Appendix A – Preparing a Strategic Estimate
Posted (Diane Clancy) on 13-07-2012

Before attempting to plan an overall grand strategy for a long-term phased nonviolent struggle, or limited strategies for individual campaigns within that struggle, it is necessary first to gather and analyze much information about the context in which the impending conflict will occur.

It is insufficient simply to be familiar with the technique of nonviolent struggle and understand how it operates, although this is a vital prerequisite. Rather, in order to make the application of nonviolent struggle as effective as possible in a given set of circumstances, strategic planning is also essential.

It is impossible to develop a wise strategy for the conduct of a particular struggle if the planners are not intimately familiar with the “conflict situation,” or the context in which the struggle will take place. It is essential to know and compare the characteristics, strengths, and weaknesses (actual and potential) of the groups that will be contending in the future conflict, as well as of those groups that will not initially be directly involved. Geographic, social, economic, political, cultural, climatological, and other factors also need to be examined.

The preparation of a strategic estimate can provide this needed knowledge. This, in turn, will increase the ability of strategists of the nonviolent struggle to prepare a wise strategy that will maximize the chances of achieving their objective.

The aim of this essay is to provide guidelines for preparing this strategic estimate. We will first explain what the strategic estimate is. Then, we will survey factors that need to be taken into consideration when gathering relevant information and preparing
that analysis. Finally, we will comment on the role of the strategic estimate, its uses and limitations.

This appendix is based on the work of Robert Helvey, former President of the Albert Einstein Institution.

[see attached for full essay – Appendix A-Preparing a Strategic Estimate]

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