Downloaded from http://dde.carlisle.army.mil/authors/rsa_aid2001.htm

Click HERE to return to Military Theory page

Edited by Fred Sadrak, Colonel, DDE

 

 

AID TO FORMULATING A

REGIONAL STRATEGIC APPRAISAL

Section I

OVERVIEW

 

INTRODUCTION

The Army War College educates officers to understand the role of the various elements of power in the pursuit of U.S. national interests in peace as well as war. This pamphlet provides a method and structure for the formulation of a regional strategic appraisal in support of U.S. national interests. A Regional Strategic Appraisal consists of an analysis of a specific region in order to identify U.S. regional interests, identify policies that support the interests, and develop strategies to obtain or further the interests. The aid presents a sequential methodology, but in actual practice it is iterative—that is always a work in progress with each step influenced by past and current work at all levels.

 

BACKGROUND

The identification of national interests and the development of national polices that support them is complex. No single document lists all of the United States’ interests. Some sources of stated interests are the National Security Strategy, Presidential Decision Directives, and other Presidential and Administration Level speeches and policy statements. Indeed, the national interests are often not defined until a crisis occurs. Identification of interests is often further compounded by the intermeshing of domestic public interests, party politics, and special interest group agendas with true national interests.

In our society, the National Interests derive from our national values. Various agencies and departments within our government are charged with formulating, developing and managing the United States’ national interests. The process is complex, since the U.S. has a large number of national interests. Given the large number and variety of U.S. national interests, and the limited resources available to obtain them, one of the toughest tasks facing our national leadership is to determine what our key national interests are, prioritize them, develop policy in support of them; and then develop strategies to obtain them. One role of the strategist is to assist in this process.

Since stated national interests represent the collective interests of the nation, they are, by definition, broad in nature. Embedded within these broad national interests are implied regionally specific interests. U.S. regional interests are statements of the U.S. national interests as they manifest themselves in specific regions of the world. For example, the U.S. has a national interest in " an open and prosperous world economic order." At the regional level this interest might be stated as the desired end state of "a region of free trade and open markets." In this course, you will learn a methodology that will enable you as a strategist to determine what those regional interests are, how important they are to U.S. national security, and what the U.S. must do to protect or promote them.

Not every nation or group shares the US’s values or interests. Some have values and interests that are so opposed to the United States’ that they actively attempt to thwart the U.S. internationally, in order to promote their own interests. Others, allied with the U.S., share common or compatible values and interests or share enough in common that they perceive supporting U.S. interests as being in their overall interest. However, even among allies, the intensity of the interest may differ. Our allies may not be willing to expend the amount of resources that the U.S. is in order to further or protect the interest. Consequently, the United States may have to employ its power unilaterally to protect or promote its interests. Power, in the sense used here, is influencing others to do something they would not do of their own volition.

An examination of the environment is the first process in developing a regional strategic appraisal. The examination begins with the identification of specific U.S. regional interests; categorizes them and determines their level of intensity; evaluates the external and internal factors (issues, trends, threats, and opportunities) that affect the interests; and, concludes with identification of or recommendations for U.S. policies for the region that promote the interests. American foreign policy for a region is the expression of its goals in the world at large and the region in particular and how it proposes to achieve them. Policy recommendations then are broad statements that establish the parameters for the second process in the regional strategic appraisal which is the development of regional strategies

Regional strategies flow from the examination of the environment, and must support U.S. national interests, policy, and national security strategy at large as well as specific regional interests. Based on the regional policies, the strategist determines what objectives (ends) must be accomplished in order to advance the U.S. interests. He does this by analyzing the interests in light of the issues, trends, and threats that affect them in order to determine objectives. Next the strategist considers how the various instruments of power should be employed (ways--strategic concepts) to achieve those objectives. And then, he/she calculates whether or not the U.S. has enough, or can find enough, resources (manpower, materiel, dollars, etc.--means) to execute the strategic concepts. The means must be appropriate to the end and the ways have to show how the means are employed in relation to one another to accomplish the objectives. If the objectives do not advance the U.S. regional interests, if the strategic concepts will not accomplish the objectives, or if resources are lacking to support the strategic concepts, the strategy is not balanced. An unbalanced strategy leaves the strategist with two options, reevaluate the entire equation or accept greater risk. The greatest challenges for the strategist are 1) to determine the best way to project the various elements of power by choosing those instruments of power or "ways" which are both feasible and effective in achieving the objective and 2) to ensure that the strategy developed is supporting, complementary and synergistic wherever possible (or, at least, does not work at cross-purposes) with other U.S. strategies within the region or at the national level.


