what good is grand strategy

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What Good Is Grand Strategy

Author : Hal Brands
ISBN : 9780801470271
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 69. 73 MB
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Grand strategy is one of the most widely used and abused concepts in the foreign policy lexicon. In this important book, Hal Brands explains why grand strategy is a concept that is so alluring—and so elusive—to those who make American statecraft. He explores what grand strategy is, why it is so essential, and why it is so hard to get right amid the turbulence of global affairs and the chaos of domestic politics. At a time when “grand strategy” is very much in vogue, Brands critically appraises just how feasible that endeavor really is. Brands takes a historical approach to this subject, examining how four presidential administrations, from that of Harry S. Truman to that of George W. Bush, sought to “do” grand strategy at key inflection points in the history of modern U.S. foreign policy. As examples ranging from the early Cold War to the Reagan years to the War on Terror demonstrate, grand strategy can be an immensely rewarding undertaking—but also one that is full of potential pitfalls on the long road between conception and implementation. Brands concludes by offering valuable suggestions for how American leaders might approach the challenges of grand strategy in the years to come.

American Grand Strategy In The Age Of Trump

Author : Hal Brands
ISBN : 9780815732792
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 46. 70 MB
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Looking beyond the headlines to address the enduring grand strategic questions facing the United States today American foreign policy is in a state of upheaval. The rise of Donald Trump and his "America First" platform have created more uncertainty about America's role in the world than at any time in recent decades. From the South China Sea, to the Middle East, to the Baltics and Eastern Europe, the geopolitical challenges to U.S. power and influence seem increasingly severe—and America's responses to those challenges seem increasingly unsure. Questions that once had widely accepted answers are now up for debate. What role should the United States play in the world? Can, and should, America continue to pursue an engaged an assertive strategy in global affairs? In this book, a leading scholar of grand strategy helps to make sense of the headlines and the upheaval by providing sharp yet nuanced assessments of the most critical issues in American grand strategy today. Hal Brands asks, and answers, such questions as: Has America really blundered aimlessly in the world since the end of the Cold War, or has its grand strategy actually been mostly sensible and effective? Is America in terminal decline, or can it maintain its edge in a harsher and more competitive environment? Did the Obama administration pursue a policy of disastrous retrenchment, or did it execute a shrewd grand strategy focused on maximizing U.S. power for the long term? Does Donald Trump's presidency mean that American internationalism is dead? What type of grand strategy might America pursue in the age of Trump and after? What would happen if the United States radically pulled back from the world, as many leading academics—and, at certain moments, the current president—have advocated? How much military power does America need in the current international environment? Grappling with these kinds of issues is essential to understanding the state of America's foreign relations today and what path the country might take in the years ahead. At a time when American grand strategy often seems consumed by crisis, this collection of essays provides an invaluable guide to thinking about both the recent past and the future of America's role in the world.

The End Of Grand Strategy

Author : Simon Reich
ISBN : 9781501714641
Genre : History
File Size : 47. 29 MB
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In The End of Grand Strategy, Simon Reich and Peter Dombrowski challenge the common view of grand strategy as unitary. They eschew prescription of any one specific approach, chosen from a spectrum that stretches from global primacy to restraint and isolationism, in favor of describing what America’s military actually does, day to day. They argue that a series of fundamental recent changes in the global system, the inevitable jostling of bureaucratic politics, and the practical limitations of field operations combine to ensure that each presidential administration inevitably resorts to a variety of strategies. Proponents of different American grand strategies have historically focused on the pivotal role of the Navy. In response, Reich and Dombrowski examine six major maritime operations, each of which reflects one major strategy. One size does not fit all, say the authors—the attempt to impose a single overarching blueprint is no longer feasible. Reich and Dombrowski declare that grand strategy, as we know it, is dead. The End of Grand Strategy is essential reading for policymakers, military strategists, and analysts and critics at advocacy groups and think tanks.

The Peace Of Illusions

Author : Christopher Layne
ISBN : 0801474116
Genre : History
File Size : 79. 99 MB
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In a provocative book about American hegemony, Christopher Layne outlines his belief that U.S. foreign policy has been consistent in its aims for more than sixty years and that the current Bush administration clings to mid-twentieth-century tactics—to no good effect. What should the nation's grand strategy look like for the next several decades? The end of the cold war profoundly and permanently altered the international landscape, yet we have seen no parallel change in the aims and shape of U.S. foreign policy. The Peace of Illusions intervenes in the ongoing debate about American grand strategy and the costs and benefits of "American empire." Layne urges the desirability of a strategy he calls "offshore balancing": rather than wield power to dominate other states, the U.S. government should engage in diplomacy to balance large states against one another. The United States should intervene, Layne asserts, only when another state threatens, regionally or locally, to destroy the established balance. Drawing on extensive archival research, Layne traces the form and aims of U.S. foreign policy since 1940, examining alternatives foregone and identifying the strategic aims of different administrations. His offshore-balancing notion, if put into practice with the goal of extending the "American Century," would be a sea change in current strategy. Layne has much to say about present-day governmental decision making, which he examines from the perspectives of both international relations theory and American diplomatic history.

