This entry is about U.S. defense planning, which is a special case of strategic planning, the process through which an organization decides on objectives, strategies, and particular actions. This includes allocating resources and establishing controls for implementation.


Modern U.S. defense planning owes much to four events, all of which sought better alignment of responsibilities, authorities, and incentives.

Under President Harry S. Truman, the 1947 National Security Act created a new cabinet position: the secretary of defense, to whom the Departments of Army, Navy, and Air Force report. The act also created statutory unified and specified commands (i.e., joint commands), the National Security Council, and the Central Intelligence Agency. Under President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Congressional amendments gave the secretary of defense substantially more statutory power, but the army, ...

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