A graphic representation of this conceptual framework is shown below. Notice that the regional strategy stems from and supports the national strategy. For example, the regional economic strategy must support or complement the national economic strategy, and so on in the case of each element of power and its attendant strategy. The economic strategy should also complement, or at least not conflict with, the other strategies. Note that this process is iterative. It builds on previous assessments and strategies and ongoing analysis; and, the Regional Strategic Appraisal occurs concurrently with the national level process, each spinning off the other. A major change in any of the steps of the process should trigger an analysis for changes in the other steps.

 

 

The methodology presented in this aid begins with an examination of National Interests and Priorities.

 

NATIONAL INTERESTS AND PRIORITIES

Donald E. Nuechterlein, in America Overcommitted: United States National Interests in the 1980’s, describes national interests as "the perceived needs and desires of a sovereign state in relation to other sovereign states which constitute its external environment." He groups interests into four basic categories. Categories are means to help organization. Keep in mind the breakout is somewhat artificial and an interest might spill over into another category. Thus, while "access to Persian Gulf Oil" as a U.S. national interest has a primary category of "Economic Well-Being" for the U.S. and its allies, it also ties into other categories such as "Promotion of Values" based on our value of free trade. The four categories used by the USAWC are:

Defense of the Homeland refers to the protection against attack on the territory and people of a nation-state in order to ensure survival with fundamental values and political systems intact. It generally means physical security.

Economic Prosperity refers to the attainment of conditions in the world environment that insure the economic well-being of the nation.

Promotion of Values refers to establishment of the legitimacy of or the expansion of the fundamental values of the nation such as free trade or human rights.

Favorable World Order refers to those end states that promote conditions that are favorable to the values and fundamental purposes of the nation, such as stability and democratic governments,

Intensity of interests is a means to determine priority or criticality of interests. By assigning a priority to an interest, strategic leaders can better allocate the finite amount of resources available to them. The three degrees of intensity are determined by answering the question: What happens if the interest is not realized? The Army War College uses the following three levels of intensity:

Vital–-If unfulfilled, will have immediate consequence for core national interests.

Important--If unfulfilled, will result in damage that will eventually affect core national interests.

Peripheral--If unfulfilled, will result in damage that is unlikely to affect core national interests.

In theory, given a finite amount of resources, the U.S. would develop and resource strategies to obtain the most critical interests first. However, that is not always how it works. The assignment of a "peripheral" level of intensity does not mean necessarily that the interest will not be addressed. It simply provides a relative perspective of the critically of the interest. Also, other agencies of the government use different models. The current National Security Strategy document lists three degrees of intensity—vital, important, and humanitarian. The latter, of course, does not convey a priority. You should be able to assign a level of intensity to these "humanitarian" interests.

As part of your regional strategic appraisal you will develop U.S. regional interests based on the U.S. national interests. The rules for stating the interests, the categories, and levels of intensity are the same, but the interests are stated in a regional context.

 

NATIONAL POLICIES

National Policies are broad statements of courses of action or guidance. They are conceptual and provide direction and parameters for subsequent actions in regard to the national interests. National policy guides the formulation of national and subordinate strategies and may or may not contain elements of ends, ways, and means.

The US’s foreign policy comprises the goals that the nation’s officials seek to attain abroad, the values that give rise to its interests, and the means or instruments through which the interests are pursued. Simply stated, American foreign policy is an expression of how the U.S. relates to other countries. In the international arena, policies may be either functional--such as energy, population, food--or regional, to include area or country-by-country approaches. Your focus is on foreign policy.

