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How the Obama White House runs foreign policy - The Washington Post


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Sounds like micromanagement and a lot of focus on optics.

On some issues, meetings at the level of Cabinet deputies — the place where options are supposed to be refined before consideration by department heads and then the president — grew so repetitive last year that deputies stopped coming, sending assistant secretaries and below in their stead.

“It was like ‘Groundhog Day’ . . . with no progress, no refinement,” said one official. “In fairness, these are all tough questions. But eventually, you’ve got to make a choice.”

A former White House official said: “The thing I think is fundamentally wrong with the NSC process is that there’s too much process. There’s too much airing of every agency’s view and recommendations, and not enough adjudicating. . . . Someone’s got to be the decision-maker, who’s just going to say, ‘We’re going to do this’ and ‘We’re not going to do that.’ ”

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