International Security and Strategic Studies


International Security and Strategic Studies

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National Strategy is the process of developing and applying the economic, diplomatic, and informational supremacy of a state and its military forces in peace and hostility to achieve the state goals (Angelsen, 2009). It is also known as the grand strategy or national security strategy. Countries all over the world have made their great strategy their main priority.

Being secure as a country in economic status, political status, and security is an essential part of running a prosperous state. What is national strategy? What are the elements of national security? What is the importance of the federal system? What is the national process of the United States? What are the national strategies of Australia? What are the advantages and disadvantages of the national design of the U.S. and Australia?

Main Part


National Strategy


As mentioned earlier, a national strategy is also known as the grand strategy or the national security strategy. This term is used to mean; a gathering of policies and plans that consists of a country’s efforts towards improving its overall; military, economic, and political equipment to achieve the national objective of the particular country (Angelsen, 2009). The national strategy is the art of unifying ways and methods that help reach the final and main agenda. Achieving a country’s main plans involves harnessing and making possible the needs and thoughts of the leaders.

However, purposive action has various constraints preventing it from happening, such as limitations by the national budget. After the end of the cold war, there has been a constant effort to find and label the grand strategy of the United States (Angelsen, 2009). The great design of the U.S. used to be referred to as the “Kennan sweepstakes.”

Elements of National Security

There are various ways in which the national security of different countries all over the world varies. However, there are standard features that all of them have assumed, and if any of the national strategies are missing the elements, it is considered incomplete or not understandable. There are main characteristics associated with national security strategies, and then there are other additional features related to the same (Ghernouti-Hlie, 2010). The different components or elements are not usually common to all national security strategies. Their absence does not guarantee incoherence or incompletion.

Endorsement by the head of government

The seriousness of a national security strategy is dependent on the presence of a senior government official with the power to oversee the national security issues, and this is usually the head of the state (Ghernouti-Hlie, 2010). For example, in the U.S., the ambiguity of the national security strategy comes from the president, who usually signs a letter of introduction of the process, which is used as a cover letter to the document. The cover letter, in addition to the written form encompassing the details of the national security strategy, and the assistance of the National security staff, collectively shows the president’s intent and leadership.

The president’s involvement in the national security strategy also indicates that he will continue supporting its execution and implementation. The support is usually in the form of the provision of resources that ensures the strategy’s successful performance. It also shows that the national strategy’s accountability is held by the highest government position, the president himself (Ghernouti-Hlie, 2010). The signature placed on a particular document bearing a national security strategy also shows that other forms holding other national security strategies are subordinate to it.

This makes the presidents endorsement necessary when a national strategy should be implemented and taken seriously by government officials and the public. Some national security strategies carry the president’s signature, whereas others do not. The president is particular about signing some documents, especially those he wants to attract government officials and the public (Ghernouti-Hlie, 2010). The president, therefore, usually signs documents that need special attention, coordination, and cooperation.

In states where there are no formally printed documents containing the national security strategies, the seriousness of national security strategies is captured through speeches and other ways of communicating by leaders of national security (Ghernouti-Hlie, 2010). This shows the gravity that a particular national security strategy holds. Failure to document specific plans means that they are open to being misinterpreted by the public hence causing liability issues and difficulty implementing the system.

The failure to establish a law for handling risks that a country may encounter in the future makes the country open to the competition when it comes to authority (Ghernouti-Hlie, 2010). This means that the endorsement by the government will not be enough to indicate the legitimacy of a national security strategy.

Accurate Reflection of National Values.


The national security strategy must consider and support a state’s values to rank its benefits and threats. Usually, the arrangement of values is carried out directly or indirectly by coming up with objectives because the primary intention of the document was not to put out a list of values but to come up with a plan of action (Bossu et al., 2016). National values cover a wide range of concepts but do not significantly change for a long time due to the slow and gradual change of the nation’s character.

The lack of connectivity between a national security strategy to the values of the specific nation means that the implementation would be complex. The reason behind being difficult is the difficulty to be perceived by the government elements, which are tasked with implementing it (Bossu et al., 2016). Furthermore, the state is more likely to lack the right resources, to support the implementation of the national strategy. Also, the priorities of the national security strategy might not match the fundamental importance to be considered to protect the nation.

Clear Articulation of the National Interests

The national security strategy comprises a hierarchy, right from the general factors, to more specific elements. National interests are after national values and before national security objectives. National interests are particular thoughts supported by the broader aspects of national importance (Bossu et al., 2016). The interests are put into a compact list of objectives that are achievable within a specified period. National values, on the other hand, are general and changeable. They might change from one state to another depending on the emerging issues in the globe and political factors.

If a country has a weak leader, it could also make it difficult for the government to settle on specific national interests. Such countries are said to be experiencing deadlock. Countries are participating in political gridlock end up using a national security strategy of the ruling party (Bossu et al., 2016). This is usually unfair since political parties can drive the national interests to their favor instead of considering what is suitable for the country’s thriving. Such countries also usually fail in preparing for future threats against their national interests. Therefore, they are likely to die in protecting their country.

Declaration of a Strategic Vision

The declaration entails a practical summary of the effect of the state’s administration to attain with the national security strategy. Mentioning the purpose of a particular national strategy document should be done by saying the calculated vision in its title (Bossu et al., 2016). A simple mention of the specific vision in the title of a document leads to a better understanding of a strategic vision and its implementation.

Identification and Assessment of Future Challenges

Naturally, national security strategies usually work by forecasting the possibility of specific threats in the future and how to handle them as they arise. However, research on prediction accuracy has indicated that the threats to occur within a short period, mainly a year or less. Therefore, prophecy is impractical in its application in the national security strategy (Bossu et al., 2016). Therefore, governments relying on future predictions are a waste of resources since they would not work for the long term. Governments should, thus, consider using projection just to lay out the threats they are likely to face and test how good they are at handling them.

