The Game of #Risk

“In all great action, there is risk.” —The Duke of Wellington

Wellington at Waterloo by Robert Alexander Hillingford. (Public Domain)

A common refrain among students of the military art is that Clausewitz is the most quoted, but least read among the myriad theorists who influence the study of war today. But those who have taken the time to read On War understand the Prussian held a firm grasp on more than uncertainty, chance, and friction. He recognized risk was inseparable from war. In defining a genius for war, Clausewitz chose his words carefully:

If the mind is to emerge unscathed from this relentless struggle with the unforeseen, two qualities are indispensable: first, an intellect that, even in the darkest hour, retains some glimmerings of the inner light which leads to truth; and second, the courage to follow this faint light wherever it may lead.[1]

This metaphor conveys the idea of a willingness to embrace risk, the courage to follow this faint light to overcome the natural chaos inherent to war. A century-and-a-half after his death, his thinking is infused throughout our doctrine, our strategic education, and our planning methodology. But the one aspect of his writing that receives scant attention today is his knowledge and insight into risk. Despite the importance of risk in overcoming the fog and friction intrinsic to war, as well as its central role in strategic-level decision making, much of his thinking on risk was left behind, relegated to intellectual discourse in relatively obscure journals, short blocks of instruction at military education institutions, and think tanks.

Through the following short essays, we intend to reverse that trend by opening a dialog on risk that is long overdue. From doctrine to education, from tactics to strategy, the influence of risk has never been greater, yet receives far less attention that is rightfully necessary. If we are to regain the elusive “winning edge,” it begins with a deeper understanding and dialog on risk. It is time to bring risk out of the shadows and into the light where we can all see it, discuss it, and understand it.

The Risk Chronicles: The Evolution of #Risk in Doctrine
Steve Leonard

Doctrine – (DOD) Fundamental principles by which the military forces or elements thereof guide their actions in support of national objectives. It is authoritative but requires judgment in application, (JP 1-02) See ADP 1-01, ADP 1-02.

Within the profession of arms, doctrine is rooted in knowledge and is the initial step in thinking about military issues. By definition, military doctrine is forged from fundamental principles, those inviolate tenets passed down through generations of battle captains, warrior scholars, and theorists. From the wisdom of Sun Tzu to the genius of Napoleon, these fundamental principles have been cast and recast over the millennia, changing size and scope but never losing form and function. They are the embodiment of the art of war, the collective knowledge of countless leaders over centuries of campaigning.

Within that body of knowledge, risk has always been an important consideration. While some leaders, such as Xenophon, urged risk avoidance unless the enemy was already at a clear disadvantage, most embraced risk as inherent in warfare.[2] Leaders from Julius Caesar to Margaret Thatcher have seen risk  as inevitable, something ignored at your own peril. Others, such as Patton, drew subtle distinctions between calculated risks and gambles, offering counsel to steer away from the latter. Liddell Hart famously cautioned against the military gamble, which he believed “ruined more armies than any other cause.”[3]

Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin E. Dempsey.

Today, mission command is hailed as the answer to the question of chaos and uncertainty of the 21st century battlefield, where mutual trust and shared risk are considered essential to success.[4] The principles of mission command, in fact, address both trust and risk.[5]

  • Build cohesive teams through mutual trust.

  • Create shared understanding.

  • Provide a clear commander’s intent.

  • Exercise disciplined initiative.

  • Use mission orders.

  • Accept prudent risk.

Yet mission command itself remains elusive. The fault lies in the very foundation of our doctrine, where a “pathological fear of uncertainty and squeamish aversion to risk” is pervasive.[6] In fact, the contemporary discussion of risk continues a sort of Jekyll and Hyde trend in doctrine that dates to shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

In 1986, three years before Operation Just Cause and four years before the first Gulf War, the Army published an update to FM 100-5, Operations. That edition marked what many considered to be the high water mark of AirLand Battle, in which the Army’s operational concept of “fight outnumbered and win” focused on the threat of war with the Soviet Union. Within the pages of that field manual, risk is mentioned rarely, and typically as a secondary concern in a doctrine that drilled the spirit of the offense. The 1993 edition, the first post-Soviet capstone doctrine, mentioned risk 64 times, but also included the first instance of “prudent” in the Army’s capstone manual. By 2001, when the Army transitioned to the operational concept of full spectrum operations, risk was mentioned on 83 separate occasions while prudence (found nine times in the manual) was for the first time associated directly with risk.

