The Joint Chiefs of Staff Although the Constitution names the president as the commander in chief of the armed forces, each branch of the military also has its own head, known as the chief of staff. Together, these chiefs form the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), a group that helps the president make strategy decisions and evaluates the needs and capabilities of the military. Cabinet Departments Three cabinet departments usually take center stage in American foreign policy: • Department of State: Engages diplomacy with other nations • Department of Defense: Coordinates the American military around the world • Department of Homeland Security: Protects America from terrorist attacks domestically and deals with natural disasters Squabbling Secretaries The secretaries of defense and state do not always agree with each other or with the president. In fact, sometimes the conflicts between the two lead to nasty infighting to get the president’s favor. During the first term of George W. Bush, for example, Secretary of
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