The strategy of ‘deal-making’ is a hallmark of the political approach employed by the Trump administration and some in Congress. But a deal-making approach is a simple-minded strategy for public policy that disregards crucial implications and complexities that are inherent in politics, that can have negative implications for national security interests.
The United States has upheld a moratorium on nuclear testing since 1992, but numerous voices have emerged in recent years to urge a resumption of nuclear tests. William Caplan argues the U.S. should not forfeit its nonproliferation credibility and risk starting a string of nuclear tests that threatens the nuclear order.
Some legislators have pushed to restrict the president from launching preemptive nuclear strikes without the authorization of Congress. While proponents of congressional authorization hope that it will reduce tensions, it will only serve to increase the risks of accidental or inadvertent escalation.
In October, ISP released a comprehensive assessment of the strategy formulation processes within the U.S. Department of Defense. Formulating National Security Strategy: Past Experiences and Future Choices offers insights into the series of choices facing policymakers during a strategy review. The study, prepared for DOD and mandated by Congress, was helped shaped the process for the 2018 National Defense Strategy.
The Defense Department has begun the formulation of a new defense strategy. Amidst the chatter surrounding the security strategy effort, Kathleen Hicks explains why significant change of Defense Department direction is unlikely to emerge from the forthcoming National Defense Strategy and recommends some tools to help manage the mismatch born of ambitious goals and inevitably limited resources.