The fulcrum of necessity: strategic planning before Pearl Harbor
Adolphson, Keith Victor
Teti, Frank M.
Tritten, James J.
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This thesis is a historical analysis of the evolution of strategic planning in the United States during the years 1919-1941. It examines the interwar genesis of U.S. strategic culture, and focuses on three aspects: structure, process, and products. Army, Navy, and joint planning agencies, as well as their interrelationships, are analyzed. Within the military, the planning process was limited throughout the interwar years by a lack of national policy guidance. Moreover, the joint planning process was hindered by a lack of executive authority and inattention to the production and incorporation of strategic intelligence information. The products of interwar planning efforts were increasingly sophisticated strategic plans and, more importantly, a corps of strategists who were subsequently able to craft the winning strategy for World War II. The study concludes that despite its ad hoc origins, the American planning structure produced successful strategic thinkers and concepts, and the interwar years provided the seminal impetus for the development of joint planning.
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