Policy Analysis in National Security Affairs: New Methods for a New Era   [open pdf - 4MB]

"In today's world, the challenges facing U.S. national policy are truly daunting because so much is demanded and expected. Success is essential, and mistakes can be fatal. Because the United States is a global superpower acting in a world that is often dangerous, it needs sound national security policies. But how will it know when its policies are sound? It cannot risk failure by trying them out in order to see whether they work. It must figure out beforehand, as much as possible, whether its policies are wise and likely to succeed. This is the role of policy analysis. U.S. national security policy is the subject of voluminous books, journal articles, and newspaper columns. Surprisingly, however, few recent publications address how policy analysis in this field is best carried out. There is even less material on the methodologies that can be used during a policy analysis to evaluate the important choices facing the United States and other countries. This book takes a step toward remedying that deficiency. In providing guidance on how to perform policy analysis today, this book identifies a spectrum of relevant analytical methods from three different academic disciplines: strategic evaluation, systems analysis, and operations research. It portrays their key features, assets, and liabilities in some depth so that readers, from college students to professionals, can become aware of the large menu of analytical tools available and how these tools can be used. Its purpose thus is educational, rather than to advocate any particular method, much less to endorse specific policies."

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National Defense University: http://www.ndu.edu/
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