The White House Situation Room is arguably the most important facility in the most important building in the world. As the president's intelligence and alert center, it provides vital communication and crisis management capabilities to the chief executive and his advisors. It can also be an island of calm, as a top advisor for Vice President Gore once described it. So little is known about the Situation Room that, until the publication of Nerve Center, the American public's knowledge of it is almost entirely based on its portrayal by the entertainment industry. Yet, as Michael K. Bohn points out, Hollywood has failed to capture the real drama of the Situation Room. Numerous crises come alive in Nerve Center, from the Vietnam War (when President Johnson made late night visits to the Situation Room wearing his pajamas and went so often that he moved his Oval Office chair there), to the attempted assassination of President Reagan, to today's hi-tech war on terrorism. Created in the aftermath of the Bay of Pigs fiasco by advisors to President Kennedy, presidents, cabinet members, and National Security Council staff members have all come to depend on the Situation Room. I knew that I
About the author
Michael K. Bohn is a former director of the White House Situation Room and a retired naval intelligence officer.
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