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This article uses realism to explain past US grand strategy and prescribe what it should be today. Throughout its history, the United States has generally acted as realism depicts. The end of the Cold War reduced the structural constraints that states normally face in anarchy, and a bipartisan coalition of foreign policy elites attempted to use this favorable position to expand the US-led ‘liberal world order’. Their efforts mostly failed, however, and the United States should now return to a more realistic strategy – offshore balancing – that served it well in the past. Washington should rely on local allies to uphold the balance of power in Europe and the Middle East and focus on leading a balancing coalition in Asia. Unfortunately, President Donald Trump lacks the knowledge, competence, and character to pursue this sensible course, and his cavalier approach to foreign policy is likely to damage America’s international position significantly.


Walt, Stephen. "U.S. Grand Strategy after the Cold War: Can Realism Explain it? Should Realism Guide It?" International Relations 32.1 (March 2018): 1-20.