For a long time, there has been a particular concept of the Grand Strategy in the US. It is some kind of umbrella, which hides all the other strategies and doctrines, operating under a common worldview, with ideological and national interests. The British military expert Basil Liddell Hart, best known for his book “Strategy: An Indirect Approach”, introduced the term. The role of the Grand Strategy “is to co-ordinate and direct all the resources of a nation, or band of nations, towards the attainment of the political object of the war.” At the same time, the state military power is one of the means used to weaken the enemy’s will, along with diplomatic, ideological, financial, commercial and other kinds of pressure. Another important aspect of this is the organization of the future postwar world order, aimed at improving safety and avoiding any number of risks, including dissatisfaction between the formerly warring parties in the future world order.
The modern concept of the Grand Strategy refers to both military aspects and also a more complex dimension, which consists of the national security doctrine. Harry Yarger from the US Army Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute believes that it “is the art and science of developing and using the political, economic, social-psychological, and military powers of the state in accordance with policy guidance to create effects that protect or advance national interests relative to other states, actors, or circumstances.”
Since 2004, thanks to the efforts of the various political lobbies and intellectual centers, the US has five separate alternative directions of the Grand Strategy:
· selective engagement
· liberal internationalism
Each of these strategies has quite a rational basis from the perspective of certain ideological groups.
According to neo-isolationists, the United States of America is strategically invulnerable, thus all the foreign policy commitments should be minimized and all military programs outside the country should be withdrawn, and the participation in international military and political blocs should be stopped.
E. Nordlinger, P. Buchanan and T. Carpenter are the outstanding representatives of this strategy. In particular, Carpenter offered to leave all the security duties in Europe to the Europeans, transforming or even dissolving NATO.
The political realism school supporters developed the theory of the selective engagement, which provides the US military presence in those countries which are strategically important and of national interest. This interest also includes the promotion of democracy and human rights, but any military intervention to defend them is considered unacceptable by the concept’s supporters.
The liberal internationalists believe that the US should neither save, nor spend its superiority without a need to. The US should invest in, and even share their superiority with other countries and alliances.
And it should be used for clear liberal purposes, because liberal internationalism asserts that political and economic liberalism is possible for all other countries as well. It will not happen immediately, but after a prolonged period of development. For example, the activities of the Clinton Administration on expansion and engagement was aimed at expanding the democratic community of free market economies. For the liberal internationalists, the main challenge is the fact that the US’s use of its superiority may not be rooted in the construction of a liberal world order, but to the construction of an imperial order.
The liberal internationalists added transnational and unconventional challenges, including terrorism and the proliferation weapons of mass destruction to the traditional state centered threats. Therefore, building a new world order requires cooperation through multilateralism and international assistance to certain organizations. Multilateralism is the strategy that has been declared a priority of the presidency of Barack Obama. Now we can see that this versatility is not only manifested in the continuation of the occupation of Iraq, but also a new war in Afghanistan, as well as the bombing of Libya, and in trying to destroy Syria, the coup in Ukraine, and similar incitements in other countries. The main role should be providing security for a transatlantic democratic community, (i.e. NATO expansion). The liberal internationalists approve the possibility of building it as something similar to was created after World War II.
For those American strategic advocacy groups who appeal to the doctrine of superiority, the goal is to defend the type of hegemony that ensures the American interests in the best way.
Consequently, it is important to preserve the situation of “the unipolar moment.” Therefore, it is necessary to prevent the emergence of any equal power or even one aspiring to be equal, like China, the EU, Russia and possibly India. Any action of the world’s major players, aimed at co-operation, which carries with it signs of balancing power, directed against the United States, is regarded with suspicion. This group’s agenda has such things as pariah states, but the non-traditional threats do not bother them. In addition to preserving US economic hegemony, which means US leadership, military domination is also important for this group. The variety of institutions and versatility which are used by the previous group, can be employed to maintain US superiority.
The “Empire” term was previously used in a negative sense for criticism of the US foreign policy and for characterizing the Soviet Union. After the Soviet Union’s dissolution, the American nationalists and neoconservatives adapted the term to the new conditions.
The negative historical connotations became outdated for the adherents of the American empire idea, because the American liberal and ‘good’ empire resisted, while the poor old ‘evil’ Empire disappeared.
Max Boot noted that “U.S. imperialism has been the greatest force for good in the world during the past century.”
Another ideologist of neo-conservatism in the United States, Robert Kagan (the husband of notorious Victoria Nuland of the US State Department, which were giving the cookies on the Maidan and recommended to the US Ambassador to Ukraine to *expletive* the EU) is also calling the United States the ‘Benevolent Empire’, introducing such a concept in one of his articles for the magazine Foreign Policy . The supporters of the American Empire believe that it is the result of the Cold War, which establishes the US not only as the sole superpower and the hegemon, but as an imperial power. According to Andrew Ross, it is a fierce combination of offensive realism and hegemonic stability theory. The World Order control mechanism is equivalent to that of the American empire control, so that a new world order is an American order, and what is good for America, is good for all others.
So serious differences between US interests, and the interests of other countries in the world, in the view of US imperialism, does not exist. Globalization must turn into Americanization. Management, expansion and strengthening of globalization-Americanization is a managing, expansion and strengthening of imperial rule. In addition, the United States should be free and to do what it wants, sometimes by itself. Therefore, all that happened after 9/11, the attack on Afghanistan, the declaration of the war on terror, and the invasion of Iraq, was done for the sake of the world. Small wars and imperial police actions by the United States do not need anyone’s permission.
Moreover, the in the last decade within the framework of the Grand Strategy, special attention was payed to the information component. US experts also use the noosphere term to determine the maximal scope, encompassing ideas, information and communication, and having control over it can be a recipe for victory in future conflicts.
In a study published by the USAF University, The Psychological Dimension in National Strategy, it was pointed out that the psychological and political operations should be directed not only against the enemy; the neutral, allied and half-allied states potentially represent a very important objective, which means that Washington uses subversive forms and method of “soft power,” not only against countries identified as a threat, but against all countries in the world.