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Strategy and Defence PlanningMeeting the Challenge of Uncertainty$
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Colin S. Gray

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198701842

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198701842.001.0001

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Introduction: Defence Planning—a Mission about Consequences

Introduction: Defence Planning—a Mission about Consequences

(p.1) Introduction: Defence Planning—a Mission about Consequences
Strategy and Defence Planning

Colin S Gray

Oxford University Press

The future is unknown and unknowable, but somehow we need to meet the uncertainty caused by our ignorance. Much effort is expended in efforts to foresee, or at least anticipate, if not forecast and predict, what is to come. The text defines the key terms, including explanation of why certain familiar ones were rejected as being not most suitable for this enquiry. The approach adopted in this book is explained. In particular, the reasons for scepticism about the value of work that professes to be in any sense scientific are argued. On the positive side the text argues for the high value of a strategic approach for anticipation of strategic history in the future, as it is for the past and present. The potency of continuity in strategic history is emphasized, notwithstanding appreciation of the often non-linear character of that narrative.

Keywords:   future, consequences, knowable, unknowable, strategy, strategic history

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