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Understanding the Emerging Era of International Competition: Theoretical and Historical Perspectives

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Technical Report

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RAND Corporation Santa Monica United States

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The most recent U.S. National Security Strategy is built around the expectation of a new era of intensifying international competition, characterized by growing political, economic, and military competitions confronting the United States.1 The new U.S. National Defense Strategy is even more blunt about the nature of the emerging competition. We are facing increased global disorder, characterized by decline in the long-standing rules-based international order, it argues.2Inter-state strategic competition, not terrorism, is now the primary concern in U.S. nationalsecurity.3 The document points to the reemergence of long-term, strategic competition by what the National Security Strategy classifies as revisionist powers.4 It identifies two countries as potential rivals China and Russia. It is increasingly clear that both countries want to shape a world consistent with their authoritarian modelgaining veto authority over other nations economic, diplomatic, and security decisions.5

Subject Categories:

  • Economics and Cost Analysis
  • Government and Political Science
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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