U.S. government. The Council served as one of the three pillars of Eisenhower's foreign policy-making system. The other were the Secretary of State and the White House Staff Secretary. Unlike these two, NSC had nothing to do with the day-to-day operations or crisis management. It functioned as long-range policy planning forum, equipped with two supplementary institutions, the Planning Board and the Operations Coordinating Board. NSC staff worked under the supervision of the national security adviser, who was an administrative official, not allowed to advise the President on policy matters.
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