Dana Carvey as President George H. W. Bush on Earth Day From Saturday Night Live (

Take a moment to consider the definition of prudent: discreet, judicious, thoughtful. But in common usage, especially within the profession of arms, prudent is an uncommon term. For most, the term is more likely associated with comedian Dana Carvey’s characterization of former President George H.W. Bush than actions at a remote combat outpost in the mountains of Afghanistan. In an operational context, prudence is far more apt to elicit a negative response: prudish, priggish, cautious.

When the Army published the 2008 edition of FM 3-0, “prudent” and “risk” were increasingly used together. Of the eight times the former term was used, five of those were in relation to the latter. By 2012, every use of the term prudent was directly associated with risk. With the publication of ADP 6-0, Mission Command, in 2012, the phrase“prudent risk” was introduced into the lexicon: “Prudent risk is a deliberate exposure to potential injury or loss [emphasis added] when the commander judges the outcome in terms of mission accomplishment as worth the cost.”

If the term itself is not enough to cause a leader to give pause, the definition surely is. Rather than focus on risk as a key to unlocking opportunity, the wording focuses on the darker side of risk, the immense cost associated with failure: “deliberate exposure to potential injury or loss.” To a young sergeant or lieutenant, this translates roughly to, “Think twice about that decision because if it goes wrong, it’s on you.” Instead of hailing an era where mission command shines a guiding light into the future, we subtly undercut our own doctrine with terminology that conveys a sense of risk aversion.

During the halcyon days of AirLand Battle, risk was recognized as a catalyst that fueled the offensive spirit. We trusted leaders to exercise the necessary judgment (prudence) to measure risk and make the types of decisions to sustain momentum and seize the initiative on the field of battle. Thirty years later, when trust and judgment among leaders are more important than ever before, our doctrine is taking an ominous turn away from risk. As we look out over a world of increasing complexity and evolving threats, we need to embrace risk, not shy away from it. We need to develop a deeper understanding of risk, study it, explore its relationship to opportunity, initiative, and momentum. We need to respect risk, but not fear it.

Seeking a Better Peace: Strategic #Risk and Advantage
Jonathan P. Klug

Many great military philosophers and strategic texts grapple with risk, but these discussions are generally short, often not going into any detail on the challenges ofor solutions tostrategic risk.  Perhaps this short essay will generate new thought, writing, and discussion on this vitally important yet seemingly neglected subject.

Before discussing strategic risk in particular, a brief examination of strategy in a broad sense is required. What is strategy? To avoid going too far down this sometimes endless academic, semantic road, Everett Dolman provides a useful description of strategy as “an idea…about the future in anticipation of the probable and preparation for the possible.”[7] Furthermore, strategy deals with the highest levels of statecraft and war. Dolman offered his view that determining who wins at the tactical level is straightforward; however, who wins at the strategic level is not so clear, as it is possible to win a war but lose strategic advantage.[8] In fact, victory is not a strategic concept, as strategy never ends—it is perpetual. For example, the United Kingdom and the United States were among the nations that won World War II, but both continued to vie for strategic advantage after the defeat of the Axis. Liddell Hart provided an additional point in that strategy must look “beyond the war to the subsequent peace” and, more importantly, that the “object in war is a better state of peace.”[9] The United States and United Kingdom after World War II provide two very different examples of this notion. The United Kingdom regressed in both overall and relative strategic terms, and the United States was in a much better strategic position than before the war. If strategy is to ensure a better peace and continued strategic advantage, any discussion of strategic risk must keep this in the forefront.

