From the thesis abstract: "The remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) provides combat power for the United States in today's uncertain operational environment. Dialogue on the strategic role of the RPA continues daily amongst the United States government, military, media, and academic community. This is in response to the novelty of the system and its various capabilities. This monograph examines the basic question between the various entities specifically asking how the United States can effectively plan and utilize the RPA in today's uncertain environment. A discussion of Henry Mintzberg's methodology of effective strategic planning and successfully crossing what he calls the Great Divide provides a useful point of departure for this monograph. Comparing Mintzberg's methodology to the use of the RPA through mid-2013 highlights incongruities, negating a successful bridging of the Great Divide. A historical example, the nuclear weapon, and the planning behind the Eisenhower administration of National Security Council 162/2, A Report to the National Security Council by the Executive Secretary on Basic National Security Policy, create a useful analogy of successfully crossing the Great Divide. Comparison of the development of the nuclear strategic plan with current RPA strategic planning creates a roadmap on the necessary steps of normalizing the RPA for use by the United States. A major obstacle, to date, is a readily defined strategy for the RPA. Research shows that until a specified strategy is stated, successful strategic planning for the RPA will suffer. However, research also shows that if planned appropriately, the RPA can provide a powerful instrument in combating potential enemies of the United States."
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