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Book summaries and discussion for national security professionals and scholars.

Strategy Connections provides executive summaries of books on international relations, military affairs, intelligence, diplomacy, economics, and other national security-related fields from top publishers in these fields. A member forum facilitates discussion on the practical implications of these works between practitioners across government agencies and academics.

We can help your organization cross the theory/practice divide by 1) making these important works accessible; and 2) focusing both our summaries and the discussions on their practical implications.  Commit to continuous learning - on topics that matter to your organization.

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This service can be used to support:

-An organizational program of learning and innovation

-A command or organizational reading list

-Topic-specific deep dives and working groups

-Programs of operational and strategic-level education

-Deeper discussion across the national security enterprise




We can help your organization explore and discuss...

What type of grand strategy should we pursue?

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Grand strategy is the practical subject most closely associated with both international relations and national security.  Ideally, it bridges the divide between the two, leveraging insight and applying them to secure national interests.  Grand strategy is the fundamental “art of the state” that determines the state’s long-term viability.  Building these types of connections between theory and practice is the fundamental purpose of this site and grand strategy is a core topic.

How can we best deal with sub-state political violence?

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Incidents of political violence in its multiple forms (terrorism, insurgency, civil wars, genocide, etc.) seem to be growing in severity and quantity. In order to stabilize the international system, leading states are often forced to violate traditional norms of sovereignty. Interventions might be viewed as "legitimate" by international bodies, but are frequently illegitimate from the point of view of local populations. The study of this fundamental problem will continue for quite some time, and we'll be tracking developments here.

What is the best use of hard power to assure security?

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Simply put, the study of military affairs is focused on using the armed forces to advance political objectives related to national security.  Traditionally, this has been focused on deterring and fighting actual wars, though the military has increasingly been used to advance national interests through other activities, as well.  Determining how the military instrument of power should be used to best secure national interests is a key subject at this site.

How do wars start? and How do they end?

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The fundamental question that sparked the field of international relations, and is its oldest topic of study, is why wars break out. States much be equally as concerned with under what conditions they end. The subject of war termination is growing in importance both practically and academically.  We cover both classic and contemporary works on these issues - with an emphasis on their practical implications.

What should be done to promote human rights abroad?

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The subject of human security deals directly with the problems of ensuring the safety of populations, rather than the state itself.  In today’s world, we frequently see that the most heart-wrenching problems are those that occur when marginalized populations are neglected or directly abused by the state power structures.  Although this topic hasn't been a traditional focus in international relations, it is becoming more important in the discipline - and the conduct of modern diplomacy, as well as war, requires an understanding of this topic.

What impact does the international economy have on politics?

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One of the truly important interests of leading states is ensuring a strong economy. We are currently at the pinnacle of inter-connectedness among states, so changes in the global economy invariably have impacts at home. Financial resources provide not only the ability to generate military power when interests are threatened, but also provide influence in peacetime. Understanding economic issues and their connections to politics remains a key area of study for national security professionals and scholars - and a key area here, as well.