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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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A Strategic Approach

A Strategic Approach

(p.48) 2 A Strategic Approach
Strategy and Defence Planning

Colin S Gray

Oxford University Press

Although defence planning should be rational in character, it is important to realize that concept and quality of reason usually is more important: defence planning may be strictly rational, but typically it will be judged unreasonable by critics. Defence planning is conceived as having three principal inclusive contexts: strategic, political, and historical. Context is important because it is necessary to understand that the function of defence planning is to prepare for the future security of a polity, a duty only a portion of which entails the necessity to produce actual plans (which need to be dynamic, as circumstances are perceived as changing). The chapter explains the basic structure of ‘the whole house of strategy’, with its essential conceptual architecture comprising political ‘ends’, strategic ‘ways’, and military ‘means’. In practice, strategic history very often is shaped most significantly by contingence and to meet these contingency plans, strategic sense is required.

Keywords:   context, rationality, reason, contingency, strategy

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