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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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Political Process and Defence Planning

Political Process and Defence Planning

(p.135) 5 Political Process and Defence Planning
Strategy and Defence Planning

Colin S Gray

Oxford University Press

This chapter emphasizes the reality that defence planning and strategy are the product of politics effected in a political process. This political process will be distinctive to each security community. Regardless of time, place, and culture, there has been a political process dominant over such defence planning as war is conducted. Politicians and political argument about issues claimed to be relevant to national security often are ill-informed. However, politics must provide the meaning for military threat or use. While warfare requires expertise and technical understanding, the purpose of armed force must be provided as policy ends decided in a political process. Expert defence analysis should advise with respect to anticipated costs and benefits, but motivating reasons for threat and action should flow from politics. Critically important to the political performance of a security community is its management of civil-military relations on the essential ‘bridge’ of strategy.

Keywords:   politics, civil-military relations, strategy, strategy bridge, defence analysis

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