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Flashcards in National Security Policy and Strategy Deck (17):

Choose two U.S. Presidents and contrast their presidential advisory styles and their approaches to using the National Security Council system.

Scowcroft Model - honest broker (Pres George H.W. Bush)
running a fair, transparent, and inclusive process for bringing issues to the President; maintain the confidence of your national security colleagues; keep a low public profile, operating largely off stage; and give your advice privately to the President.


Strategic Formulation Framework

- National Purpose
- National Interest
- Strategic Vision
- National Policy
- Strategic Formulation Process
- National Objectives (ENDS)
- Strategic Concepts (WAYS)
- National Power (Means)


Levels of Interests (Intensity of interests)

- SURVIVAL/EXISTENTIAL: These represent the single most important interests for any actor. This is the very essence of the actor’s existence—the protection of its citizens and their institutions from attack by enemies, both foreign and domestic
- VITAL: vital interest exists when an issue is so important to an actor’s well-being that its leadership can compromise only up to a certain point. Beyond that point, compromise is no longer possible; potential harm would not be tolerable
- IMPORTANT; These interests would be significant but not crucial to the actor’s well-being. Damage to them could cause serious concern and harm to the actor’s overseas interests, and even though the result may be somewhat painful, would much more likely be resolved with compromise and negotiation, rather than confrontation
- PERIPHERAL; These interests involve neither a threat to the actor’s security nor to the well-being of its popu­lace. Moreover, they do not seriously affect the stability of the international system. **


3 Prominent Theoretical Models in Foreign Policy Decision making

(1) Homo Sociologicus - "Real world of decision making"; social pressures matter; group derived/broader social pressure may induce Actor to behave in non-rational ways/Group Dynamics
(2) Homo Economicus - "Model Decision-Making"; assumes decision making follows an ordered and orderly process; personify the State to understand decision-making (Rational Actor Model)
(3) Homo Psychologicus - subjective nature; emotional decision-making; analysis through reviewing how decision-makers "Viewed" the situation


National Purpose

foundational ideas


National Interests

- desired goal
- foundation for policy
- informs how much and why policy makers should care


National Policy

political guidance; must be adhered to by all subordinate policy, strategy, and planning; Streams - problems, policy, poliitcs



is the art and science of developing and using DIME to create strategic effects that protect or advance national interests in the environment and in accordance with policy guidance
Policy & strategy example: NSC-68


National Strategic Documents



Instruments of National Power

- Diplomacy
- Information
- Military
- Economics



- Land
- Maritime
- Air
- Space
- Cyber


NSC System

- Informal
- Formal
- Ad hoc structure / process
- Policy entrepreneur
- Honest broker



Hard – through threats or rewards
Soft – through attraction; similar desires
Smart – combo of hard and soft
Actual/Real – actually possessed; can be used
Perceived – extent others believe the will and ability to use real power
- Potential


International Order

Political – UN
Security – NATO; bilateral treaties
Economic – Bretton Woods System


Foreign Policy Analysis (Factors):

- Rational Actor: cost-benefit analysis
- Bureaucratic: politics; bargaining; agencies
- Sociological: group influences; social pressures
- Psychological: individual opinion; emotion; interpersonal


IR Theory

- Realism: States; balance of power; increase power; pessimistic; sovereignty
- Neorealism: int’l system; relative power; prestige; preserve or gain power
- Liberalism: institutions, int’l law; collective security; economy; optimistic; inclusive
- Collectivism: ideas


IR Levels of Analysis

Individual, State, System