This edition of the U. S. Army War
College Guide to National Security Policy and Strategy reflects to some extent recent changes in the structure of the core
curriculum at the War College. The college broke its traditional
core course, “War, National Policy and Strategy,” into two courses: “Theory of War and Strategy” and
“National Security Policy and Strategy.” The result for this book is the expansion of the block on strategic theory
and the introduction of a block on specific strategic issues. Because little time has past since the publication of the most
recent version of this book, this edition is largely an expansion of its predecessor rather than a major rewriting. Several
chapters are new and others have undergone significant rewrites or updates, but about two-thirds of the book remains unchanged.
Although this is not primarily a textbook, it does reflect both the method and manner we use to teach strategy formulation
to America’s future senior leaders.
The book is also not a comprehensive or exhaustive treatment of either strategy or the policymaking process. The Guide is
organized in broad groups of chapters addressing general subject areas. We begin with a look at some specific issues about
the general security environment—largely international. The section on strategic thought and formulation includes chapters
on broad issues of strategy formulation as well as some basic strategic theory. The third section is about the elements of
national power. A section on the national security policymaking process in the United
States precedes the final section that deals with selected strategic issues.
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