4 Sustaining America’s Strategic Advantage American and Chinese economies are interdependent in ways unimagina- ble during the Cold War. Open military conflict between great powers or even escalating tit-for-tat economic retaliations now place global economic growth at risk, as we see with the tightening of Western sanctions target- ing Russia in response to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. Fourth, growing competition with traditional allies in nonmilitary fields such as arms sales, commercial access to emerging markets, and technological innovation coupled with emerging nontraditional security challenges will necessitate that Washington adapt its grand strategy and modernize its already exten- sive global alliances and partnerships. To deal with these challenges and remain focused on vital U.S. interests, the United States will have to estab- lish a strategic vision that sets the parameters of its future foreign policy. But what should that vision look like? In his famous “House Divided” speech in 1858, Abraham Lincoln delivered his vision to the Republican State Convention for how the United States should deal with slavery and why it was essential to do so. His speech opened with “If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could then bet- ter judge what to do, and how to do it.”4 This chapter follows a similar approach to describing the grand strategy needed today. It first describes where we are and explores the implications of the major shifts in the global security environment for American national security strategy. It then out- lines the ideological struggle between the United States and its two major competitors: Russia and China. That competition over ideals and national purpose will define how we compete and when we cooperate. Finally, the chapter lays out the foundation of a new grand strategy better suited to the security environment faced by the United States and its allies. That grand strategy is built upon the foundations of the liberal international order that the United States and its allies built in the aftermath of World War II. Shared liberal values and democratic institutions represent the house which currently faces the tempest of a growing diffusion of power, a host of transnational challenges, greater global interdependence, and increasing competition. Just as Lincoln argued that “A house divided against itself cannot stand,” so too we argue that the countries and institu- tions of the liberal international order cannot stand divided in the face of these challenges.5 The traditional realist approach to growing great power competition that informed containment during the Cold War is ill-suited to the new strategic reality. The liberal approach that underpinned the unipolar moment, after the fall of the Soviet Union, is also insufficient to main- taining that liberal order. Similarly, a constructive approach focused nar- rowly on values that are interpreted differently even among close partner nations does not provide a single coherent alternative. Rather, it is a practi- cal blend of all these insights from international relations theory that offers the most realistic prospect for framing an effective U.S. foreign policy in
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