Small Wars Journal

Time for a Grand Strategy Board?

Time for a Grand Strategy Board? By Mark Safranski at Zenpundit.

"It would be a useful corrective for the better conception and execution of US policy, for the President and the Congress to create a special board for grand strategy that could give presidents and key officials frank assessments and confidential guidance to help weave their policy ideas into a durable and overarching national strategy. One that might last beyond a few days' headlines in The New York Times."

Time for a Grand Strategy Board?


M. Muthuswamy (not verified)

Tue, 04/26/2011 - 6:13am


Islamic radicalism is a natural phenomenon, as we are all part and parcel of nature. As I have realized, looking at this issue from a scientific perspective can lead to surprising, but useful insights.

It may be no coincidence that political approach to grasping radical Islam has thus far failed to deliver.

No one at CERN is likely to be mistaken for doing political science; therein lies the rub.

Revolver (not verified)

Tue, 04/26/2011 - 1:34am

We have radical Islam down to a science now? Impressive.

I take it CERN isn't hiring.

As a physicist and author of the recent book Defeating Political Islam: The New Cold War, let me bring up a welcome surprise.

Any coherent grand strategy destined to deal with radical Islam has to rely on the science of Muslim radicalism.

I dare say this: I have developed a theory that describes the science of Muslim radicalism.

This is unprecedented.

Heres the article:

Rex Brynen

Mon, 04/25/2011 - 11:18pm

Grand strategy is, I think, often rather overrated. While it holds out the theoretical appeal of a chess-like pursuit of clear national objectives, it often rather fails to address the uncertain, ambiguous, and changing contemporary environment. It also presumes a national consensus on US objectives in the world (in many cases, there isn't one), or that multiple goals can be pursued with cross-sectoral coherence (often, they can't). At worth, it risks aggravating bureaucratic inertia when changing circumstances require constant fresh new thinking.

The better question to ask is, "Why do we need a grand strategy board?" Obviously, the fact that we are discussing it suggests serious issues and shortcomings in the current national security policy establishment which need to be addressed.

Why not focus on reforming said system so that it produces a coherent grand strategy?

The President and Congress already get the kind of advice this board would provide via the endless output of think tanks and like organizations. What they really need is input from those who should be the experts: our senior military leaders.

When was the last time an officer above the rank of COL/Captain (O-6) wrote or presented a significant piece of strategy, either on active duty or retired? I'd argue it was probably Colin Powell. The system is failing to produce flag officers with strategic leadership abilities.

That is what we must fix.