What are the patterns of continuity and change in U.S. national security strategies? This article addresses this question by analyzing three major national-security and foreign-policy considerations: problems of definition, the ends of national interest, and the means of achieving them. Part I analyzes national security strategies published between 2002 and 2015. Part II compares the post–September 11, 2001, era with the 1987–2001 period. Across 28 years, 16 national security strategies and five presidencies, this research finds considerable continuity in problem definition and national-interest ends, and surprising continuity in means, even among the most controversial parts of the Bush Doctrine.

Comparative Strategy

Ettinger, A. (2017). U.S. national security strategies: Patterns of continuity and change, 1987–2015. Comparative Strategy, 36(2), 115–128. doi:10.1080/01495933.2017.1317538