Surprise, Security, and
the American Experience by John Lewis Gaddis. (Harvard University
September 11, 2001, was not the first time a surprise attack shattered
American assumptions about national security and re-shaped American
grand strategy. We have responded each time by dramatically expanding
our security responsibilities. The British attack on Washington
in 1814 gave rise to a strategy of unilateralism and preemption
aimed at maintaining strength beyond challenge throughout the North
American continent. In the wake of the Japanese attack on Pearl
Harbor in 1941, FDR devise a new strategy of cooperation with allies
on an intercontinental scale to defeat authoritarianism. The 9/11
terrorist attacks prompted the Bush administration to devise a strategy
whose foundations lie in the 19th century tradition of unilateralism,
preemption, and hegemony, this time on a global scale.
"9/11 and the Past and Future of American
Foreign Policy" by Melvyn P. Leffler. International
Affairs; Oct 2003, Vol. 79 Issue 5, p1045.
The Bush administration policies constitute a surprising departure
from the ways most former U.S. administrations have dealt with 'existential'
threats in the twentieth century. By championing a 'balance of power
favouring freedom' and by eschewing the 'community of power' approach
propounded by Woodrow Wilson, Bush and his advisors are charting
a unilateralist course for times of crisis, a course neither so
popular nor so efficacious as its proponents think. But the unilateralism
is prompted by fears and threats that must not be dismissed or trivialized.
"Lessons of History" by Harold James.
(NIC 2020 Project)
There are clear historical precedents to the current worldwide wave
of reaction against and rejection of what is now perceived as U.S.
style capitalism. New opportunities to create new wealth mean radical
changes in distribution. Large and apparently illegitimate increases
in fortune provoke resentments and a populist reaction. Wars challenge
assumptions about the global distribution of economic and political
power. Wars also lead to questions about the rules that are essential
in guiding economic interaction. The danger of escalating conflict
disrupting globalization has deep historical precedents. Today,
concerns about human rights issues as well as the potential of bad
governments to destabilize whole regions are realistic and creditable.
They will necessarily lead to military engagements in sometimes
expected and sometimes unexpected places. The small conflicts set
the stage for bigger and more global clashes.
Special Providence: American Foreign Policy
and How It Changed the World by Walter Russell Mead (Routledge
There are four contrasting schools of U.S. foreign policy: a "Hamiltonian"
concern with U.S. economic well-being at home and abroad; a "Wilsonian"
impulse to promulgate U.S. values throughout the world; a "Jeffersonian"
focus on protecting American democracy in a perilous world; and
a bellicose, populist "Jacksonian" commitment to preserving
U.S. interests and honor in the world. Each of the four schools
is able to combine effectively with the others to form varying coalitions
in response to external or internal pressures, which reinforces
the pragmatism and flexibility of American foreign policy. During
eras when the U.S. has lacked a clear consensus about its relationship
to the global system, different schools have stood for fundamentally
different strategic issues of American foreign policy. It is not
a promising sign that after 1989, the American foreign policy debate
appears to be subsiding again into a standoff, while policies proliferate
in the absence of strategy.
The Development of American Strategic Thought
by Marc Trachtenberg. (Garland, 1987-1988)
"A National Security Strategy for a
Global Age" by William J. Clinton. (The White House, December
"National Security Strategy of the
United States 1994-1995: Engagement and Enlargement" by William
J. Clinton. (Brassey’s 1995)
Security Strategy of the United States 1991-1992" by George
H.W. Bush. (Brassey’s 1991)
Security Strategy of the United States 1990-1991" by George
H.W. Bush. (Brassey’s 1990)
"National Security Strategy of the
United States" by Ronald Reagan. (Brassey’s 1988)
"George F. Kennan and the Origins of Eisenhower’s
New Look: An Oral History of Project Solarium" edited by
William B. Pickett. (Princeton Institute for International and Regional
Waging peace: How Eisenhower shaped an enduring
cold war strategy by Robert R. Bowie and Richard H. Immerman.
(Oxford UP, 1998).
American Cold War Strategy: Interpreting NSC
68 by Ernest R. May. (Bedford, 1993)
The National Security: Its Theory and Practice, 1945-1960, edited by Norman A. Graebner. (Oxford UP, 1986)
Strategies of Containment: A Critical Appraisal
of Postwar American National Security Policy by John Lewis Gaddis.
(Oxford UP, 1982)
"The Sources of Soviet Conduct" by X.
Foreign Affairs (July 1947)
The Long Telegram by George F. Kennan.
Department of State – Division of Communications and Records
(February 22, 1946)
National Archives and Records Administration
Foreign Relations of the United States
The Grand Strategy Project, Yale University International
The Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library, Princeton