Students of American national security policy, particularly those without the benefit of firsthand policy-making experience, frequently under- or over- estimate the difficulty of formulating and implementing strategy in the U.S. government. As a result, observers tend either to portray senior policy makers as dolts or incompetents or to engage in a sort of strategic nihilism holding that it is impossible to develop sound strategy in this day and age.
Mahnken, Thomas G.
"Avoiding Trivia: The Role of Strategic Planning in American Foreign Policy,"
Naval War College Review: Vol. 64
, Article 13.
Available at: http://digital-commons.usnwc.edu/nwc-review/vol64/iss1/13