Monday, April 25, 2011

A Call for A Grand Strategy Board

Combined Chiefs World War II

Star Wars Council

Mark over at has brought up the suggestion that what American needs in the worst way is a grand strategy, illustrated as we seem to bumble along, as Zen, points out in response to a commenter.
Today our institutionalized power bureaucracies cannot even handle a ragtag military run by a crazed dictator in Libya. We are overly ideological and ideologically conflicted to the point where the elite cannot agree on Ends in any given situation, seldom on Ways and squander Means.

Mark lays out his idea this way.
One thing on which most commentators, academics and former officials seem to agree is that the United States government has a difficult time planning and executing strategy. Furthermore, that since 1991 we have been without a consensus as to America’s grand strategy, which would guide our crafting of policy and strategy. This failing bridges partisan divisions and departmental bureaucracies; there are many career officials, political appointees and even a few politicians, who can explain the nuances of the Afghan War, or the Libyan intervention, the depreciatory tailspin of the US Dollar or America’s Russia policy - but none who would venture to say how these relate to one another, still less to a common vision.
Mark goes on to lay out his suggestion for settling up a small group of astute minds to craft a grand strategy as a road map for the nation in the coming years. In his words.
I’m envisioning a relatively small group composed of a core of pure strategists leavened with the most strategically oriented of our elder statesmen, flag officers, spooks and thinkers from cognate fields. A grand strategy board would be most active at the start of an administration and help in the crafting of the national strategy documents and return periodically when requested to give advice. Like the Spartan Gerousia, most of the members ( but not all) would be older and freer of the restraint of institutional imperatives and career ambitions. Like the Anglo-American joint chiefs and international conferences of WWII and the immediate postwar era, they would keep their eye on the panoramic view.

Mark goes on to lay out a hypothetical board, which can be viewed by clicking the link below. He points out that history has revealed most successful great powers found a way to craft a grand strategy by calling upon elders and the great thinkers of the nation to put their personal axes aside and collaborate to forge a national strategic road map. I would agree, that we currently seem to have lost our way, and are tilting at every windmill and letting every gust blown our way by despots to send us scurrying about looking for a reason before confronting evil. It seems since World War II and  the middle years of the Cold War, the only Grand Strategy Board is the elders portrayed in Star Wars trilogy. We need to reconnect with our history and our culture.

Take the time to read his post, watch the clips and then carefully read the 20-some and growing comments that are almost all thought provoking themselves.

Read more:
Time For A Grand Strategy Board

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