Policy Memos

An Interactive Planning Approach to Shaping U.S.-Russia Relations

Policy Memo:


Publication Date:




U.S. policy toward Russia, as toward the rest of the world, tends to be highly reactive. Analysts and policy-makers usually spend their time discussing what the Russian government might do in the future and how the United States will (or should) react. This is not actually a useful model for foreign policy planning. Over thirty years ago, Russell Ackoff, one of the pioneers in operational planning research, described reactive planning as walking into the future while facing the past. In his words, a reactive planner “has a good view of where the organization has been and is, but no view of where it is going.” In this memo, I will describe the three forms of planning outlined by Ackoff and make the case for the advantage of developing a Russia policy based on the principles of interactive planning. [...]

More (PDF)