The Cable

The Cable goes inside the foreign policy machine, from Foggy Bottom to Turtle Bay, the White House to Embassy Row.

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 ...

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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."

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:

SPECIAL ADVISERS
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

WORKING GROUPS

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

Africa
Tibor Nagy, Chair

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

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

Counterterrorism/Intelligence
Michael Chertoff, Co-Chair
Michael Hayden, Co-Chair

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

Europe
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

Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at josh.rogin@foreignpolicy.com.

Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.

A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.

Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C. Twitter: @joshrogin

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