The US Army War College Quarterly: Parameters


A concept of positive strategic shock would benefit the US Department of Defense’s planning processes. Some US doctrine demonstrates awareness of the need to plan for negative strategic shocks but lacks consideration of positive strategic shock—any shock with a non-zero-sum outcome—which could create a situation where the Department of Defense misses opportunities. This article clarifies the term positive strategic shock, provides a brief review of where and how planning for any sort of strategic shock currently occurs, and makes recommendations based on three methods for thinking about strategic shock.

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