Nations carry out geopolitical combat through economic means. Yet America often reaches for the gun over the purse to advance its interests abroad. Robert Blackwill and Jennifer Harris show that if U.S. policies are left uncorrected, the price in blood and treasure will only grow. Geoeconomic warfare requires a new vision of U.S. statecraft.
In August 2016, the Aspen Strategy Group examined how to reform America’s national security decision-making process. The papers in this volume provide practical solutions to repair the key functions of Washington’s executive departments, agencies, and advisory bodies responsible for shaping U.S. foreign policy and national security.
Starting from the key concept of geo-economics, this book investigates the new power politics and argues that the changing structural features of the contemporary international system are recasting the strategic imperatives of foreign policy practice. States increasingly practice power politics by economic means. Whether it is about Iran’s nuclear programme or Russia’s annexation of Crimea, Western states prefer economic sanctions to military force. Most rising powers have also become cunning agents of economic statecraft. China, for instance, is using finance, investment and trade as means to gain strategic influence and embed its global rise. Yet the way states use economic power to pursue strategic aims remains an understudied topic in International Political Economy and International Relations. The contributions to this volume assess geo-economics as a form of power politics. They show how power and security are no longer simply coupled to the physical control of territory by military means, but also to commanding and manipulating the economic binds that are decisive in today’s globalised and highly interconnected world. Indeed, as the volume shows, the ability to wield economic power forms an essential means in the foreign policies of major powers. In so doing, the book challenges simplistic accounts of a return to traditional, military-driven geopolitics, while not succumbing to any unfounded idealism based on the supposedly stabilising effects of interdependence on international relations. As such, it advances our understanding of geo-economics as a strategic practice and as an innovative and timely analytical approach. This book will be of much interest to students of security studies, international political economy, foreign policy and International Relations in general.
In the first decade of the 21st century, five rising powers (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) formed an exclusive and informal international club, the BRICS. Although neither revolutionaries nor extreme revisionists, the BRICS perceive an ongoing global power shift and contest the West's pretensions to permanent stewardship of the existing economic order. Together they have exercised collective financial statecraft, employing their expanding financial and monetary capabilities for the purpose of achieving larger foreign policy goals. This volume examines the forms and strategies of such collective financial statecraft, and the motivations of each individual government for collaborating through the BRICS club. Their cooperative financial statecraft takes various forms, ranging from pressure for "inside reforms" of either multilateral institutions or global markets, to "outside options" exercised through creating new multilateral institutions or jointly pushing for new realities in international financial markets. To the surprise of many observers, the joint actions of the BRICS are largely successful. Although each member has its unique rationale for collaboration, the largest member, China, controls resources that permit it the greatest influence in intra-club decision-making. The BRICS cooperate due to both common aversions (for example, resentment over being perennial junior partners in global economic and financial governance and resistance to infringements on their autonomy due to U.S. dollar dominance and financial power) and common interests (such as obtaining greater voice in international institutions, as the IMF). The group seeks reforms, influence, and enhanced leadership roles within the liberal capitalist global system. Where blocked, they experiment with parallel multilateral institutions in which they are the dominant rule-makers. The future of the BRICS depends not only on their bargaining power and adjustment to market players, but also on their ability to overcome domestic impediments to sustainable economic growth, the basis for their international influence.
China and the United States are heading toward a war neither wants. The reason is Thucydides’s Trap, a deadly pattern of structural stress that results when a rising power challenges a ruling one. This phenomenon is as old as history itself. About the Peloponnesian War that devastated ancient Greece, the historian Thucydides explained: ‘It was the rise of Athens and the fear that this instilled in Sparta that made war inevitable.’ Over the past 500 years, these conditions have occurred sixteen times. War broke out in twelve of them. Today, as an unstoppable China approaches an immovable America, and both Xi Jinping and Donald Trump promise to make their countries ‘great again’, the seventeenth case looks grim. Unless China is willing to scale back its ambitions or Washington can accept becoming number two in the Pacific, a trade conflict, cyberattack, or accident at sea could soon escalate into all-out war. In Destined for War, the eminent Harvard scholar Graham Allison explains why Thucydides’s Trap is the best lens for understanding U.S.-China relations in the twenty-first century. Through uncanny historical parallels and war scenarios, he shows how close we are to the unthinkable. Yet, stressing that war is not inevitable, Allison also reveals how clashing powers have kept the peace in the past — and what painful steps the United States and China must take to avoid disaster today.
Author: Army War College (U.S.). Strategic Studies Institute
Publisher: Defense Department
Category: Political Science
"This edition of the U. S. Army War College guide to national security policy and strategy continues to reflect the structure and approach of the core national security strategy and policy curriculum at the War College. The fifth edition is published in two volumes that correspond roughly to the Department of National Security and Strategy's core courses: "Theory of war and strategy" and "National security policy and strategy." Like previous editions, this one is based on its predecessor, but contains both updates and new scholarship. Over a third of the chapters are new or have undergone significant rewrites. Many chapters, some of which appeared for years in this work, have been removed. Nevertheless, the book remains unchanged in intent and purpose. Although this is not primarily a textbook, it does reflect both the method and manner that the U.S. Army War College uses to teach strategy formulation to America's future senior leaders. The book is not a comprehensive or exhaustive treatment of either strategic theory or the policymaking process. Both volumes are organized to proceed from the general to the specific. Thus, the first volume opens with general thoughts on the nature and theory of war and strategy, proceeds to look at the complex aspect of power, and concludes with specific theoretical issues. Similarly, the second volume begins by examining the policy/strategy process, moves to a look at the strategic environment, and concludes with some specific issues. This edition continues the effort begun in the 4th edition to include several short case studies to illustrate the primary material in the volume"--Introd.