Importance of national strategy


National security strategy or grand strategy is vital in achieving national interests and values. This is achieved through the full cooperation of the relevant parties, including the citizens of the particular country and the country’s political leaders (Cornish et al., 2011). In the short term, national security strategy helps predict the threats that a particular country is likely to face. this allows the government to prepare for the oncoming danger by coming up with ways of overcoming it hence preventing interference with national interests.

Moreover, the national strategy gives the political leaders the direction to take regarding some issues of national interest. Without the national security strategy, a country is likely to experience some degree of disorganization, driving its national interests into chaos (Cornish et al., 2011). Moreover, a national security strategy in a country helps maintain the organization in administration since it provides a clear hierarchy in the government.

Also, national security strategy helps countries maintain security in the country since it also contains how the military should work (Cornish et al., 2011). The policies and organization of how the security of a country is maintained are also included in the national security strategy. Moreover, a specification of how terrorists should face punishment and how terrorist activities should end is also laid out in a specific fashion that aligns with the national interests.

Comparing the Strategy and Structure of the United States and Australian Corporations

The analysis of the United States and leading Australian companies indicates many differences in terms of approaches, market structures, and organization structures. During the examination, there was the discovery of the differences between foreign and domestic firms that operate in Australia (Hodne et al., 2013). An analysis one with the Fortune 500 of the U.S. showed a lack of foreign subsidiaries, whereas that of Australia indicated foreign subsidiaries.

The difference between the two countries lies in the fact that U.S.-based companies experience more competitive markets, whereas Australia does not have competitive markets. Additionally, U.S. companies have expanded globally compared to Australian companies (Hodne et al., 2013). This is evident by the infiltration of many foreign investors in Australia compared to foreign investors in the U.S.

Unlike the fully organized national security strategy in the United States, the Australian government has ignored its need for a national security strategy. For a long time, the Australian government has failed to provide a national security strategy (Chen & Bouvain, 2009). Instead, it has offered many excuses that have indicated the government’s ignorance of the Australian government’s security issues.

This has placed the countrys security in jeopardy since there is no plan whatsoever to deal with the potential threats that are most likely to affect the country’s national interests (Chen & Bouvain, 2009). The United States, on the other hand, is better positioned to protect the country’s claims and national values since the country has many written national security strategies whose implementation has been supported by the federal government through the accountability and provision of resources.

Disadvantages of not having a national security strategy

The next government will have to deal with drastic decision-making due to the failure of the previous government to establish clear policies and rules. The need to use additional resources in dealing with the losses brought by the threats that come to pass is also a problem (Samuels, 2018). The problem could have otherwise been solved by the frequent short-term prediction of future threats that are likely to face a country and would have ready ways of fighting against them. This would lead to the bankruptcy of a country, hence lowering its economic status and lowering the country’s living standards.

As presented by its political leaders,

Australia is more likely to face political struggles due to the lack of hierarchy that the national security strategy could have otherwise provided. Leaders will be disorganized since there is no clear statement that says they should do things in a particular way. The leader of the national security strategy is not mentioned (Samuels, 2018). This means that matters such as decision-making regarding national security matters are affected. There is confusion regarding government matters due to a lack of clarity on how they should handle them.

A lack of national security strategies leads to arbitrary decision-making by different political leaders, hence causing conflict due to the other point of view of the various leaders. The additional information provided by the foreign political leaders to the public brings confusion among the citizens (Doyle, 2007). Besides causing confusion, presenting different national strategies leads to a country’s vulnerability to external and internal attacks. Terrorists will feel free to infiltrate the country and terrorize people for their selfish gains, leaving the country with high levels of insecurity.

Insecurity in a country leads to a decline in the economic performance of the country. The decline in economic productivity of land is caused by fleeing foreign investors, closure of businesses due to lack of secure markets for their goods, loss of employment caused by the closure of companies, and interactions. On the other hand, reduction of foreign income that was brought in by tourists, among other reasons (Doyle, 2007). A decline in economic productivity means that it will be unattractive to other countries and may not be accepted in specific international organizations.

Advantages of having a National Security Strategy

Having a national security strategy is advantageous since it guarantees organization in the administration of a country. this is because the political leaders in the country will have a written way of handling certain matters regarding the state in line with national interests and values (Curtain, 2001). This reduces conflicts among political leaders and increases the solutions to problems by keeping the national interests in check.

It helps increase the economic growth of a country. Having a particular way of doing things in a country is an organized way of getting the country to have proper leadership, hence no political feuds (Curtain, 2001). It also helps in reducing the crime rates in a country due to an organized military. All these and others help achieve a peaceful environment, which attracts tourists, and foreign investors, while at the same time being inhabitable grounds for terrorists. (Curtain, 2001). It also helps in forecasting future threats to national interests and values.

Although a national security strategy predicts threats in the short term, it has proved to be very useful when done regularly, say, every year (Curtain, 2001). Once a country has the forecast of the possible threats it is likely to encounter, it can make good use of the country’s resources to find solutions to prevent the danger of dealing with the threats once it happens.



All countries in the world have a national strategy, which is usually a plan of ensuring the objectives of a country are successfully achieved. Some countries prefer printing a formal document containing the design of a nation. In contrast, other countries like that its leaders convey the strategies during their public speeches to their citizens. The primary purpose of the national system is to offer directions on how to handle the risks that may encounter in the future. The preparedness to deal with future risks associated with a state’s security ensures the nation’s security lasts for a long time.




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Cornish, P., Lindley-French, J., & Yorke, C. (2011).Strategic communications and national

strategy. Chatham House, The Royal Institute of International Affairs.

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