Secrecy News

Strategy: Directing the Instruments of National Power

The tools that can be used to assert national power and influence have often been summarized by the acronym DIME — Diplomatic, Informational, Military, and Economic.

But “US policy makers and strategists have long understood that there are many more instruments involved in national security policy development and implementation,” according to a new Joint Chiefs of Staff publication on the formulation of national strategy.

“New acronyms such as MIDFIELD — Military, Informational, Diplomatic, Financial, Intelligence, Economic, Law, and Development — convey a much broader array of options for the strategist and policymaker to use.” See Strategy, Joint Doctrine Note 1-18, April 25, 2018.

The pursuit of strategic goals naturally entails costs and risks, the document said.

“Risks to the strategy are things that could cause it to fail, and they arise particularly from assumptions that prove invalid in whole or in part. Risks from the strategy are additional threats, costs, or otherwise undesired consequences caused by the strategy’s implementation.”

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