The inter-state system of politics, economics and security is under stress. The well-being and security of states and individuals is eroding as a combination of factors reduces the state's ability to meet its social compact with citizens. Yet over the past decade, Washington has come to assume the effective functioning of the system rather than retaining it as an end of American grand strategy. US policymakers do not fully appreciate how a changing international system is eroding the United States' security and its way of life. The overarching strategic challenge facing the United States is to revitalise the international system so that the nation can conserve its strength and power even as the global environment shifts. It demands a strategy of conservation. It must simultaneously address the chronic weakening of many states and the growing aspiration and activism of others emerging from the ranks of 'middle powers', along with the apparent inability of the current international system to deliver sufficient benefit to those who participate in it.


Sewall, Sarah. "America after the Elections: A Strategy of Conservation." Survival 50.5 (October 2008): 79-98.