Accession Number : ADA618901


Title :   Managing Relative Decline: An Analysis of Foreign Policy Alternatives for the United States


Descriptive Note : Research rept.


Corporate Author : AIR WAR COLL MAXWELL AFB AL


Personal Author(s) : Molstad, Darcy


Full Text : https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a618901.pdf


Report Date : 17 Feb 2015


Pagination or Media Count : 26


Abstract : As the world trends towards a multipolar construct, it is imperative the United States adapt its approach to international relations and its use of the military instrument of national power. It must do so to reverse its outward focus, reform its reputation within the international community, and empower its partners as it slowly moves towards being a pole vice being the pole. This paper analyzes the relative decline debate and compares and contrasts the concepts of deep engagement and restraint. It contextualizes the problem by highlighting the extant forces that will compel Washington to favor the latter over the former and it recommends fundamental foreign policy principles and associated restraint options that will help slow down America s economic decline and preserve its power and influence. In the future, Washington will be compelled to exercise a degree of restraint so that it can focus on the domestic economy, satisfy a war-wary electorate, correct the folly of global democratization, and sequester the costs of nation-building. With a restrained foreign policy, the United States must define its national interests more narrowly, reduce partner dependence on the American security umbrella, and empower coalition partners in future military operations by treating them as mutually indispensable. If the United States does not seriously reexamine its foreign policy first principles, relative decline will wax, and influence will wane. America must seize its opportunity for a course correction now.


Descriptors :   *FOREIGN POLICY , *UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT , ECONOMICS , HISTORY , LEADERSHIP


Subject Categories : Government and Political Science


Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE