Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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p. vii

Figures and Tables

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pp. ix-x

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Foreword

Richard C. Leone

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pp. xi-xiii

During the 1990s, most Americans got comfortable with the fact that foreign policy and national security issues were drifting gradually to the back of the line in terms of both media and political attention. Victors in the cold war, champions of free trade, exemplars of prosperity, and marketers par excellence, America seemed to be embarked on a new era of self-absorption and even complacency after a half century of global conflict and tension. Some rough...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xv-xvii

This is a big-picture book. It concerns the fundamental direction that the United States should take in its foreign policy and grand strategy. No one person can write, unaided, a book that deals with as many subjects as this one does. Consequently, I have relied on so many people for so many things that this book is as much a product of their efforts as mine, even though many of them are not aware of this fact. My first debt is to three role models...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-11

This book deals with America’s role in world politics, and specifically with its foreign policy and military strategy. These two subjects matter because the United States is the world’s preeminent actor, and because it will remain so for at least several more decades. As a consequence, the foreign policy goals that the United States sets for itself, and the ways that it employs its overwhelming military power, will greatly affect how well it fares during its moment in...

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1. The International Setting

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pp. 12-44

To develop a grand strategy for the United States, we must begin with the international environment and America’s place in it. International conditions alone do not, and should not, wholly determine a state’s foreign policy, but they do impose constraints on state action, as well as offering opportunities to exploit. Our initial task, then, is to delineate those features of the contemporary environment that most directly affect America’s security and prosperity...

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2. America’s National Interests

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pp. 45-81

The most fundamental task in devising a grand strategy is to determine a state’s national interests. Once they are identified, they drive a nation’s foreign policy and military strategy: they determine the basic direction that it takes, the types and amounts of resources that it needs, and the manner in which the state must employ them to succeed. Because of the critical role that national interests...

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3. Dominion, Collective Security,and Containment

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pp. 82-120

To advance America’s national interests, there are eight possible grand strategies to consider: dominion, global collective security, regional collective security, cooperative security, containment, isolationism, offshore balancing, and selective engagement. We can describe the central thrust of each strategy briefly as follows: • dominion aims to rule the world; • global collective security, to keep the peace everywhere; • regional collective security, to keep...

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4. Selective Engagement

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pp. 121-171

Selective engagement is the grand strategy I advocate, and in this chapter I explain why. Selective engagement steers a middle course between an overly restrictive and an overly expansive definition of America’s interests. It allocates America’s political attention and material resources first to the interests defined as vital and highly important, but it holds out hope that the important interests can also be realized at least in part. Selective engagement sets the...

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5. Isolationism and Offshore Balancing

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pp. 172-197

As Chapter 3 showed, isolationism and offshore balancing are the only two viable alternatives to selective engagement. I call them the “free hand” strategies because they shun formal standing commitments to employ America’s military power and are as sparing as possible in its use. Both are feasible in that...

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6. Selective Engagement and the FreeHand Strategies

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pp. 198-222

AUnited States gone isolationist, or one reverting to offshore balancing, would cancel all of America’s standing military alliances, starting with NATO and the U.S.-Japanese alliance. It would bring home all of its military forces stationed abroad, save for its powerful navy sailing the seas and making periodic stops in foreign ports. It would use its military forces primarily to deter or defeat an attack on the homeland, to prevent the emergence of a Eurasian...

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7. Implementing Selective Engagement

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pp. 223-252

The purpose of this book has been to determine which grand strategy best suits the United States in this era. After evaluating all of the possibilities, I have argued that selective engagement is the preferred choice. It is not a strategy for all times, but it is the best for these times. It selects the goals most advantageous to the United States, and it employs America’s considerable military...

Notes

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pp. 253-304

Index

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pp. 305-324