For over two decades, a select group of students at Yale University has been admitted into the year-long 'Grand Strategy' seminar taught by John Lewis Gaddis and Paul Kennedy. The purpose of the seminar is to furnish these students with a grounding in strategic decision-making in the face of crisis, to equip future world leaders with the intellectual tools necessary to meet the challenges and opportunities they will face. On Grand Strategy is the distillation of the experience of that course, and in it Gaddis takes the reader from the commanding heights of statesmanship across the landscape of world history from the ancient Greeks to Lincoln, and beyond.
Within a variety of historical contexts, The Shaping of Grand Strategy addresses the most important tasks states have confronted: namely, how to protect their citizens against the short-range as well as long-range dangers their polities confront in the present and may confront in the future. To be successful, grand strategy demands that governments and leaders chart a course that involves more than simply reacting to immediate events. Above all, it demands they adapt to sudden and major changes in the international environment, which more often than not involves the outbreak of great conflicts but at times demands recognition of major economic, political, or diplomatic changes. This collection of essays explores the successes as well as failures of great states attempting to create grand strategies that work and aims at achieving an understanding of some of the extraordinary difficulties involved in casting, evolving and adapting grand strategy to the realities of the world.
A master class in strategic thinking, distilled from the legendary program the author has co-taught at Yale for decades For almost two decades, Yale students have competed for admission each year to the "Studies in Grand Strategy" seminar taught by John Lewis Gaddis, Paul Kennedy, and Charles Hill. Its purpose has been to prepare future leaders for responsibilities they will face, through lessons drawn from history and the classics. Now Gaddis has distilled that teaching into a succinct, sharp and potentially transformational book, surveying statecraft from the ancient Greeks to Franklin D. Roosevelt and beyond. An unforgettable guide to the art of leadership, On Grand Strategy is, in every way, its own master class.
This book addresses the 'blank sheet of paper' problem. When given a blank sheet of paper and asked to imagine a new grand strategy or to revise or even critique an existing one where should you start? There is no other book that answers this question. There are many books and articles on the history of specific grand strategies and numerous others that advocate a particular grand strategy that a specific nation - usually America - should adopt. None however, take an approach that can be easily applied to new and emerging grand strategy problems of any country or organisation. Illustrating this, the book's case studies examine various grand strategies of a uniquely diverse range of countries and organisations to reveal why they succeeded - or not. The book is deliberately designed to allow busy people to understand and apply grand strategy to solve complex, real world problems. Drawing on recent studies in cognition, and integrating contemporary international relations theories, the book develops a lucid and structured way for us to think better about grand strategy. The case studies include: US Iraq War Grand Strategy 1991-1992 Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eeelam (LTTE) Grand Strategy 1990-2002 Soviet Union Détente Grand Strategy 1965-1980 US ERP (Marshall Plan) Grand Strategy 1947-52 Iranian Hezbollah Grand Strategy 1982-2006 British Interwar Appeasement Grand Strategy 1934-1939 British Malayan Emergency Grand Strategy 1948-1960 Landmines Ban Campaign Grand Strategy 1992-1999 US Iraq Regime Change Grand Strategy 2002-2003 The Kindle edition of this book is the same except for the diagrams which in the Kindle version have been recreated as tables due to formatting issues. The website www.grandstrategy.com.au has further details about the book and additional material.
This book explores fundamental questions about grand strategy, as it has evolved across generations and countries. It provides an overview of the ancient era of grand strategy and a detailed discussion of its philosophical, military, and economic foundations in the modern era. The author investigates these aspects through the lenses of four approaches - those of historians, social scientists, practitioners, and military strategists. The main goal is to provide contemporary policy makers and scholars with a historic and analytic framework in which to evaluate and conduct grand strategy. By providing greater analytical clarity about grand strategy and describing its nature and its utility for the state, this book presents a comprehensive theory on the practice of grand strategy in order to articulate the United States' past, present, and future purpose and position on the world stage.