NATIONAL SECURITY STRATEGY

The national security strategy is articulated by the National Command Authorities. National security strategy is defined as the art and science of developing and using the political, military, economic, and informational powers of a nation, during peace and war, to protect and promote national interests. In essence it is the President’s blueprint for what must be done, the concepts to be used, and the resources needed from the Congress and the citizenry to pursue or to protect the national interests in accordance with established priorities and policies. The President publishes an annual national security strategy document. However, like policy, the national security strategy is more generic than it is specific. The details of the NSS reside in a number of classified and unclassified documents that elaborate on strategy and programs in support of policy.

THE ROLE OF RESOURCES

Resources are so critical to strategy that they deserve additional explanation. By definition a strategy specifies how (concept) resources (manpower, materiel, financial, armed forces, etc.) are employed in the pursuit or protection of national interests through the achievement of the identified objectives. Every nation's resources are limited. Resource limitations require a rational ordering of interests in accordance with their respective priorities. Which interests have greater importance and, consequently, deserve first consideration for the limited national resources is the great question. Many argue resources define strategy. Resources should not drive strategy but resources certainly shape it significantly. In developing your strategy, consider all the options and select the best objectives and concepts that available resources can support.

Section II

REGIONAL STRATEGIC APPRAISAL METHODOLOGY

 

INTRODUCTION

A Regional Strategic Appraisal consists of an assessment of U.S. interests in the region (the examination of the environment) and the development of strategies that protect and promote those interests. This section outlines a methodology for developing a regional strategic appraisal. The methodology is very similar to and complements the Army War College methodology for developing strategy at the national level ("The U.S. Army War College Methodology for Determining Interests and Levels of Intensity" found in Course 3, Lesson 2). As you have no doubt observed in your strategic studies so far, there are no right or wrong ways to develop interests, policies and strategies; there are only ways that won’t work and ways that might work. What we offer you in the pages that follow is an aid to structure your thought process, it is not a restraint on the way you think or what you think. By using this aid, you can communicate effectively with other Mel-1’s and avoid the misunderstanding that often comes from using different terminology. You are required to adhere to this methodology as a student. The aid is designed as a stand alone document in the hope that you will find it useful in your future assignments.

During your second year of studies you will continue to assess and develop past, current, and future national security, national military, and regional or theater level strategies. Identifying the appropriate ends, ways and means of strategy poses the most significant challenge for most students. This aid gives the student a construct for developing and assessing National, Regional and Theater level strategies. For example, do the objectives protect or promote the interests given the internal and external factors? Will the ways achieve the ends (objectives)? Are the resources adequate to execute the ways? Keep these questions in mind as you develop your regional strategic appraisal.

The Regional Strategic Appraisal format that you will use consists of two distinct but closely related parts. The first is the examination of the strategic environment of the region and the second is the development of a regional strategy based on the appraisal of the strategic environment. The instruction begins by discussing the methodology for examining the environment.

Part I: EXAMINING THE ENVIRONMENT

The first part of the regional strategic appraisal consists of identifying U.S. interests in the region, determining the level of intensity of each interest, evaluating the issues, trends, challenges, threats and opportunities in regard to the interests, and identifying and developing regional policies to protect or promote the interests.

The focus of strategy is the protection and the promotion of these national interests. Accordingly, identifying those interests in clear, succinct terms is the first step in examining the region. Certainly, interests are not constant or fixed. They may change in intensity or even lose validity over time. Nevertheless, as the basis for developing a Regional Strategy, even for a midrange period (3-10 years) or a long range period (15-20 years), the interests should be clearly identified and precisely stated. This is the first, the most fundamental, and the most critical step.

The U.S. has national interests that apply globally, that is in a general sense to the whole world, and national interests that apply to specific regions or nations. In your regional appraisal the interests that you will identify are those that are applicable to the region or nations within your assigned region and are expressed in regional as opposed to global terms as indicated in the examples below.