Strategic risk is only a constituent portion of a larger strategy, so it is necessary to examine the components of an entire strategy. To teach strategy, the Army War College uses the Lykke Model, which depicts strategy as consisting of ends, ways, means, and risk. Ends are the desired objectives, ways are concepts that describe how to accomplish the objectives, and means are the resources necessary to support the concept. Risk results from imbalances or discrepancies among two or more of the strategy’s ends, ways, and means.[10] A study of the known, assumed, and unknown is the first step in determining if there are imbalances or discrepancies that result in risk, and there certainly will be many “uncertainties that make it difficult to gauge…the means required and the objectives to be set.”[11] A thorough analysis may then demonstrate that achieving an objective (end) using a specific conceptual approach (way) that employs a certain set of resources (means) has an inherently great level of risk. For example, General Sir Alan Brooke appropriately concluded that there was an immense discrepancy between the means available and the ends and ways for General George Marshall’s desired invasion of France in 1942. Thus, any discussion of risk must assess the probability of success and failure, but it also must assess the probable consequences of success and failure.[12] Brooke also correctly argued that the risk was too high and likely to result in catastrophic tactical, operational, and strategic failure. The key issue for risk at the strategic level, however, is the potential for the nation to lose strategic advantage or fail to realize a better peace. Or, put another way, will there be enduring harm to one or more enduring national interests? The level of strategic risk normally correlates with the anticipated gain, and strategists must weigh the estimated cost against the desired conditions of the endstate, which begins to highlight how determining and dealing with strategic risk is very much a part of strategic art.

Where tactical art is the domain of battles and operational art is the domain of campaigns, strategic art is the domain of pursuing strategic advantage by combining instruments of national power, and pursuing advantage or opportunity always incurs associated risk. If there is too much strategic risk, there are several choices, such as reducing the ends, changing the ways, adding means, or changing the strategic frame (changing the rules of the game, so to speak).[13] During war, the strategist must strive to shape the circumstances to seek a decision that will realize the best result possible and, ultimately, achieve the conditions desired.[14] Inherent in this is a decision regarding the level at which risk is accepted: at the strategic level, the operational level, the tactical level, or balanced across the three levels.

The current conflict in Afghanistan provides two important examples.  First, NATO had primarily focused risk at the strategic level before the command of General Stanley McChrystal. At this point, there were insufficient means for the ends and ways employed, which resulted in risk at the strategic level. After McChrystal took command, he accepted risk at the tactical level.[15] Part of this shift was due to additional resources and changes to the operational approach, but changes to the operational approach and rules of engagement put more risk on select NATO military personnel and Afghan military personnel.  Thus, McChrystal’s approach put tactical units at more risk rather than endanger the mission and the fledgling Afghan government. A key aspect to consider is Michael Handel’s point that, “Boldness, daring, and risk-taking defy rational analysis and transcend all rules, which is what makes them so unpredictable and difficult to counter.”[16]

General Stanley A. McChrystal arriving for a meeting with high-ranking military personnel near Kandahar, Afghanistan, in 2009. (Paula Bronstein, Getty Images)

In conclusion, the purpose of this short essay was to examine how strategic risk is a part of strategy and strategic art. Hopefully, it will encourage more thought and writing upon the topic, as there appears to be a strange lack of discourse on strategic risk. Ultimately, this should assist with the understanding that strategy is continuous and should aim for a better peace.

