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Optimizing Grand Strategy: A Nuanced Proposition for the United States Open Access Deposited

Unlike many debates in Washington, there is wide ideological and political diversity among the supporters of either side of the U.S. grand strategy debate. The two main schools, “deep engagement” and “offshore balancing,” take opposing views as to the direction of future U.S. grand strategy. This paper presents an overview of both arguments and contends that neither is appropriate given the current threat environment. Instead, the best solution for the future of U.S. grand strategy takes aspects from both sides of the debate to create a nuanced and balanced proposition that can pragmatically address the range of threats the U.S. faces. The proposed U.S. grand strategy addresses the shortfalls of both schools, while incorporating their points of strength. To implement this strategy, two policies are recommended: (1) reinforce traditional allies and partnerships; (2) refrain from dictating or becoming too involved in the internal affairs of ally and partner countries.

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