Interests are expressed as a desired End State or condition. The expressions of interests should not include intended actions or desired objectives, but simply state the fundamental desired End State without the use of verbs or other action modifiers. The use of verbs or such action modifiers transforms the "interest" into an "objective." For example:

A U.S. interest might be stated as:

-National independence and territorial integrity.

not Protect national independence and territorial integrity.*

-The survival of an independent Israel.

not Defend Israel from attack.*

-A region free of internal conflict.

not Assure a region free of internal conflict.*

* These are phrased as objectives.

 

Step 1. Determine Regional U.S. Interests.

- Research the National Security Strategy, it specifies the over arching U.S. National Interests and also lists specific interests for each region. Be careful when you look at the regional discussion. The terms used in the NSS do not match exactly what you have learned at the War College. However, using the methodology you learned in Courses 2 and 3 you should be able to identify the specified regional interests, and figure out the implied ones. State your identified interests in the USAWC format.

- Remember, the National Security Strategy is not the only source of national interests. Research the Official Statements and readings in your issued regional book. Again, the language may be a little different, but they do address U.S. interests. In some instances you may have to work backwards from a stated national objective to identify the interest.

- Research the Other Sources provided. Often, due to political sensitivity, they express a U.S. interest in a region much more clearly than the "official" statements of government authorities.

- List the interests identified by category, i.e. Defense of the Homeland, Economic well-being, Favorable World Order, and Promotion of Values (See Section 1 for definitions) and in the correct format--as a desired End State.

 

Step 2. Determine Intensity of Regional Interests.

- Next determine the intensity of each interest identified-- Vital, Important, or Peripheral (See Section 1 for definitions).

- To determine the level of intensity, you will have to make a judgment based on your analysis of the region and its impact on the U.S. national interests. Which of your regional interests best protect or promote the major U.S. national interests?

- Having studied your region, analyze your interests from the perspective of the core national values suggested by the categories of interests. The relative importance of interests varies by region. For example, an interest that says "access to markets" may be peripheral in Sub-Saharan African, and important or vital in Asia, given the balance of trade and the impact it has on "prosperity of the nation and its people". You may find that the U.S. has no vital interests in your region.

Step 3. Evaluate the External and Internal Factors (the trends, issues, challenges, threats, and opportunities) Affecting U.S. Interests.

- Once you’ve identified the U.S. interests in the region, you should identify those internal and external factors that impact on the US’s ability to advance its interests in the region. Some factors may assist the U.S. in achieving its objectives, like a common language or culture. Some factors will make advancement of U.S. interests more difficult, like trying to persuade a region without any experience of democracy that free elections are a good idea. Factors are those things that actively contribute to or detract from the protection or promotion of U.S. interests. They are facts, situations, or conditions characteristic of a region or related to the region that the U.S. cannot change (though the U.S. may be able to influence in the future), but that the U.S. must deal with in the pursuit of its interests. Factors may influence U.S. objectives, the strategic concepts employed, the resources required and the probability of success of the overall strategy.

- Internal factors (meaning internal to the region)may involve the region's geo-strategic location, natural resources, heritage, government, economy, military tradition or values--anything reflecting internal characteristics.

- External factors originate outside the region, whether from other regions or transnational organizations, but influence how the region perceives or responds to an issue. For example, a region may see the U.S. reducing its forward presence and decide that it must now increase its own defense spending or it may distrust a country in another region because of the historical events involving both countries in the past. The factor is external to the region but causes an action that influences U.S. interests in the region. For example, Telecommunications and the information highway; the global interconnectivity of trade; religious and cultural ties between regions; are all external factors to consider when analyzing the region.

- Examples of Factors Affecting U.S. Interests to consider:

-- Defense: Spread of weapons of mass destruction, arms sales, technology transfers, military activity in the region, disputes, clashes, military to military exchanges, exercises, terrorism, etc.

-- Economic: Balance of trade, open markets, oil and minerals, level of U.S. investment in the region, joint ventures, trade agreements, impact on U.S. jobs, budget deficits, energy, etc.

