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American Pendulum

Author: Christopher Hemmer
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 1501701185
Size: 28.84 MB
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As new presidential administrations come into power, they each bring their own approach to foreign policy. No grand strategy, however, is going to be completely novel. New administrations never start with a blank slate, so it is always possible to see similarities between an administration and its predecessors. Conversely, since each administration faces novel problems and operates in a unique context, no foreign policy strategy is going to be an exact replica of its predecessors. In American Pendulum, Christopher Hemmer examines America's grand strategic choices between 1914 and 2014 using four recurring debates in American foreign policy as lenses. First, how should the United States balance the trade-offs between working alone versus working with other states and international organizations? Second, what is the proper place of American values in foreign policy? Third, where does the strategic perimeter of the United States lie? And fourth, is time on the side of the United States or of its enemies? Offering new readings of debates within the Wilson, Truman, Nixon, Bush, and Obama administrations, Hemmer asserts that heated debates, disagreements, and even confusions over U.S. grand strategy are not only normal but also beneficial. He challenges the claim that uncertainties or inconsistences about the nation's role in the world or approach to security issues betray strategic confusion or the absence of a grand strategy. American foreign policy, he states, is most in danger not when debates are at their most pointed but when the weight of opinion crushes dissent. As the United States looks ahead to an increasingly multipolar world with increasing complicated security issues, Hemmer concludes, developing an effective grand strategy requires ongoing contestation and compromises between competing visions and policies.

Emergent Strategy And Grand Strategy

Author: Ionut Popescu
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 1421423774
Size: 65.67 MB
Format: PDF
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"Ionut Popescu explores how successful American grand strategy comes about. For most experts in the academic world of political science and in the Washington policymaking community, the answer lies in the design and implementation of a farsighted strategic plan or framework. The role of such a Grand Design is to guide the president's foreign policy actions and resource allocation decisions in the pursuit of specific long-term objectives. The alternative to following a Grand Design is usually said to consist of ad-hoc, incoherent, and ultimately unsuccessful foreign policy decision-making. But what if successful grand strategies are sometimes formed through an emergent process of learning and adaptation, instead of being the product of strategic planning and farsighted designs? Popescu argues that the Emergent Strategy model, adapted from the business strategy literature, explains some of the traditional success stories and failures of American grand strategy better than the prevalent Grand Design model. These findings suggest the need to shift the focus of policymakers away from planning for long-term objectives and toward short- and medium-term incremental learning and adaptation. Based on this new theoretical understanding of successful grand strategy being formed by either Design or Emergent elements depending on the circumstances, the book also offers a framework to help policymakers and strategic planners choose the right model and tools based on the level of uncertainty they face in the external environment"--

National Security Through A Cockeyed Lens

Author: Steve A. Yetiv
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 1421411253
Size: 52.77 MB
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"What are key mental errors that can undermine good decision making? Drawing on four decades of psychological, historical, and political science research on cognitive biases, this book illuminates key pitfalls in how we and our leaders make decisions. It shows in five case studies of American foreign and energy policy that such errors--a dozen different cognitive biases--have been more important in shaping and impacting U.S. national interests than we currently understand. In so doing, it also sheds light on U.S. foreign policy toward and interests in the Middle East. That story prominently features non-psychological explanations, but cognitive biases exercised by American and foreign actors also represent a slice of the story that is worth revealing. As examples, the book shows how the distorted cognitive lens of Al-Qaeda leaders contributed to the September 11 attacks and the ongoing conflict with America and the West; how overconfidence impacted America's decision to invade Iraq in 2003; and how short term thinking--a prominent cognitive bias--hurts America's ability to develop a comprehensive energy policy, making the Middle East more important to the United States and enhancing its proclivity to be involved in the region. The book is aimed chiefly at students and the lay public, though academics may benefit from it"--

National Interests In International Society

Author: Martha Finnemore
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 150170737X
Size: 34.19 MB
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How do states know what they want? Asking how interests are defined and how changes in them are accommodated, Martha Finnemore shows the fruitfulness of a constructivist approach to international politics. She draws on insights from sociological institutionalism to develop a systemic approach to state interests and state behavior by investigating an international structure not of power but of meaning and social value. An understanding of what states want, she argues, requires insight into the international social structure of which they are a part. States are embedded in dense networks of transnational and international social relations that shape their perceptions and their preferences in consistent ways. Finnemore focuses on international organizations as one important component of social structure and investigates the ways in which they redefine state preferences. She details three examples in different issue areas. In state structure, she discusses UNESCO and the changing international organization of science. In security, she analyzes the role of the Red Cross and the acceptance of the Geneva Convention rules of war. Finally, she focuses on the World Bank and explores the changing definitions of development in the Third World. Each case shows how international organizations socialize states to accept new political goals and new social values in ways that have lasting impact on the conduct of war, the workings of the international political economy, and the structure of states themselves.

