The violent run-up to the May 11 election is another urgent reminder of the need to evolve a comprehensive national security strategy. The country doesn’t have one at present. We have defence, foreign and economic policies and a patchwork of internal law and order responses, but this doesn’t add up to a national security strategy.
A national security strategy has to integrate these components of policy in disciplined pursuit of clearly articulated goals and priorities. It has to be more than a sum of these parts and provide an overarching, strategic focus to them. There is an evolving dynamic between goals, changes in the internal and external environments and the strategy crafted to deal with them. A viable strategy has to continuously align ends with means, goals with resources, objectives with tools. It must also aligned itself with people’s aspirations and have public support.