Force Planning Scenarios, 1945-2016: Their Origins and Use in Defense Strategic Planning
RAND ARROYO CENTER SANTA MONICA CA SANTA MONICA United States
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Historically, U.S. global interests and commitments have been sufficiently expansive that it would be impossible to design a fiscally acceptable force that could defend all U.S. interests simultaneously Efforts to estimate the forces required to simultaneously defend all U.S. interests have typically led to force structure estimates twice as large as more-realistic i.e., fiscally constrained planning approaches. In combination with assessments of the strategic environment, statements of national policy and strategy have provided a basis for identifying which contingencies are sufficiently important to justify defense preparations and for specifying defense and military strategies. Strategic concepts have also helped to guide and narrow the range of scenarios that need to be considered in conventional force planning efforts. This report presents a historical review of defense strategic planning, with an emphasis on the factors that have shaped defense planning scenarios and their use in strategic analysis in the U.S. Department of Defense DoD this report is part of a larger study for the U.S. Army that is examining ways to improve the use of scenarios in defense planning. This document is organized by presidential administration and, for presidential administrations in the postCold War era, it is organized around the various defense reviews that were undertaken.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
- Government and Political Science