National Security Act


50 U.S.C. § 403  | (1947)
created several major defense and intelligence institutions, including the National Security Council (NSC), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the U.S. Air Force. The legislation grew out of the nation's wartime experience and a postwar concern over the capabilities and intentions of the Soviet Union. The basic function of the institutions created by the Act is to advise the president on domestic, foreign, and military policies related to national security.

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Cite this Entry

“National Security Act.” Legal Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Dec. 2022.

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