A Roadmap for American Grand Strategy: Op-Ed by Prof. William Martel

The Diplomat

William C. Martel is Associate Professor of International Security Studies at The Fletcher School, Tufts University.

(Please see Part I of our three part series on American Grand Strategy: America's Dangerous Drift.)

Part Two: The United States desperately needs to formulate a grand strategy that reinforces the domestic foundations of American power while providing strategic guidance and direction to the nation’s actions in foreign policy. America must adapt with new ideas, tools and innovations if it is going to meet the opportunities and challenges of a rapidly changing world. To be successful, this strategy must embrace several overarching themes.

First, the United States must remain committed to playing a leadership role. While a deep and painful economic downturn followed by a slow recovery has dimmed the American public’s interest in global leadership, the costs of inaction are simply too great to contemplate. America has led in building the global order that we see today, but the image of a world without strong American engagement is equally dismal and potentially catastrophic.

Consider the chaos enveloping Libya, Egypt, and Syria. Or, consider Iran’s nuclear ambitions, North Korea’s ballistic missile tests, or the pressure on states in Eurasia as Russia and China become increasingly assertive. The list of foreign policy problems calling for American leadership is long and growing ever longer.

Read the full essay

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