Grand strategy, grand illusion, or both?

Tony Blankley on the Boston Globe’s report regarding historian John Lewis Gaddis’ new book (discussed here on Power Line last Sunday) in which Gaddis argues that President Bush has developed and is ably implementing only the third American grand strategy in our history. Blankley observes that “if you hate George W. Bush, you will hate this Boston Globe story because it makes a strong case that Mr. Bush stands in a select category with presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt and James Monroe (as guided by his secretary of state, John Q. Adams) in implementing one of only three grand strategies of American foreign policy in our two-century history.”
What is a “grand strategy?” It is “the blueprint from which policy follows. It envisions a country’s mission, defines its interests, and sets its priorities. Part of grand strategy’s grandeur lies in its durability: A single grand strategy can shape decades, even centuries of policy.” I suppose, then, that a strategy, no matter how well conceived, does not become “grand” if it is scrapped by the successors of the president who formulated it. Since modern parties seem unable to hold the presidency for extended periods of time, this means that the strategy must become “bipartisan.”
Please read the following description of the Bush strategy (especially the second sentence) and consider whether it would likely survive a Kerry or a Hillary Clinton presidency — “Bush placed [at the center of his doctrine] the democratization of the Middle East and the urgent need to prevent terrorists and rogue states from getting nuclear weapons. Bush also boldly rejected the constraints of an outmoded international system that was really nothing more that a snapshot of the configuration of power that existed in 1945.”


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