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Avoiding Trivia

The Role of Strategic Planning in American Foreign Policy

Avoiding Trivia
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US$ 24.95
Strategic planning needs to be a more integral part of America’s foreign policymaking.While thousands of troops are engaged in combat and homeland security concerns abound, long-term coordination of goals and resources would seem to be of paramount importance.A change in presidential administration brings the hope that strategic planning will play an elevated role in U.S. foreign policy. Can policy planners—in the Pentagon, State Department, Treasury, NSC, and National Intelligence Council—rise to the challenge? Indeed, is strategic planning a viable concept in 21st-century foreign policy? Thesecrucial questions guide this eye-opening book. After World War II, George Kennan became the State Department’s first director of policy planning. Secretary of State George Marshall’s initial advice to Kennan was to “avoid trivia” above all else, hence the title. In other words, don’t get bogged down in the details. Avoiding Trivia critically assesses the past, future, and potential future role and impact of long-term strategic planning in foreign policy.The contributors include many key figures from the past few decades of foreign policy and planning—e.g., Richard Haass was the director of policy planning at State during the first George W. Bush administration; David F. Gordon currently holds that post; Peter Feaver was a special adviser for strategic planning at the NSC. They provide authoritative insight on the difficulties and importance of thinking and acting in a coherent way for the long term.Contributors include Andrew Erdmann, Peter Feaver, Aaron Friedberg, David F. Gordon, Richard Haass, William Inboden, Bruce Jentleson, Steven Krasner, Jeffrey Legro, Daniel Twining,ThomasWright, and Amy Zegart.
Brookings Institution Press; April 2009
199 pages; ISBN 9780815703662
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ISBNs
081570366X
9780815703068
9780815703662