The Atlantic Council’s quarterly Strategy Consortium is co-chaired by former National Security Advisor Mr. Stephen Hadley and former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Ms. Michèle Flournoy. The objectives of the Consortium include:

  • Create an ecosystem of strategists from diverse sectors (think tanks, academia, government, private sector) who by working together can over time build a body of strategy work and promote strategy development and strategic thinking more generally.
  • Provide an off-the-record forum to support the US government strategy development process, including confidential discussions of key draft US government strategy documents prior to issuance.
  • Provide a forum for the members of the Consortium to exchange views on the methodology of strategy development, the scope of their own respective strategy efforts, and areas that need to be addressed from a strategy perspective, in addition to providing a place to obtain review and input to draft strategy documents.
  • Develop an enterprise that provides Consortium members over time with a basis for new partnerships and a vehicle to seek resources for new strategy efforts of mutual interest and priority.

Thu, Feb 28, 2019

Strategic surprises in the first year: principles for preparation and response

Preparing for and responding to strategic surprises is always difficult; that difficulty is often magnified in an administration’s first year. Ideas and prerequisites for responding to strategic surprise are laid out in Paul Miller’s longer memorandum.

Strategy Consortium by Hal Brands

Central Europe National Security

Thu, Feb 28, 2019

Connecting strategy and resources in national security: 10 recommendations for the Trump administration

Connecting strategy and resources is the central tenet of national security strategy. The four-step process proposed by the Atlantic Council should be used by the Trump administration when considering how to connect its strategy to resources.

Strategy Consortium by Stephen J. Hadley, James N. Miller, and Mara E. Karlin

China Korea

Thu, Feb 28, 2019

Elements of national security strategy

This paper enumerates the key pieces of a national security strategy and explains their importance. It also explores several additional elements that can be found in some national security strategies; these additional elements are not strictly necessary for the strategy to be viable, but are intended to strengthen the document or the government’s ability to implement it.

Strategy Consortium by Malia DuMont

National Security Security & Defense

Thu, Feb 28, 2019

Purpose of a national security strategy

Since the original Congressional mandate and its update in the 1986 Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act, the purpose of the National Security Strategy has changed in order to better reflect a changing global landscape. Today, there are six broad purposes for a National Security Strategy.

Strategy Consortium by Barry Pavel, Alex Ward

National Security Security & Defense

Thu, Feb 28, 2019

Incorporating Risk into National Security Planning

Risk is a critical concept for helping decision-makers identify and make policy choices that support strategic priorities, but it is often mis-applied. To ensure that risk is appropriately informing strategic decision-making, it is essential to avoid some common pitfalls by taking the approach described.

Strategy Consortium by Malia K. Du Mont

National Security Security & Defense

Thu, Feb 28, 2019

Strategic priorities for the next administration

What should be the strategic priorities for the next US presidential administration?

Strategy Consortium by

China National Security

Fri, May 12, 2017

Methodology of strategy and strategic thinking: linking classic advice with disruptive trends

This paper seeks to discuss elements of strategy and strategic thought. What should we be thinking of in order to produce national security strategies that will have the intended impact on policy and allocated resources? What strategy will best achieve government coordination, operational execution and the desired end state?

Strategy Consortium by Hans-Christian Hagman

Defense Policy National Security

Fri, May 12, 2017

Responding to strategic surprise

In the event of a strategic surprise, the President and his administration face three tasks, which they should pursue concurrently, not sequentially.

Strategy Consortium by Paul D. Miller

Afghanistan Cuba

Mon, Feb 6, 2017

The challenge of ascertaining a strategic surprise

The challenge posed by strategic surprises is not just their unexpected nature, but also that they are often not evident when they first occur. This memo discusses criteria and indicators for determining when a strategic surprise is occurring.

Strategy Consortium by William Inboden

Israel National Security

Mon, Feb 6, 2017

Conducting a pre-mortem

It is worth doing a quick pre-mortem on the idea of conducting a pre-mortem in the development of national security strategies and plans. Three potential pitfalls stand out.

Strategy Consortium by Jim Miller, Todd Rosenblum

National Security Security & Defense