Some years ago, I asked a good friend of mine, who was a high-ranking officer in the United States Navy, to recommend any books that the Naval War college used to train their officers in military strategies and tactics. He immediately recommended the Third Edition of “Strategy and Force Planning”. The book is a compilation of a variety of authors and edited by the faculty of the Naval War College. Although the issue is dated, it still serves as a valuable resource.
What Is Strategy and Force Planning?
Whenever contemplating any action, there needs to be a plan. Planning, in general, gives concrete direction, which limits unproductive and unnecessary action, especially when precise action is needed to solve a given problem. Strategic planning is contemplating what to do in a certain scenario, which does not necessarily involve force. Force planning, on the other hand, contemplates any given scenario which would require a forceful response. Director of the Strategy and Force Planning course at the Naval College, Dr. Richmond Lloyd explains,
Force planning can be defined as the process of establishing military requirements based on an appraisal of the security needs of the nation, and selecting military forces to meet those requirements with physical limitations.
The Current Cultural Climate of Our Nation
To be sure the situation on the world at large, especially in the United States of America, is nothing less than fearfully tumultuous. Each day’s events add to the chaos and those in power are unprepared to navigate the crisis. It seems as if every government plan, strategy, and solution has been proven to be inept. Whether it addresses Covid-19 mask and vaccine mandates, the economy, crime, education, national and international affairs, the Ivory Towers of the State, like the emperor who had no clothes, has been found to be shamefully naked. By now it must be painfully obvious that the American Leviathan State does not have a workable plan to alleviate the chaos other than that of tyrannically controlling every aspect of American life. And while that is indeed a strategy, it is a strategy that will enslave the American people and bring misery crashing down on one of the freest nations of history.
The Government is not here to help you
For far too long Americans have looked to the State to be delivered from whatever ailed them. This Statist Messianic complex is at the heart of society’s unwillingness to prepare for the coming difficulties. Many Americans still believe that the government will save them from the looming destruction of the culture. What these people fail to understand is that the government is mostly to blame for that very destruction.
As part of this ignorance, the populace has conferred to the State the responsibility of providing their children an education, promoting values and morality, economic well-being, favorable world order, and a defense of the homeland. But are all these the responsibility of the State, or are individuals responsible?
Our nation is now in the grip of tyrannical government over-reach not witnessed in America since the 1700’s under the tyranny of the insane, King George III and his tyrannical Parliament lawmakers. Understanding this, the colonists knew that they had to act decisively and take responsibility for their own well-being. England was no longer their friend.
But American’s are not at all like the colonists of the 1700s. The mindset of the post-modern, post-Christian, woke American, does not consider what it means to be free, or brave or patriotic. They have also forgotten that they must be responsible for their own, and their family’s, well-being. The colonists, knew that to secure any well-being, whether it was economic, moral, military, educational or health-wise, they had to have a plan that did not base its success upon the Government. Strategy was the key and it had to be concrete. Strategic vagueness was a poor excuse for being responsible. Real assessments had to be made in order to successfully and safely navigate the future.
In making any assessment the strategist must ask the following:
- What is my Objective? (What do I want to accomplish? What is my goal?)
- What is my Strategy? (How do I plan to accomplish my goal?)
- What are the Obstacles? (Threats and challenges?)
- What are my Resources? (What do I have at my disposal to accomplish my task?)
- What are the Risks?
Objectives, Strategies Obstacles, Resources and Risks
An objective must be carefully spelled out, in written form, if possible, if it is to be realized. An objective could be singular or it can be plural. For instance: A family may have several objectives in order to navigate through a possible crisis. It may view the storage of food as one objective or the availability to communicate with friends and neighbors as another. If the storage of food is an objective, then a plan (strategy) must be implemented so food can be stored safely. This may require purchasing a freezer. What might be a challenge to that purchase (obstacle)? It may be that freezers are backordered or entirely unavailable. If they are available, then the next question is “Does the family have the purchasing power (resources) to purchase the freezer?” If freezers are unavailable then “Does the family have enough resources to find alternative means of food storage?” What are the risks? If the freezer is acquired and the power goes out, how will the family maintain the freezer’s operation to secure the food? All these things need to be addressed as part of strategic planning, otherwise an unforeseen contingency may arise and undermine the entire objective if all variables are not considered carefully.
There are two basic approaches to strategic planning. The top-down approach and the bottom-up approach. Both are conducted in a systematic fashion. The top-down approach looks at the broad picture (macro) and goes through the assessment list. It considers the objective, strategy, obstacles, resources and possible risks. The bottom-up approach asks, “How do I improve my existing capabilities and resources”. It also considers the real world as to the risks and threats and how to deal with them by either minimizing them or eliminating them completely.
Survival is not the Goal
When our objective is mere survival, we sell ourselves short of what we might accomplish. Our objectives must go beyond mere survival. Our ultimate plan should focus on flourishing during a crisis situation. In order to achieve this planning is the key. With proper planning (and I mean intense planning; well thought out systematic planning) survival is not only probable, but flourishing within the chaos may even be possible.
Start Strategic Planning Now
Even if you have not considered planning for a possible crisis, it is never too late until it is too late. Do not be like those panic-stricken grocery store maniacs that rush to by a loaf of bread or a container of milk because the weather has just predicted a snow storm or a hurricane. Every family needs to be prepared for these weather conditions as a matter of practice. What is needed now, however, is further planning for those situations that may befall us in the near future.
Here is a general list of the following items that should be considered. This is not at all comprehensive but it will give you a good idea of some objectives.
Drinking Water or a purifier
Medical and First Aid supplies
Security (Guns and Ammo)
Communication (Cell phones – Gomesh connectors or Sat phones. Walkie Talkies)
Gasoline (non ethanol) Oil
Solar chargers for small appliances
Batteries (re-chargeable are a good option)
Wood stove or fire place
Tools (nails – screws)
Start a small garden or build a small green house
Non Hybrid seeds
Weather Radio – Regular radio.
Plastic Trash bags
Paper Plates – Forks, Spoons and Knives)
Start now! Refine your list as you go.
Thank you, Pastor for directing us to be prepared and for giving us a great checklist from which to start organizing our emergency supplies.