Lost at the NSC

People are starting to talk of Obama creating an Eisenhower-lite foreign-policy team. This is a very good thing, if only a start. America no longer knows how to make good strategy. From the Nazi defeat in World War II to America’s triumph in the c

Issue: Jan-Feb 2009

PRESIDENT OBAMA'S decision to appoint a bipartisan national-security team comprising experienced individuals from the moderate middle of the political spectrum has led some observers to harken back to the Eisenhower administration's more successful arrangements for developing national strategy. This is a step in the right direction, but it does not address the deeper malaise afflicting U.S. strategy today. American strategy has been in decline since the early 1970s. U.S. political and military elites no longer exhibit competence at formulating, much less implementing, good long-term strategies. Our national-security establishment is increasingly hard-pressed to choose realistic goals or craft strategies likely to achieve our objectives at affordable costs in the face of various constraints, especially the countervailing efforts of our adversaries.

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