Back to top

Key Point

H. R. McMaster Explains What It Means to Have a Strategy

“Strategy is more than just a plan. You need a plan to build a bridge or a building. If the environment is competitive and an adversary or a rival is present, then you need a strategy.

“We should be precise in our use of the word strategy, because the word strategy has acquired a universality which has robbed it of meaning. Our confusion over strategy is dangerous. Loss of precision in the word strategy has encouraged in the West a narcissistic approach to national security.

“Strategies are frequently based on what the purveyor prefers rather than what the situation demands.

“Strategy is important, because without a strong strategic foundation, it is impossible to integrate activities, programs, initiatives, operations to make progress toward objectives. Strategy demands clear purpose and an easily understood description of the way your organization intends to combine individual and team efforts to accomplish that purpose.”