At the height of its power, the Roman Empire encompassed the entire Mediterranean basin, extending much beyond it from Britain to Mesopotamia, from the Rhine to the Black Sea. Rome prospered for centuries while successfully resisting attack, fending off everything from overnight robbery raids to full-scale invasion attempts by entire nations on the move. How were troops able to defend the Empire’s vast territories from constant attacks? And how did they do so at such moderate cost that their treasury could pay for an immensity of highways, aqueducts, amphitheaters, city baths, and magnificent temples? In The Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire, seasoned defense analyst Edward N. Luttwak reveals how the Romans were able to combine military strength, diplomacy, and fortifications to effectively respond to changing threats. Rome’s secret was not ceaseless fighting, but comprehensive strategies that unified force, diplomacy, and an immense infrastructure of roads, forts, walls, and barriers. Initially relying on client states to buffer attacks, Rome moved to a permanent frontier defense around 117 CE. Finally, as barbarians began to penetrate the empire, Rome filed large armies in a strategy of “defense-in-depth,” allowing invaders to pierce Rome’s borders. This updated edition has been extensively revised to incorporate recent scholarship and archeological findings. A new preface explores Roman imperial statecraft. This illuminating book remains essential to both ancient historians and students of modern strategy.
The United States today is the most powerful nation in the world, perhaps even stronger than Rome was during its heyday. It is likely to remain the world's preeminent power for at least several decades to come. What behavior is appropriate for such a powerful state? To answer this question, Robert J. Art concentrates on "grand strategy"-the deployment of military power in both peace and war to support foreign policy goals. He first defines America's contemporary national interests and the specific threats they face, then identifies seven grand strategies that the United States might contemplate, examining each in relation to America's interests. The seven are: •dominion-forcibly trying to remake the world in America's own image; • global collective security-attempting to keep the peace everywhere; •regional collective security-confining peacekeeping efforts to Europe; • cooperative security-seeking to reduce the occurrence of war by limiting other states' offensive capabilities; • isolationism-withdrawing from all military involvement beyond U.S. borders; •containment-holding the line against aggressor states; and •selective engagement-choosing to prevent or to become involved only in those conflicts that pose a threat to the country's long-term interests. Art makes a strong case for selective engagement as the most desirable strategy for contemporary America. It is the one that seeks to forestall dangers, not simply react to them; that is politically viable, at home and abroad; and that protects all U.S. interests, both essential and desirable. Art concludes that "selective engagement is not a strategy for all times, but it is the best grand strategy for these times."
A book that looks at international relations through the lens of classic literary works defines what it is to build a civil society through diplomacy, justice and lawful governance and describes how these ideas emerge from and reflect human nature.
A nation's grand strategy rarely serves the best interests of all its citizens. Instead, every strategic choice benefits some domestic groups at the expense of others. When groups with different interests separate into opposing coalitions, societal debates over foreign policy become polarized along party lines. Parties then select leaders who share the priorities of their principal electoral and financial backers. As a result, the overarching goals and guiding principles of grand strategy, as formulated at the highest levels of government, derive from domestic coalitional interests. In The Political Economy of Grand Strategy, Kevin Narizny develops these insights into a comprehensive theoretical framework for understanding the dynamics of security policy. The focus of this analysis is the puzzle of partisanship. The conventional view of grand strategy, in which state leaders act as neutral arbiters of the "national interest," cannot explain why political turnover in the executive office often leads to dramatic shifts in state behavior. Narizny, in contrast, shows how domestic politics structured foreign policymaking in the United States and Great Britain from 1865 to 1941. In so doing, he sheds light on long-standing debates over the revival of British imperialism, the rise of American expansionism, the creation of the League of Nations, American isolationism in the interwar period, British appeasement in the 1930s, and both countries' decisions to enter World War I and World War II.
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.