Overcoming #Risk Aversion: U.S. Strategic Culture and Time Perspective
Diane L. Maye

After years of research, the renowned sociologist Philip Zimbardo created a typology for understanding how people perceive time. His typology has five time zones, or “time perspectives.”  He noted that people have the ability to calibrate their outlook on life through positive and negative perspectives of time that has passed, the present moment, or their preparations for the future.[17]

While Zimbardo argues there is no ideal time perspective, it can be noted that people who spend a majority in one of the time zones tend to have certain characteristics. For instance, future-oriented people tend to be more successful at achieving their goals, whereas people who frequently reminisce about the past can be overly nostalgic or fearful. Those living the majority of their time in present hedonistic mode are more likely to be the life of the party, and Zimbardo shows they are much more likely to engage in risk-taking behavior.  The present hedonistic person “lives in and for the moment” and demonstrates a “lack of regard for future consequences.”[18] For instance, Zimbardo positively correlates present-hedonistic mind perspective with risky driving behavior, and psychologists have shown children are much more likely to have a present-hedonistic time perspective.

U.S. Strategic Culture

Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger speaks with then MG Colin Powell during testimony before the Senate Budget Committee on Capitol Hill on 8 Feb 1985.

It is possible to use Zimbardo’s typology as a framework for understanding U.S. strategic culture and decision-making, where strategic culture is not viewed through the actions of an individual, but rather the aggregation of U.S. foreign policy decisions over a period of time.  For instance, at some points in U.S. history, U.S. strategic culture could be described as one where foreign policy decisions were made through the perspective of negative associations with the past. For instance, the unpopularity of the Vietnam War facilitated the rise of the Weinberger-Powell doctrine years later. The Vietnam Syndrome reflected the reluctance of Americans to send forces into overseas conflicts; Weinberger and Powell called for overwhelming force as a last resort, to only be used on behalf of vital national interests as well as clearly defined and achievable political-military objectives.

At other points in time, U.S. strategic culture could be described as one where the aggregation of foreign policy decisions led to over-planning for an uncertain future. Take for instance the battle over the A-10 Thunderbolt, a close-air support aircraft that plays an important role in both Iraq and Afghanistan. U.S. defense planners had committed their budget to its costly replacements, arguing that ten years from now the Air Force must be modernized ahead of its adversaries. Meanwhile the aircraft’s present role in dangerous and unforeseen conflicts was negated, an issue not lost on the public or by Congress.

The Mindful Present

Zimbardo’s typology shows a person with a present-mind perspective is more likely to engage in risk-taking behavior. But his typology overlooks the benefits of simply being fully aware of one’s immediate surroundings: the mindful present. For instance, Buddhist monks meditate to become aware of their stream of consciousness, connecting entirely with the present moment. Martial artists understand the mindful present is especially important in close combat, where allowing your consciousness to stray can mean the difference between life and death.  

From the perspective of the martial artist, living in the mindful present is the only way to wholly engage an adversary’s first move, especially if the first move is a surprise. Thus, if Zimbardo’s research is accurate, it is logical to deduce a certain amount of risk is inherent when facing a conflict in the present moment.  Trying to eliminate risk from decisions made in the present moment forces a future- or past-focused time perspective. For instance, the martial artist cannot know his adversary’s first move with certainty; instead he is forced to use his lifetime of training and experience to make a rapid decision. During the fight, he can react to the moves of his opponent, and move in a way as to shape the future of the conflict to his advantage.  But, the reaction to an adversary’s first move comes with enormous risk; without the comfort of time and reflection, the possibility of error increases. Without doubt, risk plays a crucial role when decision-making is forced into the present moment. Thus, risk should not be marginalized, but rather it needs to be accepted as an inevitability. With that inevitability, it is wiser to understand it, when it is present, and how to best capitalize upon it.  

Risk Calculation, Uncertainty, and National Security Decision Making
Steven L. Foster

Risk is measured in multiple ways within the defense and national security establishment. Assessing cost (in forces, strategic interests, and dollars) against reward (achievement of objectives, advancement of interests) is one method. Another, more widely accepted approach is to weigh the balance of ends against the associated ways and means to achieve them.  Any imbalance in the three is seen as a risk to the success of the associated strategy and can come from unachievable or misguided ends, ways that are not feasible, or, as we see in our current resource-constrained environment, limited ways.  Of course, risk is also assessed through the network of numerous mandated requirements such as the Chairman’s Readiness System and its layers of readiness reports, which scrutinize the ability of the force to meet the nation’s objectives around the world.  All these methods lend themselves to a holistic approach to determining not only where risk comes from, but also where the nation is restricted in its decision space. Moreover, the current nature of the global environment adds an additional layer of complexity to assessing and articulating risk, which further stresses the importance of risk calculation when making informed decisions related to our nation’s security.

