Enhancing Professional Military Education in the Horn of Africa the Ethiopian Defense Command & Staff College Initiative (CSL Issue Paper, Volume 13-09, August 2009)
ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA CENTER FOR STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP
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Strategic planning is a way of thinking. It is a process of defining a national strategy, or direction, and making decisions on allocating resources capital and people to pursue this strategy. In todays challenging economic environment, employing the strategic planning process is critical for a nation to fully evaluate the impacts of its identified strategic ends, ways and means. Since strategic planning takes place within a constantly changing environment, it is a dynamic process, not a static blueprint. Planners must take into account the shifting conditions and circumstances in the strategic environment, and the strategic choices made by other actors in the system. As a result there is a need for continuous reassessment to ensure appraisals and assumptions are still valid, and that ends, ways, and means are still in balance. When faced with the requirement to balance short-term needs with long-term goals, often there are no best or easy choices. The importance of strategic planning in todays globalized, interconnected world cannot be overstated. It is especially critical for senior military officers to be familiar with this process. Small or emerging countries are not shielded from the downstream effects of manning, equipping, and resourcing decisions. Military modernization initiatives have domestic, regional, and international impacts on a nations public, trade, finance, aid, and foreign policies. Awareness of these issues is especially important for nations within the U.S. Africa Command USAFRICOM region.
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