Grand Strategy Revisited
THE SOURCE: “Imperial by Design” by John J. Mearsheimer, in The National Interest, Jan.–Feb. 2011.
Since the end of the Cold War, U.S. foreign policy has not produced inspiring results: The United States has been at war roughly two of every three years. The military missions in Iraq and Afghanistan have been long and costly. Three major foreign-policy problems have persisted without signs of resolution: preventing Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons, getting Pyongyang to give them up, and settling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “The United States is in a world of trouble today . . . and this state of affairs is only likely to get worse,” laments University of Chicago political scientist John J. Mearsheimer, a noted “realist” thinker.
The mistake the United States made was not in the execution of its foreign policy but in the choice of its grand strategy. In the decades since the Cold War, the United States has pursued “global dominance,” working to maintain its primacy and spread democracy, trying to make the world over in its own image.
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