The International Security Environment and How Strategy is Made

The International Security Environment and How Strategy is Made

  • 3 March 2013

Strategy can be understood as a branch of humanities – particularly international relations – and defined as the art and science of employing the political, economic, social and military forces of a nation in accordance with its adopted political guidelines, in order to produce the desired effects and protect and promote its political, economic, social and intellectual interests in the face of other countries, other players, circumstances or developments. Strategy seeks to achieve synergy, coordination and integration among goals, means and resources to increase the possibilities of success. It is a process that seeks to apply a high degree of rationality and consistency to address events that could or could not happen. Despite this complexity, strategy achieves its mission through presenting justifications and logic in rational and consistent terms; strategy could be described simply as a political handbook to achieve a desired outcome.

I very much agree with Josepha Laroche when she writes that it is a mistake to think that international relations can be taught and written about in isolation. Any international perception is part of the humanities and political sciences and any ignorance of that may result in weak and incomplete research that lacks all credibility. As such, it would be reduced to a mere general or descriptive study, or even just a press story. The rise of new players in the world of diplomacy and foreign politics requires us to not only focus on the need to combine studies in history, political science, international relations or humanities, but also the radical application of Weberian sociology on what is universal.

Among the objectives of strategy is theorization, which can help us expand and organize out thinking. Here, I recall the words of Clausewitz on theory where he says it should be studied and not adopted as a doctrine. Theory then becomes a ‘handbook’ for everyone who wants to raise their literacy, seek enlightenment, facilitate progress, acquire sound judgment and avoid obstacles. The goal behind theory is to train the mind of the candidate to be a future leader.

How can we think strategically and formulate strategy in the 21st century? It means educating ourselves and not to be content with simplistic approaches. Strategic and theoretical thinking is a difficult task, which is why several governmental strategies fail to achieve concrete results. In addition, it is why the economic strategies of China and South Korea have succeed while those applied in Greece, Spain and Italy have failed. Strategy as an art and science requires detailed overt and covert knowledge and in-depth awareness of the modern world and its differences, particularly if the matter in question is part of an institutional process or an intellectual debate at the national or even global level, which is highly important.

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Sunday 3 March 2013

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Sunday 3 March 2013

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