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American Power and Liberal Order: A Conservative Internationalist Grand Strategy

by Paul D. Miller

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Contrary to widespread belief, the United States has been following a broadly consistent grand strategy across presidential administrations for more than a century by using American power to create and expand the liberal international system. This liberal order is the outer perimeter of American security. Today, after the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, some are calling for a policy of restraint or pulling back because they believe America is relatively safe and its resources are overstretched. Paul D. Miller argues that they are wrong. American security and the liberal international order need US leadership and are in jeopardy from nuclear-armed autocracies, violent non-state actors, and the failed states who harbor them. In response, the United States should not pull back but should continue to promote five pillars of American grand strategy: maintaining a favorable balance of power among the great powers, defending the U.S. homeland from attack, promoting democracy, investing in good governance abroad, and punishing rogue actors that threaten allies or the stability of the international system. Miller does however call for reprioitzing where around the globe the United States should focus its energies in the future, and he proposes common sense reforms to the US national security state so as to better manage foreign policy.… (more)
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Contrary to widespread belief, the United States has been following a broadly consistent grand strategy across presidential administrations for more than a century by using American power to create and expand the liberal international system. This liberal order is the outer perimeter of American security. Today, after the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, some are calling for a policy of restraint or pulling back because they believe America is relatively safe and its resources are overstretched. Paul D. Miller argues that they are wrong. American security and the liberal international order need US leadership and are in jeopardy from nuclear-armed autocracies, violent non-state actors, and the failed states who harbor them. In response, the United States should not pull back but should continue to promote five pillars of American grand strategy: maintaining a favorable balance of power among the great powers, defending the U.S. homeland from attack, promoting democracy, investing in good governance abroad, and punishing rogue actors that threaten allies or the stability of the international system. Miller does however call for reprioitzing where around the globe the United States should focus its energies in the future, and he proposes common sense reforms to the US national security state so as to better manage foreign policy.

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