As recently highlighted on The Bridge, the global future is one of increased volatility and uncertainty.  Examining the world through this lens presents a harrowing look at the sort of problems the U.S. faces in the coming years, foreshadowing strain on an already-stressed national security apparatus. The wide spectrum of challenges contained in that net assessment, as well as the further expansion of “Gray Zone” conflicts, all must be approached with deliberate focus, and a critical eye of the potentialities each scenario presents. Further, these challenges are compounded by shrinking military force structures and reduced budgets not just in the U.S. but in many of our allied partners as well. As a result, the decision space for our military and civilian leaders is further compressed.

Risk is an unavoidable condition within the national security and military decision making construct. Given that risk cannot be eliminated, but can be mitigated or managed, it must be considered as part of the decision calculus of leaders and policy makers. As Clausewitz stated, “The value of that object determines the measure of the sacrifices by which it is to be purchased.”[19]  Within that value lies not only the national interest of the U.S., but also the probability of success, and the cost to the nation in either success or failure. For high-cost challenges with low probabilities of success, the decision space is narrow.  For example in the current environment, the nation is limited to engaging unconventional non-state or hybrid actors while simultaneously attempting to deter more high-risk, high-cost conventional threats.  Beyond these scenarios, additional threats must be met with a  much more calculated response, and the opportunity cost of meeting such threats limits the  nation’s ability to respond to catastrophic events or protecting key allies. Given the range of challenges the U.S. faces in the current security environment, this poses a significant problem for national security decision makers. As a result, these circumstances create an environment where increased interaction across multiple government agencies and international partners is a must, if the U.S. is to manage the risk created by an increasingly uncertain world.

Taking a Critical Step: Understanding the Differences between #Risk and Uncertainty
Jeff Hannon

The term risk figures prominently in the writings and statements of U.S. defense leaders.  Despite its common usage, the term risk is generally misunderstood throughout the U.S. Department of Defense.  One source of misunderstanding is defense leaders’ incomplete conception of risk. This partial grasp of risk affects the whole range of defense activities, starting with the formulation of defense strategy.

The Department’s definition of risk is a starting point, but certainly not the end point for the shortfall in defense leaders’ understanding of the term. The DoD Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms defines risk as the “probability and severity of loss linked to hazards.”  This notion of riskprobability of lossis common to most DoD definitions, yet the definition is incomplete.  Almost a century ago, economist Frank Knight offered a different description of risk, contending risk and uncertainty depend on each other and writing that “measurable uncertainty is risk.”[21]  The Department defines risk, but it does not define uncertainty or have a framework showing how risk and uncertainty are linked.  Drawing distinctions between risk and uncertainty is critical, because the differences between the two concepts drive different ways of evaluating information and very different approaches to decision making.        

For many defense activities there can be sufficient information from which to develop calculable probabilities, ranging from the enterprise-level activities of managing recruiting and  acquisitions to the tactical-level activities of firing artillery rounds and managing end-user maintenance. The decisions driving these and similar defense activities are said to be made under risk because decision makers can have adequate knowledge of relevant alternatives, outcomes, and probabilities.  Armed with probabilities and having developed alternatives and estimates of outcomes, decision makers are in a position to optimize solutions, at least within the the accuracy of these estimates and the limits of the information available.  

By contrast, there are a larger number of defense activities where information is insufficient to calculate probabilities, from the strategic-level activities of formulating strategy and forecasting conflicts to the tactical-level activity of predicting outcomes for some kinds of engagements.  When decision makers cannot know the alternatives, consequences, or probabilities of their choices, they are making decisions under uncertainty.  Under these conditions, experts in operational research and naturalistic decision making contend decision makers should rely on alternative approaches.[22] For researchers studying naturalistic decision making, this entails relying on appropriate heuristics and intuition.[23]  The outcomes of decisions made under uncertainty are also different from decisions made under risk, because decision makers should look for robust, not optimal solutions.  

