The Search for Strategy: Politics and Strategic Vision

The Search for Strategy: Politics and Strategic Vision

The Search for Strategy: Politics and Strategic Vision

The Search for Strategy: Politics and Strategic Vision


Noted scholars and practitioners describe how America's military strategy is being developed in a post-Cold War eolitical environment to meet future needs confronting the sole surviving world superpower. In defining the domestic constraints and the intense political process that is tied into the formulation of military strategy, they show how difficult it is to build a consensus for American military leadership in a multipolar world. This evaluation of strategic concepts and their application to issues about conventional and nuclear deterrence, technological requirements, and collective security should be required reading for staff officers, civilians in national security bureaucracies, policymakers, and students and scholars concerned with military and security policy.


This book brings together the papers presented at the U.S. Army War College during the February 1992 Strategy Conference. Its authors have made an extraordinary contribution to the professional understanding of the national security policy process in particular and national and military strategy in general.

Strategy is the calculated relationship of ends and means. in a generic sense this definition is practiced every day, whether it be the housewife determining what to buy at the local store or the small unit military leader responding to the inevitable cry of "What would you do in this situation?" However, at the highest level of decision making concerned with a nation's security, the process so briefly mentioned in the definition of strategy becomes infinitely more complex. This book describes that complexity in detail, emphasizing the inevitable conflict in democratic societies between the "ideal" strategic vision and the political process required to fund and execute it.

An exceptional group of scholars and practitioners have contributed their work to this volume. Their collective analysis of the substance and process of strategy formulation should be required reading for staff officers, their civilian counterparts throughout the national security bureaucracies, and for the new members of the Clinton Administration who have inherited a transitional period of history no less dramatic and uncertain than the early Cold War years bequeathed to Harry Truman. Like Truman, they face the task of building a new strategic consensus.

Victory in hot or cold wars is often fragile and tragically temporary. Victory is a phase line in a permanent struggle to promote and defend our national interests. the contributors to this volume explicitly make this ar-

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