"Grand strategy" is one of the most widely used and abused concepts in the foreign policy lexicon. In this important book, Hal Brands explains why grand strategy is a concept that is so alluring - and so elusive - to those who make American statecraft. He explores what grand strategy is, why it is so essential, and why it is so hard to get right amid the turbulence of global affairs and the chaos of domestic politics.
What should the United States do after ISIS’ all-but-inevitable defeat? Despite President Donald Trump’s campaign rhetoric, the best approach is one close to the strategy the Obama administration pursued in 2016: airstrikes, raids by special operations forces, and battalion-sized U.S. forces deployed to counter specific threats.
A quarter century after the Cold War ended, critics have renewed their calls for the United States to abandon its existing grand strategy, which they contend has both cost too much in blood and treasure and delivered too little in terms of peace, prosperity, and security. John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt make this case in their article “The Case for Offshore Balancing” (July/August 2016), which charts an alternative course.