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Assessing Grand Strategies: How the EU and NATO Rock the Strategic Boat

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Technical Report

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Air University Maxwell Air Force Base United States

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The European Union and NATO develop grand strategies. To demonstrate this proposition contrary to predominantly accepted ideas, this paper first develops a theory to identify grand strategies. The theory is composed of a set of six criteria that is a sufficient condition to identify grand strategies. Then, the study tests the theory using the grand strategy of the United States. Finally, the author uses the six criteria to conduct a comparative analysis to what he identified as the strategies of the European Union and NATO. The main contribution of this works interests the practitioner and the theorist of strategy. The former can rely on the theory herein developed to identify grand strategies, and the latter can use this tool to compare and contrast different grand strategies. In addition, this study interests the political scientist inasmuch as, by proving the existence of the grand strategies of the EU and NATO, it demonstrated that grand strategy is not the privilege of states supra-national organizations can develop strategic processes. These findings and the study have potential implications for the international order. The author examines some of these implications in the conclusion.

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