Grand Strategy

Primary Sources

Secretary Hagel's Remarks at People's Liberation Army National Defense University

Secretary Chuck Hagel traveled to China and Japan as part of the Obama administration's rebalance to the Asia Pacific region. On April 8, 2014, he spoke at the PLA's National Defense University about military-to-military relations and took questions about the U.S. stance on East China Sea and South China Sea disputes, the status of Taiwan, and the rapid economic development in China.

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Primary Sources

President Obama: State of the Union Address

The State of the Union is a speech given annually by the president to Congress, in which the president outlines the current condition of the United States and national priorities for the coming year, based on the U.S. Constitution, Article Two, Section Three. President Obama has delivered his State of the Union Address speeches on January 27, 2010, January 25, 2011, January 24, 2012, February 12, 2013, and January 28, 2014.

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Primary Sources

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Marciel's Testimony on the Rebalance to Asia

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Scot Marciel, testified on December 18, 2013 about the economic aspects of the Obama Administration's rebalance to Asia, before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs.

See more in Asia and Pacific; United States; Grand Strategy; Economic Development

Primary Sources

Asahi Shimbun Interview with Vice President Biden

The Asahi Shimbun, a Japanese newspaper, conducted a written interview with Vice President Joe Biden on December 2, 2013, before the vice president's trip to China, Japan, and South Korea. The interview covers China's announcement of its Air Defense Identification Zone, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, defense and cybersecurity alliances, and the Obama administration's "pivot to Asia."

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Article

Syria, Threats of Force, and Constitutional War Powers

Author: Matthew C. Waxman
Yale Law Journal Online

Matthew Waxman argues that debates about constitutional war powers neglect the critical role of threats of war or force in U.S. foreign policy. The recent Syria case highlights the President's vast legal power to threaten military force as well as the political constraints imposed by Congress on such threats. Incorporating threats into an understanding of constitutional powers over war and peace upends traditional arguments about presidential flexibility and congressional checks—arguments that have failed to keep pace with changes in U.S. grand strategy.

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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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