In strategic studies and international relations, grand strategy is a frequently-invoked concept. Yet, despite its popularity, it is not well understood and it has many definitions, some of which are even mutually contradictory. This state of affairs undermines its usefulness for scholars and practitioners alike. Lukas Milevski aims to remedy this situation by offering a conceptual history of grand strategy in the English language, analysing its evolution from 1805 to the present day in the writings of its major proponents. In doing so, he seeks to clarify the meaning and role of the concept, both theoretically and practically, and shed light on its continuing utility today.
This book accounts the Reagan administration's development and execution of the grand strategy that led to the collapse of the Soviet Union, emphasizing the coordinated use of diplomatic, informational, military, and economic instruments of national power. It challenges the dominant narrative that often denies the existence of the grand strategy.
This book presents a novel analysis of how US grand strategy has evolved from the end of the Cold War to the present, offering an integrated analysis of both continuity and change. The post-Cold War American grand strategy has continued to be oriented to securing an ‘open door’ to US capital around the globe. This book will show that the three different administrations that have been in office in the post-Cold War era have pursued this goal with varying means: from Clinton’s promotion of neoliberal globalization to Bush’s ‘war on terror’ and Obama’s search to maintain US primacy in the face of a declining economy and a rising Asia. In seeking to make sense of both these strong continuities and these significant variations the book takes as its point of departure the social sources of grand strategy (making), with the aim to relate state (public) power to social (private) power. While developing its own theoretical framework to make sense of the evolution of US grand strategy, it offers a rich and rigorous empirical analysis based on extensive primary data that have been collected over the past years. It draws on a unique data-set that consists of extensive biographical data of 30 cabinet members and other senior foreign policy officials of each of the past three administrations of Clinton, G.W. Bush and Obama. This book is of great use to specialists in International Relations – within International Political Economy, International Security and Foreign Policy Analysis, as well as students of US Politics.
What is grand strategy and what is it good for? What are great powers, and which states are great powers today? What are the grand strategies available to great powers? What are the conditions under which a certain strategy is suitable and when should it be rejected? What are the factors affecting the success or failure of a given grand strategy? The present volume provides answers to these questions by introducing a typology of great power grand strategies, as strategies of rising, status quo, and declining powers, as well as through historical illustrations of each type. The reader is thus exposed to strategies such as divide and conquer, biding your time, opportunity strike, primacy, semi-detachment, concert, and appeasement through the experiences of leaders such as Bismarck, Peter the Great, Metternich, Deng Xiaoping, Neville Chamberlain, and Stalin. This analysis is then brought to bear on present developments in the grand strategies of the United States, China, and Russia. The volume should be of interest to both the academic and foreign policy-making communities, and in particular to students of international relations, diplomacy, history, and current international affairs.
This book develops a new approach in explaining how a nation's Grand Strategy is constituted, how to assess its merits, and how grand strategies may be comparatively evaluated within a broader framework. The volume responds to three key problems common to both academia and policymaking. First, the literature on the concept of grand strategy generally focuses on the United States, offering no framework for comparative analysis. Indeed, many proponents of US grand strategy suggest that the concept can only be applied, at most, to a very few great powers such as China and Russia. Second, characteristically it remains prescriptive rather than explanatory, ignoring the central conundrum of why differing countries respond in contrasting ways to similar pressures. Third, it often understates the significance of domestic politics and policymaking in the formulation of grand strategies - emphasizing mainly systemic pressures. This book addresses these problems. It seeks to analyze and explain grand strategies through the intersection of domestic and international politics in ten countries grouped distinctively as great powers (The G5), regional powers (Brazil and India) and pivotal powers hostile to each other who are able to destabilize the global system (Iran, Israel, and Saudi Arabia). The book thus employs a comparative framework that describes and explains why and how domestic actors and mechanisms, coupled with external pressures, create specific national strategies. Overall, the book aims to fashion a valid, cross-contextual framework for an emerging research program on grand strategic analysis.