The Department’s incomplete definition of risk is a starting point for the broader problem of defense leaders’ poorly-informed use of the terms risk and uncertainty.  When talking about risk, leaders typically do not understand the base rates of the events they are discussing.  When discussing uncertainty, leaders frequently speak of risk and uncertainty as if they are synonymous.  For instance, the 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) states, “…[we] will have a reduced margin of error in dealing with risks of uncertainty in a dynamic and shifting security environment over the long term.”[24]  This statement from the QDR is not an isolated case of U.S. defense leaders failing to acknowledge the distinctions between risk and uncertainty;  they frequently try to reduce uncertainty by guessing at the likelihoods of events for which there are no valid bases on which to generate probabilitiesregional conflicts, for instance.[25]

U.S. defense leaders’ incomplete conception of risk and how it relates to uncertainty affects the formulation of defense strategy and has consequences for the whole of the Department of Defense. To improve the outcomes of their decisions, defense leaders should start by defining uncertainty and redefining the Department’s definition of risk. This first step of redefining risk will lead to scores of other challenges, the first of which is figuring out how Department leaders will communicate the concepts of risk and uncertainty within the Department and to the President, Congress, and the American people. Additionally, the Department’s leaders will have to grapple with other tasks: educating its people in probability theory so they can make informed decisions under risk; training and educating its people to build real domain expertise, which is key for leveraging intuitive judgment to make decisions under uncertainty; using data science to expand the envelope of decisions that can be made under risk; and understanding and validating the appropriateness of the heuristics used throughout the Department. Taken together, these measures to reform how defense leaders think about risk and uncertainty offer a way to lay the foundations for a larger effort to cope with the natural chaos inherent to war.

Napoleon at the Battle of Austerlitz, by François Gérard 1805. (Public Domain)

“If the art of war consisted merely in not taking risks, glory would be at the mercy of very mediocre talent.” Napoleon

The opinions here are those of the authors, based on their perspectives on global security, and are open to discussion and disagreement. They do not reflect the official position of the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government.

Steven L. Foster is an officer in the U.S. Army with extensive experience in logistics, and a current emphasis in operational and strategic planning. He is currently serving as a strategic planner at United States Transportation Command, and holds a Master of Public Policy with emphasis in National Security Policy from George Mason University. Steve's interests include policy, strategy, and history, and has been a regular contributor to The Bridge. He also has experience in the private sector in business management and a strong interest in leader development and talent management.  Follow Steve on Twitter at @slfoster22.

Jeff Hannon is a Strategist currently serving in the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy.  Previous assignments include the Chief of the Army's Strategy, Plans and Policy Division; plans chief assignments in Korea and Iraq; and strategist assignments with US Army Central Command, I Corps, US Army Forces Command, and the Office of the Chief of Staff of the Army.  Jeff is a graduate of the College of International Security Affairs at the National Defense University, the Basic Strategic Arts Program, and the School of Advanced Military Studies

Jonathan P. Klug is an Army Strategic Plans and Policy Officer currently serving in the Commander’s Initiatives Group at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He has served as an Army planner in Iraq and Afghanistan and is a graduate of School of Advanced Military Studies and the Army War College’s course for Strategic Plans and Policy officers. He has taught military and naval history at the United States Air Force Academy and the United States Naval Academy. As a doctrine author, Jon worked on counterinsurgency and security force assistance, including Army, multiservice, joint, and NATO publications.

Steven M. Leonard is a former U.S. Army strategist and the creative force behind Doctrine Man!! He is a founding member of the Military Writers Guild and a regular contributor to the Atlantic Council’s Art of Future Warfare Project. Follow his writing on The Bridge or his personal blog, The Pendulum, and on Twitter @Doctrine_Man.  The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the U.S. Army, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.

