This thread treats “grand strategy” as primarily a prescriptive matter rather than an analytical one. That, and the definition @ProfPaulPoast winds up on, is just the tip of the iceberg.
The most influential piece on the concept of grand strategy in recent years is probably Nina Solove’s Security Studies article.…
What are those three meanings?
1) grand strategy as a plan Image
This understanding makes a lot of sense if you think of grand strategy in terms of the basic blueprint for waging, say, World War II. The US, for example, had to decide the best way to allocate resources between Europe and the Pacific; what capabilities it needed to produce; etc.
As Silove notes, the fact that there may be (read: almost never is) no single document laying out such a grand strategy isn’t a deadly problem. Image
2) grand strategy as organising principle. Image
The “archetypal” example is “Containment”: Image
3) grand strategy as a pattern of behaviour. Image
In this approach, grand strategy has a family resemblance to concepts like “order”and “structure.” Indeed, it’s not much of a stretch to talk about grand strategy as, for example, the structural parameters of foreign policy.
Silove points out that this understanding means that grand strategies may not be intentional, and discusses different positions its proponents take on the matter. ImageImageImage
Another very good synthetic piece on grand strategy is by Balzacq, @PeterDombrowsk6, and Reich: “Is Grand Strategy a Research Program? A Review Essay.”…
What do I think? Stay tuned.

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More from @dhnexon

26 Sep
<thread> I think @michelleinbklyn and @NGrossman81 are on the right tack but missing the forest for the trees. We are on the other side of a *massive* cultural change *and* we also crossed an inflection point around ten years ago.
As @profmusgrave is fond of reminding me, public opinion on same-sex marriage and marijuana legalization shifted at an unprecedented rate. I suspect if U.S. pollsters had consistently included opinions on trans rights we’d see even faster change.
If you look at almost any aspect of the “cancel culture” wars, you’ll find almost nothing that wasn’t a live issue in the 1980s – or even earlier. I was in college during the “PC” wars of the early 1990s, and the script feels very familiar.
Read 9 tweets
21 Sep
Remember the "Color Revolutions" are antidemocratic argument that started to appear in right-wing media close to the election? There would have been mass protests, of course. Trump would have ordered their suppression, at least in Washington, DC.
Remember the White House installing loyalists – or at least people it believed would be loyal – in the Pentagon? The security services would have split; decent odds of an attempted military coup d'état.
Read 4 tweets
8 Aug
Since I've been quite critical of Dan and John, I guess the tl;dr is that I just don't care much for the terms of debate.

So, anyway, this is a thread about some things that bug me about Shidore's reply to D&I.
Do they👇though? John's written two books arguing that liberal-internationalist hegemony is more stable than illiberal hegemony; but he's also argued that unilateralism and the imprudent use of force undermines that stability.
Does any of that mean that a US in relative decline should rely on military instruments to *preserve* the primacy it acquired via the implosion of the USSR? That's less clear, especially when we move beyond security relations with core allies to the matter of "global dominance."
Read 25 tweets
7 Aug
I’ve seen nearly a dozen highly-praised but, in truth, “adequate” threads on the D&I attack on QI. This reply to @ProfPaulPoast comes the closest to understanding what D&I are actually about.
D&I misfire by trying to excavate a coherent core to realism + right-libertarian.

There is no core.

Realist-libertarianism exists largely because of the idiosyncratic intellectual interests of billionaires.
Instead, D&I should have argued that when you throw realism and right-libertarianism into a blender you get a result that many realists & all progressives should be uncomfortable with; said realists and progressives should think hard if they want to forward that project.
Read 8 tweets
3 Jul
This is a ++ important piece by ⁦@profmusgrave⁩. He focuses on the big examples of how the use (clash of civilizations) or misuse (democratic peace theory) of political-science ideas have shaped bad policy. But that’s only one part of the problem.…
The rise of digital media greatly expanded both the opportunities and possible styles of public-facing scholarship. For most of the 2000s, the field was, at best, ambivalent about this.
The breakout 1st-wave bloggers, such as @dandrezner were subjects of both praise and scorn. Some of this was driven by principled concern. Some if it was driven by resentment.
Read 32 tweets

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