Years of debate over the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and the so-called “war on terror” have prevented Americans from grappling with the deeper challenges posed by changes in the international system. Beyond the threats posed by terrorism, new great powers such as India and China are rising, the process of globalization is accelerating, and the challenges of climate change and energy security grow more ominous by the day. The absence of an overarching strategic framework beyond simple debates over wartime tactics has contributed to an erosion of America’s position in the world. The authors of Making America Grand Again argue that America’s leaders must broaden their strategic aperture and recognize the value in renewing their commitment to sustaining the pillars of the global system – common global goods such as stability in key regions, a vibrant global economy, and fair access to the global commons. Arguing that America’s Cold War strategy consisted of two parts – containing the Soviet Union while building and sustaining a resilient international system – the authors lay out a case for why sustaining America’s power and influence in the 21st century requires reinvesting in, and innovating within, the very global architecture that helped make America a superpower.
Watch a discussion of this report at the 2008 Annual CNAS June Conference: