The role of systematic analysis in increasing the quality of choices open to decisionmakers at policy levels in international affairs is explored. Discussion includes key organizational features of an analytical apparatus applicable directly to the Department of State. While reliance on the intuitive operator is characteristic of much activity in the foreign affairs community, it is suggested that establishment of a foreign affairs system could provide deeper knowledge, more data, and a more systematic evaluation of objectives and alternatives than nonmilitary programs and policies often get. At present, no countervailing system of the analytic competency of the PPBS approach adopted by the Department of Defense in the 1960s exists to represent nonmilitary interests, partly because the systems approach may be wrongly regarded as synonymous only with quantification and computer technology.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.
This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.