Talking Grand Strategy




Lately there has been a great deal of editorializing, sermonizing even, on the topic of the grand strategy of the United States. A consensus has emerged that the United States has no grand strategy. At one end of the spectrum of opinion, we have Andrew Bacevich of Boston University claiming, 'There is no czar for strategy. This most crucial portfolio remains unassigned.' From the other end of the spectrum the ubiquitous Ralph Peters writes, 'Pause to consider how lockstep what passes for analysis in Washington has become.' Both men are referring to the U.S. strategy--or lack of it--in Afghanistan. In August 2009, on the opening day of the new class at the Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC), retired Marine Corps General Anthony Zinni implied that the kind of 'reordering' that took place after World War II under President Truman and retired General George C. Marshall has not taken place since. I submit that when General Zinni said 'reordering,' he meant 'grand strategy.' The implications of this view are troubling. How could a global hegemon like the United States lack the sine qua non of a coherent national security strategy.



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