How Nation-States Craft National Security Strategy Documents

  • October 01, 2012
  • Dr Alan G Stolberg

The need for security and the institutionalization of that security in national strategy and its associated documents is becoming a significant concern for nations in the 21st century international system. This need requires the development of national-level strategies that are designed with objectives; the attainment of which can ensure that the conditions necessary for security for a given actor in the international system can be met. The intent of this monograph is to explore the actual processes that nation-states employ to craft their national security strategy-related documents. The study aligned individual case studies of nation-states conducting their national strategy document formulation processes. These case studies were selected based upon a determination of two primary factors: 1) The nation-states in question had developed national security strategy documents that involved participation in the drafting process from more than one department or agency from the executive branch of government; and, 2) Individual participants that were involved in the actual drafting process would be willing to respond to the questions delineated above, either in person or by written response. In addition, subject to travel resource availability, an effort was made to have as many different regions of the world as possible represented in the review. Ultimately, five countries and their national strategy documents were selected for assessment: Australia, Brazil, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Once the data was gathered, the monograph written so as to compare and contrast the various processes employed by each nation in their strategy document development. The last portion of the analysis evaluates the lessons learned from all five cases and identifies specific lessons that could be applicable to strategy document formulation for any future actor engaged in the process.