Shawn Brimley envisions America's future foreign policy grand strategy:
First, America has not made good use of its unipolar moment, and much of the remaining time should be spent helping to create and maintain stable balances of power in the Middle East, Europe, and Asia. The United States must focus anew on sustaining the viability of its key alliances. NATO must not be allowed to whither, and America’s alliances in East Asia need renewing. Rising powers such as India and China should be engaged on every dimension. Arrogant talk of helping rising powers become “responsible stakeholders” should be replaced with words of respect derived in part from America’s enduring position of strength. There is no obvious reason why China should be considered a strategic competitor rather than partner, and talk of inevitable conflict is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Second, America has extremely powerful incentives to help sustain an international order based on the continued functioning of a globalized economy. America accrues power and influence as global interdependence deepens and as economic interests tend to generate openness, progress, and peace. Rising powers such as India and China can and will challenge American economic dominance in specific areas, but will not overtake the United States for the foreseeable future. Open global markets are required to redress the grievances of developing nations and to help expand the benefits of economic interdependence. Globalization cannot be stopped, but can be positively or negatively skewed it is in America’s interest to pursue the former course, rather than abdicate its leadership and risk the latter.
Third, the United States must ensure access to the global commons air, sea, space, and cyberspace. America has the benefit of friendly neighbors and favorable geography, but remains reliant on access to maintain robust connectivity to the global economy and to key security interests. A stable international system also requires that other powers can safely traverse and utilize the global commons. For decades American power has helped sustain the global commons, and this role needs to continue. The process of globalization shrinks the tyranny of time and space the instant information and currency flows constitute a global grid that can be used for good, but also for ill. A strategy of sustainment would recognize the centrality of cyberspace to a 21st century international system.
I'd agree, but would also underline Brimley's argument that tactical debates and post-9/11 myopia have clouded our strategic thinking for how best to navigate our post-Cold War unipolar moment. This is a growing meme that I imagine will soon reach a tipping point...acknowledging that the battle against extremist terrorism, while important and far from over, does not constitute an organizing logic for an American grand strategy would be an important start.