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Waging War, Planning PeaceU.S. Noncombat Operations and Major Wars$
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Aaron Rapport

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780801453588

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801453588.001.0001

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Strategic Assessment and Noncombat Operations

Strategic Assessment and Noncombat Operations

(p.13) Chapter 1 Strategic Assessment and Noncombat Operations
Waging War, Planning Peace

Aaron Rapport

Cornell University Press

This chapter discusses the concept of strategic assessment. Strategic assessment is the process by which decision makers evaluate and select political goals and the military strategies meant to achieve them. It refers both to the measures decision makers take to structure their analysis of a problem and the actual substance of policymakers' assessments. To make strategic assessments, actors establish rules and norms for gathering, distributing, and deliberating over information. The substance of actors' assessments includes their conceptualization of desired goals and specific courses of action, the anticipated costs and benefits of those plans, and perceptions of whether chosen courses of action are working as predicted. The way decision makers structure the assessment process will determine the substance of their assessments; however, actors' prior beliefs will also affect how they structure the assessment process.

Keywords:   strategic assessment, political goals, military strategies, assessment process

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