Managing the current transition in strategic nuclear affairs

by Kevin N. Lewis

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The strategic planning environment has been fairly stable but is in the early stages of a major transition. The same kinds of factors that have shaped the history of strategic developments in the past will continue to do so. It is best to manage the coming transition by gradual steps, not radical initiatives. Some common oversights plaguing radical attempts at change are: (1) we consider the components of many programming and policy problems independently of one another, (2) management issues are frequently ignored, (3) proposals for rapid change ignore the dynamic character of all military activities, and (4) radical change doctrines cannot tolerate the fact that no one can guarantee the end of a nuclear conflict on acceptable terms. Even the best plan and management techniques will have serious limitations.

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