Charting a Course: Strategic Choices for a New Administration

News | Dec. 12, 2016


By R.D. Hooker, Jr. Charting a Course



This volume represents a year-long effort by some of the best scholars at the National Defense University (NDU). No editor could be more fortunate than I have been to work with these talented writers. Their backgrounds are varied, combining high-level government service with sterling academic credentials, along with brilliant work by some superb young researchers who will make their mark in the coming years. I wish to express my deep appreciation to all who contributed to this effort. Special praise is due to the outstanding staff at NDU Press, whose hard work has been instrumental in bringing this volume to completion. 

Directly or indirectly, our efforts have been supported by our many friends and colleagues at NDU, the Joint Staff, Service and combatant command staffs, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Their support of NDU research makes our contributions possible. Special thanks are due to NDU President Major General Frederick M. Padilla, USMC; Lieutenant General Thomas D. Waldhauser, USMC, director for Joint Force Development/J7 on the Joint Staff; his successor, Vice Admiral Kevin D. Scott, USN; and, of course, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr. NDU takes great pride in being “The Chairman’s University,” and the strong support of these key senior leaders has been essential to bringing this project to fruition. 

Our intention is to offer useful policy advice and strategic recommendations to those senior leaders who will staff and lead the new administration in national security affairs. Only they can determine whether we have succeeded. Their task is not an easy one, and we offer our insights and reflections not with certainty, but with an ample dose of humility. We see no silver bullets, no elegant solutions to the complex problems we face. If we have helped to provide context and understanding to those who bear the heaviest responsibilities, we will have been well rewarded.