Policy Analysis in National Security Affairs: New Methods for a New Era

Article excerpt

Policy Analysis in National Security Affairs: New Methods for a New Era by Richard L. Kugler. National Defense University Press (http://www .ndu.edu/inss/press/nduphp.html), 300 Fifth Avenue, Building 62, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, DC 20319-5066, 2006, 658 pages, $55.00 (softcover).

Drawing on his more than 30 years of working in the national security field, Department of Defense, RAND, and academia, Richard L. Kugler has written a comprehensive book that fills the gap in professional literature regarding the conduct of post-Cold War policy analysis in national security affairs. "The business of forging national security policy has two main components: first, determining how the U.S. should use its powers abroad to pursue its goals, and second, determining how the U.S. should spend money in order to build its military, posture, defense strategy, and related assets" (p. 5). His overarching thesis calls for the use of new methods in adapting to the increasingly complex global landscape-methodologies that help the US government make the wisest and most effective national security decisions possible: "The days are gone in which foreign policy, defense strategy, military forces, technologies, and budgets could be treated as separate domains" (p. 5). As such, Policy Analysis in National security Affairs is a forward-leaning, multidisciplinary book.

Within three categories of methods for national security analysis-strategic evaluation, systems analysis, and operations research-the book's chapters cover the application of analytical methods to both foreign policy and defense strategy, as well as to specifics of plans, programs, and budgets. A practitioner's book, written primarily for members of the younger post-Cold War generation, Policy Analysis in National security Affairs seeks to help them choose the most appropriate analytical methods that lead to the best possible decisions and outcomes in supporting US interests. …