Strategies Disappoint, And Its Time To Fix Them
Mar 21, 2017 04:11 PM EDT
The White House, the Department of Defense, and other agencies across the U.S. government have been generating dozens of national security documents since the new administration took over. The idea of constructing strategies is loved by everyone, but these strategies disappoint most times when they are put into practice.
In fact, attempts to compel the U.S. government in building better strategies also turn out short. For instance, in 1994, Congress originally mandated the Commission on Roles and Missions to improve the previous defense strategy, the Bottom-Up Review. The strategy led to the creation of a new series of documents, the Quadrennial Defense Review, that also proved a disappointment.
At the same time, it's important to understand that strategies don't fail due to lack of effort. According to Defense News, documents like the Quadrennial Defense Reviews involve "hundreds of participants and consume many thousands of man-hours." This includes the process that demands the department to track and publish the cost of preparation of each report and study prepared by the Department of Defense.
It could also be that the world is simply too sophisticated to allow for good strategies. For example, the Bush administration had two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, with looming threats of China, Russia, and terrorism in the offing.
Obama administration narrowed down the number to a manageable list of five, namely Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, and terrorism, according to the Department of Defense. Although it is uncertain whether the Trump administration will maintain the list due to the changing adversaries, it is likely that the basic framework would remain intact.
Having said that, good strategies need to be substantive. Linking ends, ways, and means together in a transparent fashion, serves an edge in strategizing priority resources, and not everyone may come out "happy" as a result of this.
Despite the challenges, if Trump administration succeeds in fixing new strategies, then it would succeed in leaving a legacy for the United States' Department of Defense in whole. Probably, this would be the new hope to make strategies that no longer disappoint.