Romney creates shadow National Security Council

Romney creates shadow National Security Council

In July, The Cable reported that Mitt Romney would set up a foreign policy and national security advisory structure that mimics the White House’s National Security Council, with teams of experts assigned to working groups on functional and regional issues. Today, the Romney campaign announced an elaborate national security advisory team with about 50 well-known personalities.

The announcement comes one day before Romney is set to give what his campaign is billing as a major speech on foreign policy at The Citadel in South Carolina.

"America and our allies are facing a series of complex threats. To shape them before they explode into conflict, our foreign policy will have to be guided by a strategy of American strength," Romney said in a statement. "I am deeply honored to have the counsel of this extraordinary group of diplomats, experts, and statesmen. Their remarkable experience, wisdom, and depth of knowledge will be critical to ensuring that the 21st century is another American Century."

The structure of Romney’s national security brain trust doesn’t match the NSC structure exactly. Romney has set up a team of "senior advisors" at the top of the org. chart, which includes many of the advisors who were with him in his 2008 campaign, including Mitchell Reiss, Pierre Prosper, Cofer Black, and Dan Senor.

Other members of the senior advisory team include former senators Norm Coleman and Jim Talent, former officials Michael Chertoff, John Lehman, Eric Edelman, Dov Zakheim, and Robert Joseph. Former Pawlenty foreign policy advisor Vin Weber is also on the list.

Lehman and Roger Zakheim (Dov’s son) head up Romney’s defense working group. The Afghanistan working group is led by James Shinn, a former Pentagon Asia official, and Ashley Tellis, an India expert.

Overall, the team is significantly larger and more organized than the national security policy team of any other GOP presidential campaign. His intention is to build a big tent to attract as many GOP foreign policy professionals as possible.

The Democratic foreign policy community is taking Romney’s Friday speech seriously. The Center for American Progress Action Fund and the National Security Network will hold a conference call to rebut Romney’s speech Friday, with experts Neera Tanden, Heather Hurlburt, Ken Gude, and Lawrence Korb.

Read the full list of Romney advisors after the jump:

Cofer Black
Christopher Burnham
Michael Chertoff
Eliot Cohen
Norm Coleman
John Danilovich
Paula Dobriansky
Eric Edelman
Michael Hayden
Kerry Healey
Kim Holmes
Robert Joseph
Robert Kagan
John Lehman
Walid Phares


Afghanistan & Pakistan
James Shinn, Co-Chair
Ashley Tellis, Co-Chair

Tibor Nagy, Chair

Evan Feigenbaum, Co-Chair
Aaron Friedberg, Co-Chair
Kent Lucken, Co-Chair

Eric Edelman, Co-Chair
Robert Joseph, Co-Chair
Stephen Rademaker, Co-Chair

Michael Chertoff, Co-Chair
Michael Hayden, Co-Chair

John Lehman, Co-Chair
Roger Zakheim, Co-Chair

Nile Gardiner, Co-Chair
Kristen Silverberg, Co-Chair

Human Rights
Pierre Prosper, Chair

International Assistance
Grant Aldonas, Co-Chair
Daniel Runde, Co-Chair

International Organizations
Christopher Burnham, Co-Chair
Paula Dobriansky, Co-Chair
Robert O’Brien, Co-Chair