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Console

In: Business and Management

Submitted By lampidicsparrow
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Strategic Uncertainty and Alternative Futures: Evaluating Our Options in the Post-September 11 World Eric K. Clemons Steve Barnett 23 April 2003
Draft 3.6

1.

Introduction

Our perception of our world changed dramatically on September 11, 2001. Our sense of safety, security, and certainty were altered, perhaps for years to come, perhaps for the rest of our professional lives. Although it is clear that our personal, political, and business environments have all been altered, it is not immediately clear how they have been changed; this is, it is not clear what the details of these changes will be, or how we must respond. We now live in a period of greater strategic uncertainty. This brief paper summarizes the results of two workshops held by the Reginald H. Jones Center that attempted to provide some insight into the origins of the current conflict that the U.S. faces in the Middle East, as religious (Islam vs. the West) or economic (the developed West vs. the developing Middle East), or a clash of cultures, or some other form not as yet identified1. The hope was that by developing an understanding of the origins of the conflict, we would develop some insights into the form of the conflict and its duration; this in turn would lead to an understanding of the business implications that might result and strategies that might provide appropriate responses in different strategic contexts. We faced a high level of uncertainty about what had happened and what was likely to happen next, which determined the structure of our workshop. Recent events continue to underscore the importance of this analysis. Defeating the Taliban may not solve our problems with Al Qaeda. Defeating the Iraqi Army may not solve our problems in Iraq. The strategies that work best will be determined by a
1

The group found it extremely difficult to determine how to characterize the conflict....

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