The General Secretariat for Defence and National Security (SGDSN) is an interministerial body placed under the authority of the French Prime Minister which assists the head of government in designing and implementing security and defence policies. It provides advice and support to the political decision-making process. Its areas of expertise include all strategic defence and security matters, such as military programs, nuclear deterrence, internal security as part of national security, economic and energy security, counter-terrorism and crisis response plans.
SGDSN fulfils three main missions :
SGDSN also oversees the Institut des hautes études de défense nationale (IHEDN) and the Institut des hautes études de la sécurité et de la justice (INHESJ).
In 2009, in accordance with the guidelines of the 2008 White Paper on Defence and National Security and the provisions of the military planning law for the 2009-2014 period, the General Secretariat for National Defence (SGDN) was given broader responsibilities and became the General Secretariat for Defence and National Security (SGDSN).