January 18, 2012

Inside the White House Situation Room

As the first post of this weblog about top level telecommunications we start with a nice video about the White House Situation Room, released by the White house on December 18, 2009:

As we can see from this video, the 2006-2007 renovation transformed the Situation Room from one simple conference room with a small office space into a multi room facility with high tech communications equipment, much like we see in fictional movies and tv-series.

At the same time, we also see that the Situation Room isn't the exclusive space for the president anymore. Many other government officials use the new conference rooms too for their (video conference) meetings.

The Situation Room is maintained by the White House Situation Support Staff (WHSSS), which was created ca. 1985 to oversee the Situation Room and the Crisis Management Center (CMC), which was set up in 1982 in the Old Executive Office Building and acted as a "second situation room". The WHSSS is nowadays part of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA).

The telephone equipment which is used in the Situation Room, will be discussed on this weblog later on.

More pictures and information about the White House Situation Room and its history can be found on the following website: www.whitehousemuseum.org.

An interesting article about the functioning of the Situation Room can be found amongst the CIA's Studies in Intelligence.

About the history of the Situation Room you can also read: Michael K. Bohn, Nerve Center: Inside the White House Situation Room, Brassey's Inc. Washington 2003.

In Dutch: Meer over het wetsvoorstel voor de Tijdelijke wet cyberoperaties