The Biden administration’s new National Security Strategy (NSS), published this year, highlights a commitment to ‘integrated deterrence,’ a willingness to use all the tools of statecraft – not just military ones – to achieve American goals. In doing so, the document merely highlights an already rapidly-growing element of U.S. foreign policy: in addition to American military forces around the world, the U.S. government increasingly relies on non-military means of coercion such as sanctions, export controls, or energy policy. Will these tools be sufficient to meet the goals of policymakers? At a time of significant international turmoil marked by Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, intensifying competition between the US and China, domestic polarization, and pressing global challenges from climate change to pandemics, the debate over America’s role in the world – and whether it can continue to maintain its role as the world’s only superpower – is more important than ever. The NSS promises a return to traditional American leadership in the international space, doubling down on non-military tools in addition to American military preeminence. Yet it will become ever more challenging for America to maintain its edge, and to continue to meet its commitments to allies.
This FIIA event will address the recent evolution of the grand strategy debate in Washington in light of current challenges. Questions covered include: How does the current debate over US grand strategy address military and non-military questions? How will changes in the international space, and perhaps more importantly, in US domestic politics shape these debates going forward? How might changes in US grand strategy impact transatlantic relations?