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National Security Act

The National Security Act was a sweeping piece of legislation that restructured the U.S. military, created several new government agencies, and sought to promote greater coordination between civilian and military leaders in the formulation of U.S. foreign and national security policy. It established both the National Security Council (NSC) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), elevated the air force to coequal status with the army and navy, and provided for the unification of the three military services within a single National Military Establishment (NME; later to become the Department of Defense). It was signed into law by President Harry Truman on July 26, 1947, and the former navy secretary James V. Forrestal was sworn in as the country’s first secretary of defense on September 17. ...

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