-- World Order: Regional stability, alliances and coalitions, activity of World Organizations in the region (UN, WTO, World Bank, etc.), environment, civilization fault lines, population control, food and water access.

-- Promotion of Values: Civil society development, human rights, labor practices, social institutions, culture/civilization issues, religious issues, etc.

-- Geography: Climate, borders, water, sea lanes, land form configuration, strategic location.

-- Political: Type of government, institutions, philosophy, political capabilities, etc.

- Some of the areas above are trends, some issues, and some are or can become threats. This list is not all-inclusive. Your region may have others that require your attention.

- Having examined the regional environment and determined U.S. regional interests and the factors affecting them you should be able to determine specific points that need to be addressed through policy and gain insights for subsequent strategy.

Step 4. Identify National Policy in Regard to the Region.

- National policy is a broad course of action or statements of guidance and/or objectives adopted by the government at the national level in pursuit of national interests. As stated previously, foreign policy comprises the goals that the nation’s officials seek to attain abroad, the values that give rise to U.S. Interests, and the means or instruments through which the interests are pursued. It may be found in various documents, speeches, policy statements, and other pronouncements made on behalf of the government by various officials. In this step you must identify existing policy and determine its validity based on your appraisal. Be careful, it is sometimes inferred as opposed to specifically stated. If you think policy needs to be changed based on your assessment then propose new policies.

- In proposing changes to regional policies or new policies, keep in mind that your recommendations are alternatives which the national-level policy maker must balance against competing regions and perhaps equally urgent U.S. domestic issues. Consequently, use this final portion of the appraisal portion to identify policy or make key policy recommendations that will decisively influence U.S. interests in the region. Remember that interests as desired end states or conditions, when viewed in light of the factors you identified, should propel you as a regional strategist to suggest possible policies. Policy recommendations, once adopted, become the impetus for strategy development.

- A policy statement may have the elements of strategy contained in it, namely: the ends, ways, and means.

- In actual practice it is not unusual to identify a need for new policy, but of course your recommendation would have to be approved by the policy makers.

- After identifying appropriate policies or proposing a limited number of broad regional policy recommendations, stop and review your appraisal in its entirety. It should reflect internal coherence and a flow of logic proceeding from the identification of U.S. interests in the region, through the assessment of relevant regional factors and conclude with appropriate policy statements that provide guidance for the development of strategy.

Part II: DEVELOPING A REGIONAL STRATEGY

The second part of a Regional Strategic Appraisal is the development of a regional strategy. In order to develop a Regional Strategy, you must fully appreciate what a regional strategy requires. Here are some key points you should keep in mind when preparing a regional strategy.

- Regional Strategy is a term used to describe Strategy encompassing an entire region, and like any strategy it consists of objectives (ends), strategic concepts (ways), and resources (means).

- Regional Strategy must support the President's National Security Strategy. It should combine/coordinate the political, military, economic, and socio-psychological strategies-—the components of our National Strategy--that applies specifically or uniquely to the region being considered.

- Regional Strategy is directed toward advancing national interests in accordance with national policy by application of the instruments of power singly, or in combination, in a specific region. It does this by addressing the regional interests and policy identified in your examination of the environment.

- Regional Strategy is dynamic. It changes as the factors which influence it change. A change in one element of the strategy should cause the other elements to be reassessed.

- Regional strategy is constrained by the availability of resources. In the end, your strategy will be constrained by the available resources; but, in the process of developing strategy you want to be relatively unconstrained so that all the options are examined.

- Your strategy must consider risk. All strategy has some risk and your strategy may accept prudent risk, but should meet the criteria below:

Suitability--will its attainment accomplish the effect desired (relates to objective)?

Feasibility--can the action be accomplished by the means available (relates to concept)?

Acceptability--are the consequences or cost justified by the importance of the effect desired (relates to resources/concept)?


There are four primary steps in the development of a regional strategy:

The methodology recommended above is similar to methodology used throughout DOD in developing the documents published in the Joint Strategic Planning System (JSPS) and the Planning, Programming, and Budgeting System (PPBS). The steps recommended are as follows:

Step 1. Establish Regional Objectives. (ENDS) (What must be done?)

