Grand Strategy

Ask CFR Experts

What is Obama’s “grand” foreign policy strategy?

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.

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Transcript

Democratic Internationalism: An American Grand Strategy for a Post-Exceptionalist Era

Presider: Stewart M. Patrick
Panelists: Daniel Deudney, G. John Ikenberry, and David Brooks

The discussion outlines a new U.S. grand strategy focused on reinvigorating solidarity between the United States and established democracies in defense of a world based on liberal principles and the rule of law, with Johns Hopkins University Professor Daniel Deudney, Princeton University Professor G. John Ikenberry, The New York Times columnist David Brooks, and CFR's Stewart M. Patrick.

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Must Read Author: Michael J. Mazarr

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.

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