President Bill Clinton, speaking as might any commander-in-chief, on the eve of his decision to deploy ground troops to Bosnia in 1995, declared he had ""no responsibility more grave than putting soldiers in harm's way [and, it should be noted, in today's operational environment this means civilians as well]."" Such a statement suggests that a study of the decision-making process associated with the weighty matters of using force would be enlightening. Indeed, it is. The decision-making process is far from standardised nor is it simple. While all individuals associated with important decisions about national security and the lives of America's service members take their responsibilities seriously, the processes by which they reach their conclusions are varied and complicated. This book traces traditional and emerging theories of decision-making by first explaining the components of each model and then analysing its practical application through three case studies. Each chapter concludes with a discussion of the utility and explanatory power of the particular theory. Because even at their very best a particular decision-making theory can only explain some cases, the chapter then segues to another theory with different characteristics.
Military Decision-Making Processes
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