Theory Of Strategy

Author : Colin S. Gray
ISBN : 9780198800668
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 74. 92 MB
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This book provides a short and accessible introduction to the theory of strategy, examines the general theory of strategy in accordance with 23 key Principles and explains its nature, functions, and intended consequences. Theory of Strategy makes the radical argument that the familiar structure of strategy's general theory (political ends, strategic ways, military means - and assumptions) holds as sound for security at all times and in all places, of human necessity. Strategy is ever-varying in its character, but not in its nature, which is unchanging.

The Obama Doctrine

Author : Colin Dueck
ISBN : 9780190202644
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 74. 41 MB
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By mid-2015, the Obama presidency will be entering its final stages, and the race among the successors in both parties will be well underway. And while experts have already formed a provisional understanding of the Obama administration's foreign policy goals, the shape of the "Obama Doctrine" is finally coming into full view. It has been consistently cautious since Obama was inaugurated in 2009, but recent events in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and the Far East have led an increasingly large number of foreign policy experts to conclude that caution has transformed into weakness. In The Obama Doctrine, Colin Dueck analyzes and explains what the Obama Doctrine in foreign policy actually is, and maps out the competing visions on offer from the Republican Party. Dueck, a leading scholar of US foreign policy, contends it is now becoming clear that Obama's policy of international retrenchment is in large part a function of his emphasis on achieving domestic policy goals. There have been some successes in the approach, but there have also been costs. For instance, much of the world no longer trusts the US to exert its will in international politics, and America's adversaries overseas have asserted themselves with increasing frequency. The Republican Party will target these perceived weaknesses in the 2016 presidential campaign and develop competing counter-doctrines in the process. Dueck explains that within the Republican Party, there are two basic impulses vying with each other: neo-isolationism and forceful internationalism. Dueck subdivides each impulse into the specific agenda of the various factions within the party: Tea Party nationalism, neoconservatism, conservative internationalism, and neo-isolationism. He favors a realistic but forceful US internationalism, and sees the willingness to disengage from the world by some elements of the party as dangerous. After dissecting the various strands, he articulates an agenda of forward-leaning American realism--that is, a policy in which the US engages with the world and is willing to use threats of force for realist ends. The Obama Doctrine not only provides a sharp appraisal of foreign policy in the Obama era; it lays out an alternative approach to marshaling American power that will help shape the foreign policy debate in the run-up to the 2016 elections.

The Promise And Pitfalls Of Grand Strategy Enlarged Edition

Author : Hal Brands
ISBN : 9781304057013
Genre :
File Size : 68. 61 MB
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Emergent Strategy And Grand Strategy

Author : Ionut Popescu
ISBN : 9781421423777
Genre : History
File Size : 76. 64 MB
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"Ionut Popescu explores how successful American grand strategy comes about. For most experts in the academic world of political science and in the Washington policymaking community, the answer lies in the design and implementation of a farsighted strategic plan or framework. The role of such a Grand Design is to guide the president's foreign policy actions and resource allocation decisions in the pursuit of specific long-term objectives. The alternative to following a Grand Design is usually said to consist of ad-hoc, incoherent, and ultimately unsuccessful foreign policy decision-making. But what if successful grand strategies are sometimes formed through an emergent process of learning and adaptation, instead of being the product of strategic planning and farsighted designs? Popescu argues that the Emergent Strategy model, adapted from the business strategy literature, explains some of the traditional success stories and failures of American grand strategy better than the prevalent Grand Design model. These findings suggest the need to shift the focus of policymakers away from planning for long-term objectives and toward short- and medium-term incremental learning and adaptation. Based on this new theoretical understanding of successful grand strategy being formed by either Design or Emergent elements depending on the circumstances, the book also offers a framework to help policymakers and strategic planners choose the right model and tools based on the level of uncertainty they face in the external environment"--

Rising To The Challenge

Author : Avery Goldstein
ISBN : 0804752184
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 81. 26 MB
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This book describes and explains the grand strategy China's leaders have adopted to pursue their country's interests in the international system of the 21st century

The Promise And Pitfalls Of Grand Strategy

Author : Hal Brands
ISBN : OCLC:809181544
Genre : Strategic planning
File Size : 65. 7 MB
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What is "grand strategy," and why is it seemingly so important and so difficult? This monograph explores the concept of grand strategy as it has developed over the past several decades. It explains why the concept is so ubiquitous in discussions of present-day foreign policy, examines why American officials often find the formulation of a successful grand strategy to be such an exacting task, and explores the ways in which having a grand strategy can be both useful and problematic. It illustrates these points via an analysis of two key periods in modern American grand strategy -- the Truman years at the outset of the Cold War, and the Nixon-Kissinger years in the late 1960s and 1970s -- and provides several suggestions for how U.S. officials might approach the challenges of grand strategy in the 21st century.

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