In this book, the distinguished writer Edward Luttwak presents the grand strategy of the eastern Roman empire we know as Byzantine, which lasted more than twice as long as the more familiar western Roman empire. The Grand Strategy of the Byzantine Empire is a broad, interpretive account of Byzantine strategy, intelligence, and diplomacy over the course of eight centuries that will appeal to scholars, classicists, military history buffs, and professional soldiers.
The United States, Barry R. Posen argues in Restraint, has grown incapable of moderating its ambitions in international politics. Since the collapse of Soviet power, it has pursued a grand strategy that he calls "liberal hegemony," one that Posen sees as unnecessary, counterproductive, costly, and wasteful. Written for policymakers and observers alike, Restraint explains precisely why this grand strategy works poorly and then provides a carefully designed alternative grand strategy and an associated military strategy and force structure. In contrast to the failures and unexpected problems that have stemmed from America’s consistent overreaching, Posen makes an urgent argument for restraint in the future use of U.S. military strength. After setting out the political implications of restraint as a guiding principle, Posen sketches the appropriate military forces and posture that would support such a strategy. He works with a deliberately constrained notion of grand strategy and, even more important, of national security (which he defines as including sovereignty, territorial integrity, power position, and safety). His alternative for military strategy, which Posen calls "command of the commons," focuses on protecting U.S. global access through naval, air, and space power, while freeing the United States from most of the relationships that require the permanent stationing of U.S. forces overseas.
The New Grand Strategy tells the story of a plan, born within the Pentagon, to recapture America’s greatness at home and abroad by elevating sustainability as our new strategic imperative. It aligns our enduring national interests of prosperity and security with a new framework that addresses pressing economic, social, and environmental issues at home, tapping into a trillion-dollar market demand for walkable communities, regenerative agriculture and resource productivity. It is an inspiring vision of what’s possible when Americans hold a collective view of the future and come together to bring it to reality. This is no idealistic pipe dream or wonky policy prescription. The story that unfolds in this book weaves together hard-nosed economic analysis, a clear-eyed study of demographic and societal shifts, the realities of climate change and resource scarcity, a risk-based assessment of America’s challenges and opportunities, and on-the-ground reporting of how much this is already unfolding throughout the country. By rediscovering the power and discipline of grand strategy—and taking responsibility for our future—America can reimagine the American dream and once again take on “the cause of all mankind.” Released during one of America’s most divisive presidential election campaigns, The New Grand Strategy avoids the partisan rhetoric dividing our nation today. Instead of placing blame, it offers a clear, pragmatic plan that can unite Americans and launch a new era of prosperity and security.
As new presidential administrations come into power, they each bring their own approach to foreign policy. No grand strategy, however, is going to be completely novel. New administrations never start with a blank slate, so it is always possible to see similarities between an administration and its predecessors. Conversely, since each administration faces novel problems and operates in a unique context, no foreign policy strategy is going to be an exact replica of its predecessors. In American Pendulum, Christopher Hemmer examines America’s grand strategic choices between 1914 and 2014 using four recurring debates in American foreign policy as lenses. First, how should the United States balance the trade-offs between working alone versus working with other states and international organizations? Second, what is the proper place of American values in foreign policy? Third, where does the strategic perimeter of the United States lie? And fourth, is time on the side of the United States or of its enemies? Offering new readings of debates within the Wilson, Truman, Nixon, Bush, and Obama administrations, Hemmer asserts that heated debates, disagreements, and even confusions over U.S. grand strategy are not only normal but also beneficial. He challenges the claim that uncertainties or inconsistences about the nation’s role in the world or approach to security issues betray strategic confusion or the absence of a grand strategy. American foreign policy, he states, is most in danger not when debates are at their most pointed but when the weight of opinion crushes dissent. As the United States looks ahead to an increasingly multipolar world with increasing complicated security issues, Hemmer concludes, developing an effective grand strategy requires ongoing contestation and compromises between competing visions and policies.