Only by getting its own house in order will the United States be in a position to set an example other societies will want to emulate, argues CFR President Richard N. Haass. And only by fixing itself will the United States possess the resources necessary to discourage or deal with the emergence of a serious political and military competitor.
A decade ago, when the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq began, the United States chose to immerse itself in the greater Middle East when it had little reason to dive in. But now that most Americans want little to do with the region, U.S. officials are finding it difficult to turn away.
Asked by Zahra Fatima, from Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad
"Grand strategy" is defined as a coherent plan to use diplomatic, military, and economic instruments in certain ways to achieve national, overarching objectives. Grand strategies are usually identified by simple labels such as "containment," "détente," or "engagement and enlargement." In reality, international politics is complicated, and a democratic political system at home imposes constraints from public opinion, mobilized interest groups, and Congress.
Secretary of State John Kerry is launching new Mideast shuttle diplomacy, but President Obama's commitment to brokering an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement remains to be seen, says expert Martin Indyk.
National Security Advisor Thomas Donilon gave these remarks at Asia Society in New York on March 11, 2013. He discussed why the Obama administration "rebalanced" to Asia, how the United States will contribute to the region's security, and regional and economic architecture.
If there's one indisputable fact about this most polarizing of figures, it's that he is hard to get rid of -- and every retreat, even his most recent withdrawal from political life, lays the groundwork for an eventual counterattack.
Distinguished professors Daniel Deudney and G. John Ikenberry argue that the United States should initiate a new phase of democratic internationalism based on the "pull of success rather than the push of power."
The post-war U.S. approach to strategy is rapidly becoming insolvent and unsustainable. If Washington continues to cling to its existing role on the premise that the international order depends upon it, the result will be increasing resistance, economic ruin, and strategic failure with consequences harming U.S. credibility, diplomacy, and military operations.
"Between 1500 and 1800, the West sprinted ahead of other centers of power in Asia and the Middle East. Europe and the United States have dominated the world since," writes Charles A. Kupchan in a new CFR book, No One's World: The West, The Rising Rest, and the Coming Global Turn. But this era is coming to a close, he argues, as power shifts from the West to the rising rest.
Authors: Nikolas Gvosdev and Ray Takeyh The National Interest
Nikolas Gvosdev and Ray Takeyh argue that the justifying of America's Libya campaign solely on humanitarian grounds marked a fundamental break with past U.S. policy prescriptions for such military interventions.
Richard N. Haass argues that the United States should adopt a doctrine of Restoration as its guiding foreign policy framework, focusing on "restoring this country's strength and replenishing its economic, human, and physical resources."
Charles Kupchan states, "Tectonic shifts in international affairs and in political and economic conditions within the United States call for reconsideration of the first principles of American grand strategy—the fundamental tenets guiding the nation's statecraft."
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.