America Abroad

Author: Stephen Brooks
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190464267
Size: 25.78 MB
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A decade and a half of exhausting wars, punishing economic setbacks, and fast-rising rivals has called into question America's fundamental position and purpose in world politics. Will the US continue to be the only superpower in the international system? Should it continue advancing the world-shaping grand strategy it has followed since the dawn of the Cold War? Or should it "come home" and focus on its internal problems? The recent resurgence of isolationist impulses has made the politics surrounding these questions increasingly bitter. In America Abroad, Stephen G. Brooks and William C. Wohlforth take stock of these debates and provide a powerful defense of American globalism. They stress that world politics since end of World War Two has been shaped by two constants: America's position as the most powerful state, and its strategic choice to be deeply engaged in the world. Ever since, the US has advanced its interests by pursuing three core objectives: reducing threats by managing the security environment in key regions; promoting a liberal economic order to expand global and domestic prosperity; and sustaining the network of global institutions on terms favorable to US interests. While there have been some periodic policy failures, America's overall record is astounding. But how would America's interests fare if the United States chose to disengage from the world and reduce its footprint overseas? Their answer is clear: retrenchment would put core US security and economic interests at risk. And because America's sole superpower status will long endure, the US will not be forced to turn inward. While America should remain globally engaged, it also has to focus primarily on its core interests: reducing great power rivalry and security competition in Europe, East Asia, and the Middle East; fostering economic globalization; and supporting a multilateral institutional system that advances US interests. Pursuing objectives beyond this core runs the risk of overextension. A bracing rejoinder to the critics of American globalism, America Abroad is a powerful reminder that a robust American presence is crucial for maintaining world order.

Poland In Transatlantic Relations After 1989

Author: Małgorzata Zachara
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
ISBN: 1527507408
Size: 62.12 MB
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This volume brings together a number of scholars from a variety of disciplines to examine the phenomenon of the transformation of Poland within the context of regional and global power relations, focusing in particular on analyses of the country’s political and social development within the area of transatlantic relations. It provides a distinct view on the current dynamics and future perspectives of the transatlantic alliance. At a time when the story of Poland as the shining example of post-Communist success and European integration has been interrupted, several other leading narratives of the Western world also appear to be in danger: western values cannot be considered to be universal, the message of globalization has lost its power, and the structure of the international order is described in increasingly delusional terms. The study sheds light on features of Poland’s performance on the regional scene and will stimulate discussion about the lessons that may be learned from the Polish experience by other states facing the challenges of transformation. The last 25 years of Polish history represent the unquestioned success of this political concept. Poland has become an independent actor able to take responsibility for its own future, thanks to the favorable configuration of global powers and the support provided by international leaders. Was this merely a historical episode that created an opportunity for one actor? Can this scenario be repeated? Under what conditions?

Which Lessons Matter

Author: Christopher Hemmer
Publisher: SUNY Press
ISBN: 0791492222
Size: 69.80 MB
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Christopher Hemmer offers a model for how U.S. decision makers use the lessons of history to diagnose and make policy choices.

The Peace Of Illusions

Author: Christopher Layne
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9780801474118
Size: 56.19 MB
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In a provocative book about American hegemony, Christopher Layne outlines his belief that U.S. foreign policy has been consistent in its aims for more than sixty years and that the current Bush administration clings to mid-twentieth-century tactics—to no good effect. What should the nation's grand strategy look like for the next several decades? The end of the cold war profoundly and permanently altered the international landscape, yet we have seen no parallel change in the aims and shape of U.S. foreign policy. The Peace of Illusions intervenes in the ongoing debate about American grand strategy and the costs and benefits of "American empire." Layne urges the desirability of a strategy he calls "offshore balancing": rather than wield power to dominate other states, the U.S. government should engage in diplomacy to balance large states against one another. The United States should intervene, Layne asserts, only when another state threatens, regionally or locally, to destroy the established balance. Drawing on extensive archival research, Layne traces the form and aims of U.S. foreign policy since 1940, examining alternatives foregone and identifying the strategic aims of different administrations. His offshore-balancing notion, if put into practice with the goal of extending the "American Century," would be a sea change in current strategy. Layne has much to say about present-day governmental decision making, which he examines from the perspectives of both international relations theory and American diplomatic history.

The Choice For Europe

Author: Andrew Moravcsik
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134215347
Size: 63.40 MB
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The creation of the European Union arguably ranks among the most extraordinary achievements in modern world politics. Observers disagree, however, about the reasons why European governments have chosen to co- ordinate core economic policies and surrender sovereign perogatives. This text analyzes the history of the region's movement toward economic and political union. Do these unifying steps demonstrate the pre-eminence of national security concerns, the power of federalist ideals, the skill of political entrepreneurs like Jean Monnet and Jacques Delors, or the triumph of technocratic planning? Moravcsik rejects such views. Economic interdependence has been, he maintains, the primary force compelling these democracies to move in this surprising direction. Politicians rationally pursued national economic advantage through the exploitation of asymmetrical interdependence and the manipulation of institutional commitments.

The New American Way Of War

Author: Ben Buley
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134086423
Size: 73.62 MB
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This book explores the cultural history and future prospects of the so-called ‘new American way of war’. In recent decades, American military culture has become increasingly dominated by a vision of ‘immaculate destruction’, which reached its apogee with the fall of Baghdad in 2003. Operation Iraqi Freedom was hailed as the triumphant validation of this new American way of war. For its most enthusiastic supporters, it also encapsulated a broader political vision. By achieving complete technical mastery of the battlefield, the US would render warfare surgical, humane, and predictable, and become a precisely calibrated instrument of national policy. American strategy has often been characterised as lacking in concern for the non-military consequences of actions. However, the chaotic aftermath of the Iraq War revealed the timeless truth that military success and political victory are not the same. In reality, the American way of war has frequently emerged as the contradictory expression of competing visions of war struggling for dominance since the early Cold War period. By tracing the origins and evolution of these competing views on the political utility of force, this book will set the currently popular image of a new American way of war in its broader historical, cultural and political context, and provide an assessment of its future prospects. This book will be of great interest to students of strategic studies, military theory, US foreign policy and international politics. It will be highly relevant for military practitioners interested in the fundamental concepts which continue to drive American strategic thinking in the contemporary battlegrounds of the War on Terror.