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It is still easy to underestimate how much the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War — and then the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 — transformed the task of American foreign and defense policymaking. In place of predictability (if a sometimes terrifying predictability), the world is now very unpredictable. In place of a single overriding threat and benchmark by which all else could be measured, a number of possible threats have arisen, not all of them states. In place of force-on-force engagements, U.S. defense planners have to assume “asymmetric” threats — ways not to defeat U.S. power but to render it irrelevant. This book frames the challenges for defense policy that the transformed world engenders, and it sketches new tools for dealing with those challenges — from new techniques in modeling and gaming, to planning based on capabilities rather than threats, to personnel planning and making use of “best practices” from the private sector.

"'New Challenges, New Tools for Defense Decisionmaking' is another quality product from the folks at RAND. This edited work of Stuart Johnson, Martin Libicki, and Gregory Treverton provides new techniques and tools for defense planning. Drawing on a series of RAND studies, the book outlines advanced analysis methodologies for strategic planning. The 13 papers that constitute the book present the reader with a number of advanced decisionmaking techniques, including coping with uncertainty, incorporating information technology, exploratory modeling, and what RAND terms 'day after methodology'. This is a must-read for defense planners, policymakers, and those interested in futures assessment and strategic planning."

- Parameters, Autumn 2003

This research in the public interest was supported by RAND, using discretionary funds made possible by the generosity of RAND’s donors, the fees earned on client-funded research, and independent research and development (IR&D) funds provided by the Department of Defense.

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