Thinking in Space: The Role of Geography in National Security Decision Making
Naval War College Newport United States
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The ability to think in space is more than navigation, map-reading, or geographic literacy. Spatial reasoning is a key aspect of critical thinking and geography is a valuable tool for communicating critical thought. This study seeks to advance the conversation about how geographic information shapes operational and strategic decisions and how it sits at the junction of theories of geopolitics, the art and science of cartography and visualization, and the unique cartographic consciousness of the American national security establishment. The US government is punching below its weight when it comes to the use of geographic information in strategic analysis, policy making processes, and its communication of global policy. The tools, resources, and imperatives are all at hand to elevate the spatial thinking of those charged with securing the national interest. This challenge promises to grow only more daunting in an era of great power competition that will require new spatial thinking and relearned old thinking on a global scale.
- Government and Political Science