Strategic Planning for National Security

Lessons from Business Experience

by Paul Bracken


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United States defense planning is at a crossroads, and it is therefore useful to review not only discrete issues, but even basic concepts of strategic planning. This Note reviews concepts used in the business world to build insights about how to view current and prospective problems, opportunities, and choices. The author draws upon the business literature for both ideas and metaphors. He observes that U.S. national security planning could profit greatly from an approach that distinguishes among "core, environmental, and hedging strategies," and that considers security analogs to such business concepts as defining the business, dealing with new competitors, controlling the intensity of competition, entry and exit barriers, and the need to redeploy assets and restructure the organization. He then relates these concepts to specific problems of national security interest.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Note series. The note was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1979 to 1993 that reported other outputs of sponsored research for general distribution.

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