IN PURSUIT OF A GRAND STRATEGY

Grand strategy is an elusive beast. Everybody wants some. We all agree it’s important but nobody can agree exactly what it is. And everybody wants to teach about the topic. A BETTER PEACE welcomes Christopher McKnight Nichols and Andrew Preston to the virtual studio, who along with Doctor Elizabeth Borgwardt, have edited a fascinating new essay collection Rethinking American Grand Strategy from Oxford University Press. The two join podcast editor Ron Granieri to discuss the how the book came about, and their contributions to the grand strategy conversation.

THE GRAND STRATEGY OF CARL VON CLAUSEWITZ

WAR ROOM welcomes Francis Miyata to demonstrate that Clausewitz provides an implicit definition of grand strategy in his magnum opus, On War. Francis argues that the definition is found not in his theory of war but extrapolated from his theory of the state, which is the bearer of multiple means of political intercourse, including war. He examines how the definition integrates all the tools of statecraft into a seamless whole, which today more than ever is an imperative of strategizing amidst the conditions of contemporary global politics.

WHAT GOOD IS GRAND STRATEGY? (A WHITEBOARD)

A grand strategy defines a country’s interests, the threats to those interests and the policies as well as the military forces to defend them. For this Whiteboard we reached out again to several scholars at the Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas A&M University. We sent them the following prompt: What good is grand […]

CHINA’S GRAND STRATEGY AND THE BRI

There has never been anything like it in recorded history where a country has put…a trillion dollars aside to help in jump starting all of these infrastructure projects around the country Much has been made of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Wary watcher’s are quick to point out the spread of Chinese influence in […]

WHITEBOARD RESPONSE: DOES ‘BROADENING’ WORK?

Broadening experiences are essential to the development of Army leaders—both Officer and Enlisted Thanks to all those who provided the responses to the following question: If we define a “broadening experience” as an educational opportunity or work assignment in which Army personnel are a small minority of the relevant population, are such experiences essential for […]

WHITEBOARD RESPONSE: IS THE US MILITARY TACTICALLY PROFICIENT, BUT STRATEGICALLY DEFICIENT? (2 OF 2)

maybe the grandiose version of strategy is overrated. A nation that muddles along may nonetheless move forward; and America has done just that. This is the second of two response posts for the Whiteboard on the U.S. military’s strategic proficiency (or deficiency). Thanks to everyone who submitted responses. The next Whiteboard is coming soon. Stay tuned! Based on the […]

WHITEBOARD RESPONSE: IS THE US MILITARY TACTICALLY PROFICIENT, BUT STRATEGICALLY DEFICIENT? (1 OF 2)

If strategy is what you do when you run out of money, our post Cold War primacy has largely reduced strategy to the dollar sign on the Pentagon budget Thank you to everyone who submitted. We received a large number of strong responses – in fact, we received so many that we decided to spread out […]

PRESERVING PEACE THROUGH ECONOMIC STRENGTH — ECONOMICS SERIES

The real competitive strength of the U.S. is in our [political and economic] system, particularly the interaction between the two. The politics generally keeps its hands off. C. Richard Neu, former economist at RAND and U.S. Army War College Professor Joel Hillison return to the WAR ROOM studio for the second installment of our podcast […]

WHITEBOARD: IS THE US MILITARY TACTICALLY PROFICIENT, BUT STRATEGICALLY DEFICIENT?

It is striking how much difficulty the United States has had converting its tactical advantages into clear strategic ‘Wins’ in the post-Cold War period The next Whiteboard tackles a thorny issue where there is much disagreement. We polled faculty, students, and academics from around the country for their views about the U.S. military’s proficiency in tactics […]

“STAR WARS” AS A LENS FOR GRAND STRATEGY?

Instead of what the Melian dialogue tells us, which is that ‘Might Makes Right,’ … when it comes to Supreme Command, ‘Right Makes Might.’ Whoever has the superior decisions wins. Science fiction has a long history of helping provide simple explanations for complex phenomena. Few phenomena are as complex, and as elusive, a grand strategy. […]

AMERICA’S BYZANTINE STRATEGY

The U.S. can do worse than emulate the strategy of an empire that survived for a thousand years. The Roman Empire was the longest-lasting empire in world history, enduring more than fourteen centuries. Throughout its republican and imperial history, Rome relied heavily on military power, using conquest to expand the empire. As Luttwak observes in […]

HOPE IS NOT ‘A’ STRATEGY: IT’S THE ONLY STRATEGY

Hope … is at the core of the most successful components of American grand strategy over the last seventy-plus years. “Hope is not a strategy” is the ultimate morsel of accepted certainty, an effective way to shut down an argument with someone who dares utter the word “hope” in a national security strategy debate. When […]

INDIA’S JOINT DOCTRINE: HOPELESS MUDDLE, OR THE START OF STRATEGIC ARTICULATION?

Indian civil-military relations enjoy the paradox of being applauded for robust civilian control in a region where that is not common, while being condemned for an absence of a constructive dialogue on strategic issues between civilian and military leaders In April 2017, the Headquarters of the Indian Integrated Staff – the equivalent to the U.S. […]