The first step in the development of a Regional Strategy is the determination of objectives, for peacetime and wartime, which must be achieved to protect or promote U.S. interests and support U.S. policies and programs. Analyze the interests in light of the Issues, Trends, Threats, and Opportunities within the context of policy to obtain objectives. For example, the U.S. may have an interest "Access to Middle East Oil". A trend may be spread of Muslim fundamentalism hostile to the U.S. A Threat may be Terrorism directed at U.S. personnel and allies in the region. Looking at the interest in light of the trend and the threat we may establish the two (if not more) following objectives: "Promote democratic reform in the region", and "Ensure the uninterrupted flow of oil from the region." The key points to remember are:

-Objectives should indicate what the U.S. intends to accomplish with the application of its power within the regions.

-Objectives must directly relate to one or more U.S. interests applicable to the region.

-Objectives should emphasize geographical regions as a whole, but may on occasion apply to a particular country, place, issue, activity, or function.

-Objectives may be broadened on occasion to embrace allied or coalition interests as well as U.S. interests.

-Objectives are explicit by nature and establish the parameters for the use of power. Select your verbs carefully.

-Both the regional interests and the factors identified in the examination of the environment should help you develop objectives.

 

Simple rule of thumb for stating objectives: place an appropriate verb in front of each previously identified regional interest that should be advanced or think of an appropriate objective relative to the elements of power. For example:

United States has an interest in:

National independence and territorial integrity.

An associated military objective:

Ensure national independence and territorial integrity. (Notice that the objective does not state HOW something is to be done; it only specifies WHAT must be done.)

United States has an interest in:

The survival of an independent Israel.

An associated economic objective:

Promote Israel's economic prosperity.

United States has an interest in:

A region free of internal conflict.

An associated political objective:

Promote regional resolution of intra-regional conflicts.

- Only objectives that protect or promote U.S. interests in the region should be considered. A single objective can support more than one interest. Conversely, a single interest may generate several objectives. But every interest must be supported by at least one objective. Be sure you clearly indicate which interest(s) each objective is directed toward advancing. This can be done easily by indicating the interest supported using the paragraph and subparagraph number of the appropriate interest or interests in the format immediately following the objective.

"Objectives" characteristically begin with verbs in the imperative mode. The following partial list may be of assistance:

- Assure ...

- Avoid ...

- Contain ...

- Defeat ...

- Defend ...

- Deter ...

- Guarantee ...

- Improve ...

- Maintain ...

- Offset ...

- Prevent ...

- Promote ...

- Protect ...

- Provide ...

- Reduce ...

- etc.

Step 2. Formulate Regional Strategic Concepts. (WAYS) (HOW will the objective be attained.)

A strategic concept describes a course of action for employing resources to achieve objectives by the application of the elements of power. It should be explicit enough to provide planning guidance to those who must implement it and those who must resource it. Every objective must have at least one concept related to it. The concept tells HOW the objective will be attained. Think of the objective as the WHAT and the supporting concept as the HOW.

- The development of strategic concepts gives you the opportunity to be creative in recommending ways to employ power to achieve objectives. There is a natural tendency to simply adopt the current "ways" without really analyzing them. Resist this temptation. Such a tendency presumes that the concept was correct to begin with, precludes adequate consideration of changes that have occurred since the concept was adopted, and may fail to consider factors affecting the region and assumptions about the future that are only now becoming clear. You may use current concepts, if appropriate, but be sure they clearly address the objectives you identified and are consistent with your examination of the strategic environment. A clear concept will address the elements of power, the resources they use and how the elements of power and their supporting resources are employed in quantity, time, and space. Additionally, the concept will state the relationship of the resources to one another, i.e. how they are synchronized, the synergism among them, and how they compliment one another. The concept must tell the recipient how the objectives will be obtained and thus, must not leave doubt or uncertainty in the planner’s mind.

