Vicars and managers: organizing for national security

by Arnold Kanter

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Recent legislation requires the President to report annually to the Congress on his "grand strategy" for the United States. This paper was written to inform the debate about how the new President should design his national security structure and process and what the appropriate relationship might be between the Secretary of State and the National Security Adviser. The author is skeptical about the prospects for a "grand strategy," defined as an integrated and comprehensive set of operational goals yielding long-term continuity in U.S. foreign and national security policy. He is more optimistic about the chances for a "grand strategy," defined as a structure and process that would improve the internal consistency and coherence of a given administration's national security policy. The latter perspective could lead to an evaluation of alternative ways in which the President might organize his national security machinery, and of the roles the State Department and the National Security Council staff could play.

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.

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