Diane L. Maye is a member of the Military Writers Guild,  an external research associate with the U.S. Army War College, an affiliated scholar at George Mason University, and has taught undergraduate courses in International Relations, American Foreign Policy, and Political Islam. She writes on issues that involve security and governance in the Middle East, U.S. defense policy, and national security strategy. Prior to her work in academia, Diane served as an officer in the U.S. Air Force and worked in the defense industry. Follow Diane on Twitter at @dianeleighmaye.

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[1] Carl von Clausewitz, On War, eds. Michael Howard and Peter Paret (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1976), 102.

[2] Xenophon, How to Be a Good Cavalry Commander, (Hiero the Tyrant and Other Treatises, tr. Robin Waterfield, London: Penguin Classics, 1997).

[3] B.H. Liddell Hart, Thoughts on War, (London: Faber and Faber, 1944), 95.

[4] Martin E. Dempsey, “Mission Command,” Army Magazine, January 2011, 43-44.

[5] Department of the Army, ADRP 6-0: Mission Command, (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2012), 15.

[6] Thomas A. Rebuck, “Mission Command and Mental Block: Why the Army Won’t Adopt a True Mission-Command Philosophy,” Armor Magazine, October-December 2015, 50.

[7] Everett Carl Dolman, Pure Strategy: Power and Principle in the Space and Information Age, (New York: Frank Cass, 2005), 1.

[8] Ibid., 3.

[9] B.H. Liddell Hart, Strategy, (New York: The Penguin Group, 1954), 322, 338.

[10] Harry R. Yarger, Strategic Theory for the 21st Century: The Little Book on Big Strategy, (Carlisle: United States Government, 2006), 47-64.

[11] Clausewitz, 585.

[12] Yarger, 62-64.

[13] Dolman, 4.

[14] Hart, 324.

[15] A civil-military discussion normally occurs to change where to accept risk when it involves the strategic level.

[16] Handel, Michael I., Masters of War: Classical Strategic Thought, Third, Revised and Expanded Edition, (New York: Frank Cass Publishers, 1992), 8.

[17] John N. Boyd and Philip G. Strathman Zimbardo, “Time Perspective, Health, and Risk Taking,” Understanding behavior in the context of time: Theory, research, and application. Ed. (Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2005), 85-107. 

[18]  Ilona Boniwell, “Perspectives on Time, in Lopez, Shane and C.R. Snyder Ed. The Oxford Handbook of Positive Psychology (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), 298.

[19] Clausewitz, Book 1, Chapter 2.

[20] Department of Defense, JP 1-02: Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms, (Washington: Government Printing Office, 2016), 206.

[21] Jochen Runde, "Clarifying Frank Knight's Discussion of the Meaning of Risk and Uncertainty." Cambridge Journal of Economics, May-June 1998: 539-46.

[22] John Mingers, Rational Analysis for a Problematic World: Problem Structuring Methods for Complexity, Uncertainty, and Conflict, Ed. Jonathan Rosenhead, 2nd ed. (West Sussex: Wiley, 2001). "Gerd Gigerenzer, SAGE Center for the Study of the Mind Lecture, UC Santa Barbara, April 21, 2014." Vimeo, accessed February 27, 2016. 

[23] In this case, intuition refers to significant accumulated experience solving identical or similar problems.  Reinhard Selten and Gerd Gigerenzer, Bounded Rationality: The Adaptive Toolbox (Boston: MIT, 2002), p. 28.  For one perspective on leveraging intuition (accumulated experience) in policy making and strategy formulation, see Richard Neustadt and Ernest R. May. Thinking in Time: The Uses of History for Decision-makers

[24] Department of Defense, 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review (Washington: Government Printing Office, 2014), IV.

[25] John Maynard Keynes’ description of ‘uncertain knowledge.’  John M. Keynes, "The General Theory of Employment," Quarterly Journal of Economics, Feb. 1937, 214.