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Contemporary Problems of a Grand Strategy in the US Foreign Policy
Analysis and Forecasting. IMEMO Journal

Contemporary Problems of a Grand Strategy in the US Foreign Policy

DOI: 10.20542/afij-2020-4-27-39
© Sergey V. KISLITSYN, 2020
Received 26.10.2020
Sergey V. KISLITSYN (, ORCID: 0000-0002-8438-7964,
Cand. Sci. (Polit. Sci.), Senior Researcher, Sector of US Foreign and Domestic Policy, Center for North American Studies. Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation.

The research examines the main problems of a grand strategy in the US foreign policy. Attention is paid to the conceptual understanding of this term, its historical development, and the current state. The article analyzes the positions of American foreign policy elites and the expert community regarding the problem of the US self-positioning in the outside world.

The article consists of three parts. The first analyses the main conceptual provisions of the “grand strategy” as a term. It describes its development from a military term, reflecting the general tactics in interstate confrontation to its comprehensive understanding as a coordination principle of long-term and medium-term goals with short term actions.

The second part of the article focuses on the American foreign policy elites, their approaches, as well as public opinion on this issue. It is noted that the ideology of global leadership has become an important component of the establishment's thinking. It largely impedes the development of new foreign policy concepts and, as a result, reformatting the grand strategy.

The third part is devoted to the positions of the expert community on the issue of grand strategy. Four main versions are considered: "Offensive", "Selective engagement", "Offshore Balancing", "Zero-sum".

The author comes to a conclusion that the US foreign policy mixes several types of strategies at the moment. It is noted that as China strengthens, the United States faces a new competition, which, unlike the Soviet threat, implies not military-political, but economic confrontation. The implementation of the scenario of a "new Cold War" between Washington and Beijing can define the new goals of the grand strategy. At the same time, this also creates an ideological dilemma of recognizing a new challenge, an increasing alternative for American global leadership - the idea of which is still popular among representatives of American foreign policy elites.

For citation:

Kislitsyn S. Contemporary Problems of a Grand Strategy in the US Foreign Policy. Analysis & Forecasting. Journal of IMEMO, 2020, no 4, pp. 27-39.

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