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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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Between Prudence and Paranoia

Between Prudence and Paranoia

Chapter:
(p.191) 7 Between Prudence and Paranoia
Source:
Strategy and Defence Planning
Author(s):

Colin S Gray

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198701842.003.0008

This chapter opens with the flagging of public mood as a distinctly unscientific and subjective factor that has an almost determinating influence on the level of effort that a government devotes to investment in defence preparation for the future. The chapter proceeds to explore the four leading qualities of menace that can attend defence planning: risk, threat, danger, and shock. It is understood that different societies with distinctive cultures both conceptualize and test candidate evidence empirically differently. However, while granting some potential significance to cultural uniqueness, the referents behind these concepts are common across time, geography, and circumstance. A sensing of risk and danger is human, irrespective of historical context and particular detail that is the cause of alarm. The chapter concludes by itemizing the ways in which a society should attempt to meet the challenge of uncertainty that is the defining burden laid at the door for defence planning.

Keywords:   public mood, risk, threat, danger, shock, prudence, uncertainty

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