This is the guts of the process. The strategic level is what ties the whole thing together. Strategy moves from the possible entity (the goals) to the concrete entity (the tactics). This is absolutely backwards to how we usually think.

We live in the real world - the physical world. That is our present. When we dream - when we set goals - that is in the future. Our logical progression is from the present state to the future state. The strategic planning process turns that normal world state completely upside down.

The secret of strategy is that it ties the future possible situation to the present physical situation. Without the strategic portion of planning we merely plod along from the current to the future without direction or plan.