- The regional strategic concept expresses a way in which an instrument(s) of power might be employed to achieve the regional objectives. Collectively, the strategic concepts you devise must address each and every objective you have identified. The range of options should be influenced by conclusions relating to:

-- What instruments of power can be used to achieve this objective and how will these be applied?

-- The availability of resources (manpower, time, materiel, etc.) to achieve the objective and how they are used in relation to one another.

-- The timing of the objectives. Are they short term, mid-term, or long term objectives? When do they need to be accomplished? What sequence do the objectives need to be accomplished in? How does this affect the selection of the instruments of power and how they are applied?

-- The priority of the region relative to other regions in terms of U.S. national interest.

-- What are the second and third order effects of specific concepts?

-- What is the impact of the concept on domestic and world public and political opinion?

- The factors should help stimulate your thinking in regard to concepts. Ask how the various instruments of power you studied in Course 3 can be used in regard to the factors.

Step 3. Identify Resources.

The first two steps in the analytical sequence are designed to bring the process of developing a regional strategy to a point where you identify the resources needed to implement your strategic concepts. Means state the specific resources used in applying the concepts to accomplish the objectives. Means can be tangible or intangible. Examples of tangible means include forces, people, equipment, money, and facilities. Intangible resources include things like "will," courage, or intellect.

The United States has a large number of different resources that may be used to support your strategic concepts. The following should help you focus on correctly identifying resources:

- While resources may be tangible or intangible it is often difficult to express intangible resources. Stick to tangible resources as much as possible. Resources generally should exist or be available. For example, "a strong favorable public support for an objective" would be an intangible resource you could consider in developing your strategic concept. But if "building strong public support" is the key to achieving your objective then it is a critical purpose of your concept and part of the concept, not a resource.

- Tangible resources are things that can be measured, counted, felt and otherwise quantified. Express them in those terms. Not "support cultural exchanges," which is a concept in support of an objective, but "entertainers, artists, and cultural groups" that can support the concept of cultural exchanges and "funding and state department personnel" necessary to implement the concept. Not "provide security assistance," which was one concept for achieving an objective of creating a democratic army in a third world nation, but "funding, DOD personnel, DOD equipment, facilities, etc." necessary to implement a security assistance program in the nation.

- Express resources succinctly: one Army Corps, DOD funding, Congressional funding, DOD personnel, State Department personnel, American Business managers, DOD facilities, World Bank financing, etc. Avoid including new "how’s" in the resources. The how should come across in the concept.

- In the real world, resourcing is worked out in detail. Your analysis should clearly indicate you have considered the resource implications of your concept.

 

The Regional Objectives, the Strategic Concepts for achieving those objectives, and the Resources necessary to implement the concepts constitute the Regional Strategy.

Check and recheck to assure that there is a clear linkage between interests, objectives, concepts, and resources.

 

Step 4. Assessing Risk

Every strategy has some element of risk associated with it. Having determined the interests in the region, their intensity, the factors affecting them, appropriate policy recommendations and a strategy, you must determine the amount of risk in your strategy and let decision makers determine whether its acceptable or not. You have already learned about maintaining an acceptable balance between ends, ways, and means in developing your strategy. You have minimized risk by considering Suitability--will its attainment accomplish the effect desired (relates to objective)?; Feasibility--can the action be accomplished by the means available (relates to concept)?; and Acceptability--are the consequences of cost justified by the importance of the effect desired (relates to resources/concept)? Now you must articulate the risks inherent to your strategy.

-Consider, the intangibles such as national will, public opinion, world opinion, and actions/reactions of U.S. allies, regional actors, and other nations with an interest in the region. Ask yourself, "What changes in the region will cause this strategy to fail?" and "What must I do to recover or change the strategy?"

-Make some logical forecasts about your region. Given all of your analysis in the above sections, what will be the political, economic, military, and socio-psychological conditions in your region in the period being examined—what factors are likely to change? Will U.S. interests in your region change? What policy changes do you see happening? Will U.S. strategy have to change?

When you’ve completed your Regional Strategic Appraisal you should be able to follow a logic trail that runs as follows: