chapter  3
Strategy, doctrine, tactics, and skills
Pages 12

Strategy The United States has a National Security Strategy (NSS), which is prepared by the President’s National Security Council. It includes economic and diplomatic components as well as a military component.2 There is a substrategy, the National Military Strategy (NMS), which is prepared by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. That strategy is the product of lengthy discussion on the part of high-level military and civilians in different parts of the government.3 Traditionally much of it is bland or stating the well-known. Rarely does either strategy become the subject of political debate, although President George W. Bush’s first NSS included several positions which caused some angst. One was the assertion that pre-emption was a possibility, and the second was a stated willingness to go it alone when necessary. Pre-emption has never been renounced, nor has a commitment ever been made to always proceed with allies or with United Nations approval. Still, the Bush administration’s assertions were seen by some as unusual and somewhat belligerent. As will be discussed below, Obama’s NMS, which was not released until February 2011, is quite different in tone.