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Making Twenty-First-Century Strategy. An Introduction to Modern National Security Processes and Problems

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Rev. monograph

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This book is about national security strategy what it is, what its objectives are, what problems it seeks to solve or at least manage, and what kinds of influences constrain and create opportunities for the development and implementation of strategies. The heart of the problem with which national security strategy deals is the series of threats -- normally military, but increasingly semi- or nonmilitary in character -- that the country must confront and somehow overcome or contain. When the original version of this book was published in 1988, the set of threats facing the United States was reasonably static -- those problems associated with the Cold War confrontation with a communist world led by the Soviet Union. In the ensuing decade and a half, that configuration of problems largely dissolved, along with the concrete parameters within which we operated. In its place is a much more diffuse, shifting, and controversial set of problems that is simultaneously simple, compelling, and arguable. Making strategy is no longer a simple, straightforward process, if it ever were. The making and implementation of strategy at the national level is largely an exercise in risk management and risk reduction. Risk, at that level, is the difference between the threats posed to our security by our adversaries and our capabilities to counter or negate those threats. Assessing risk and resolving it has two primary dimensions. The first is the assessment of risk itself what conditions represent threats to our security, and how serious are those threats relative to one another and to our safety The answers to these questions are the result of subjective human assessments based on different political and philosophical judgments about the world and our place in it. The other dimension is the adequacy of resources to counter the threats that we identify.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Military Intelligence
  • Civil Defense

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