Former President George H. W. Bush, former President Bill Clinton, join President George W. Bush in the Oval Office Tuesday, March 8, 2005.

The President’s authority in national security is provided by Article II of the U.S. Constitution, which designates the President as the "Commander in Chief" of the U.S. military, grants the President the authority to make treaties, and places responsibility on the President for nominating and appointing ambassadors and all other officers of the United States. The President has broad authority to safeguard U.S. national security.

As the head of the Executive Branch, the President is responsible for establishing national security policy and overseeing its implementation. The President submits a budget request and proposed legislation to address national security priorities and plays an important role in communicating national security policy to foreign governments and the public. The President's management style and choice of cabinet officials have a large effect on the national security decision-making process. The President utilizes his own judgment, the advice of national security advisers, the National Security Council and the interagency coordination process to formulate and execute national security policy.