Debating American Grand Strategy After Major War

During major war, enemy armies fight each other for the right (in the sense that ‘‘might makes right’’) to determine their postwar affairs. After major war, strategists debate each other over how best to conduct those postwar affairs. At best, wars settle old matters while raising new ones. At worst, wars end without resolving anything, leaving strategists grappling with a range of old and new challenges. The articles in this special section of Orbis examine the strategic debates that prevailed in the United States after each of the five major wars of the past sixty years: World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Cold War, and the ongoing Iraq War.

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