President: Lieutenant General Ervin J. Rokke, USAF

Vice President: Ambassador William G. Walker


Director and Editor-in-Chief: Dr. Hans A. Binnendijk

Director of Strategy and Policy Analysis: Dr. Stuart E. Johnson

Editor for this publication: Dr. Patrick Clawson

National Defense University Press

Director: Dr. Frederick T. Kiley

Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, DC 20319-6000

Phone: (202) 287-9210 Fax: (202) 287-9475

Cleared for public release. Distribution unlimited. Companion volume to Strategic assessment 1995.



President, National Defense University

Unpredictable change is what our nation's future national security dilemma is all about. Appreciation for this uncertainty is the beginning of wisdom in the post-Cold War era. Not only is international politics in flux, but, furthermore, technological breakthroughs relevant to national security are occurring with greater frequency and with more substantial impact than ever in history.

In this world full of instability and rapid change, the U.S. government needs to muster the full range of options at its command if it is to achieve its goals at a price consistent with the resources its citizens are prepared to devote to international affairs. Rather than simply deploring the constrained resources made available for some of the traditional foreign policy and national security institutions, we need to explore how to make use of the opportunities offered by change.

This report represents an effort by the National Defense University to examine what in this new world environment are the strengths and weaknesses of the various instruments available for influencing the behavior of foreign governments. We hope that it will prove to be of interest not only to policymakers, but also to all readers with an interest in security policy.

The Strategic Assessment applies the research expertise of the National Defense University, under the leadership of its interdisciplinary research arm, the Institute for National Strategic Studies, with the generous assistance of analysts from elsewhere in the U.S. government. Offering such analyses, in both general and more specialized areas of interest to the national security community, is one part of NDU's educational mission. That mission, as defined by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is to educate senior military and government officials on issues related to national strategy, security policy, resources management, and warfare in the information age. It is our hope that this report is both authoritative and informative, and that its influence will extend beyond the narrowly defined national security establishment.

We wish to thank all those who contributed to the success of this project, particularly the many analysts both inside and outside the military who wrote or reviewed chapters of the Assessment. We hope that this report will stimulate further thinking, discussion, and research on the issues treated in its pages among both policymakers and policy analysts.


By Hans Binnendijk, Editor-in-Chief

In 1995, INSS inaugurated its annual Strategic Assessment with a survey of the world strategic environment from the perspective of U.S. interests. This year, we continue the series with a look at the instruments by which the U.S. government can influence the behavior of other governments. Our current thinking is that the 1997 volume will examine flashpoints, i.e., the zones in which conflict and disorder may erupt in the next decade, and the 1998 volume will return to the 1995 format, that is, to update our 1995 survey of the key policy issues facing the U.S. government.


We begin this volume by setting the scene, with a chapter about how the world is changing from the perspective of U.S. security interests. Then we discuss the instruments of U.S. power, starting with those that use persuasion rather than force and proceeding to those that require progressively more use of force--that is why our first chapter is about diplomacy and our last chapter is about weapons of mass destruction. Using this principle, we divide the instruments of U.S. power into three groups:

* Non-military instruments

* Political-military instruments

* Warfighting instruments

The final chapter is an executive summary that also draws some general conclusions about how the instruments of U.S. power could be made more effective.

Our focus is on traditional foreign policy and defense issues. Some may argue that environmental security or economic security is, over the long run, a more vital issue than military concerns. While that may be the case, we feel that what we National Defense University analysts can do best is to concentrate on the areas we know best. In so far as we are able to, we try to touch on nontraditional areas of what might be called national security in its broadest sense, but we do not pretend to do justice to these topics.

Our aim is to analyze the means available to the U.S. government in the current period to affect the behavior of other governments. We want to stress several points about that aim. Our focus is on the instruments, not on the purposes to which they may be put. We concentrate on what has changed since the end of the Cold War and on what will continue to be the case for the next few years, not on the long sweep of history, not what may come to pass in several decades, nor what will be the burning issues over the next few months. Our net has been cast widely: we include in our set of instruments a variety of institutions and capabilities that perhaps are not policy instruments strictly speaking.

The Strategic Assessment is aimed at policymakers, analysts, and informed members of the public who want a serious summary statement of the tools available to the U.S. government for accomplishing its aims vis-a-vis other governments. It does not provide novel interpretations or detailed specialized research. Specialists in one subject are unlikely to find much new material on that issue here, although we hope they will find a succinct statement of the applicability of that instrument of national power, as well as some insight into the relationship among various instruments.

Although Strategic Assessment 1996 strives to assess what factors are likely to limit or to enhance the power of each instrument, its primary intent is not to advocate particular policies or approaches to policy. It is neither a statement nor a critique of U.S. government policy. The views expressed in this document are those of the editors and do not necessarily reflect the offical policy or position of the National Defense University, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.


The responsibility for any errors in this document rests wholly with me as Editor-in-Chief and Patrick Clawson as Editor, who worked under the guidance of Stuart Johnson, the INSS Director of Strategy and Policy Analysis. The credit for any insights belongs to the able team, primarily from NDU, that wrote the contributing papers.

The principal authors of those papers were:

Context Hans Binnendijk and Patrick Clawson, INSS

Diplomacy Edward Marks, INSS

Public diplomacy Robert Nevitt, National War College (NWC)

International organizations William Lewis, INSS

Economics Patrick Clawson, INSS

Intelligence Marvin Ott, NWC and colleagues

Productive and technological base Gerald Abbott, Industrial College of the Armed Forces (ICAF), and Robert Neilson, Information Resources Management College (IRMC)

Arms controls Thomas Graham and Doug Shaw, Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA)

Defense engagement in peacetime John Cope, INSS

Security relationships and overseas presence Patrick Cronin, INSS

Peace operations and humanitarian support Robert Oakley, INSS

Unconventional military instruments the staff of the Office of the Secretary of Defense--
Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict (OSD/SOLIC)

Limited military intervention INSS staff

Classical military instruments Stuart Johnson, INSS, and CAPT Michael Martus, USN, INSS

Emerging military instruments Martin Libicki, INSS

Countering weapons of mass destruction John Reichart, INSS Counterproliferation Center.

Summary Hans Binnendijk and Patrick Clawson, INSS

We are grateful for the input we received from Lt General Evin Rokke and Ambassador William Walker, the President and Vice-President of National Defense University respectively, and from: Sarah Botsai, NWC; Scott Cohen, Washington, D.C.; Theodore Curran, Washington, D.C.; Alan Goodman, Georgetown University School of Foreign Service; Christopher Kreugler, Harvard Forest; Andrew Natsios,1 World Vision Inc.; Mackubin Owens, Naval War College; Jeffrey Record, Georgia Institute of Technology; Bruce Stokes, Council on Foreign Relations; and Michael Wheeler, SAIC.

Many of our colleagues at INSS also helped, including: Col Nancy Anderson, USMC; LTC Charles Barry, USA; LTC David Bentley, USA; Col Michael Dzeidzic, USAF; James Ford; Richard Hull; Michael Leonard; Ronald Montaperto; Vernon Penner; Jeffrey Simon; Brian Sullivan; and Judith Yaphe.

We would also like to express our thanks to the many military officers, civilian government officials, and outside analysts who gave us thoughtful comments on papers prepared as contributions to this report. A special thanks goes to Roger Donway, who headed the group editing the writing, to James Smith and John Waldron, who managed the graphics, and to the team at the Government Printing Office. Without their help, this document could not have been produced so quickly.

Strategic Assessment Table of Contents