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Grand Strategy for the United States in the 21st Century? (A Look at the National Security Strategy Document of 2002 and Beyond)

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Research paper

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This paper examines the National Security Strategy NSS document of September 2002 and determines whether it provides a grand strategic framework that can be sustained for the rest of the Bush presidency and beyond. The author examines the document through the prism of the elements of national power -- diplomatic, informational, military, and economic -- and discusses how the Bush administration has applied those elements in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Global War on Terrorism. He concentrates most heavily on the diplomatic and military elements, recommending ways to use bilateral and multilateral diplomacy and expeditionary military operations to improve the national security of the United States while promoting international stability in the future. He also looks at ways in which the United States can reduce its military profile overseas while continuing to maintain its presence by using diplomatic and informational means and expeditionary military forces to fill the gap left by military units being transferred back to CONUS. Two special cases are considered India and China. The U.S. must work to expand its growing relationship with India through diplomacy, backed by increased military engagement and commercial ties. Through diplomacy, it must swiftly identify and then seek to exploit security and economic interests shared by the two largest democracies in the world. In many areas, our interests in the region converge. Where our opinions differ, such as over Kashmir, or diverge such as over the Indian nuclear posture, must be managed carefully through continued dialogue. The U.S. must deal with a rapidly emerging China through diplomacy also, backed by the military stick and the economic carrot. The author describes the role that interagency cooperation will need to play in the formulation of a sustainable grand strategy and how the political process and public opinion are likely to impact that strategy.

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  • Government and Political Science
  • Unconventional Warfare

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