Getting a Game Plan for the Guardian of America’s Global Interests

- THE NATIONAL INTEREST - SEP 12, 2021 - James Jay Carafano -

If the United States can’t prevent China from dominating Asia, then the United States loses.

Eldridge A. Colby, The Strategy of Denial: American Defense in an Age of Great Power Competition, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2021. ISBN 978-0-300-25643-7.

In a decade or so, we’ll have all the answers. Either this will be recognized as the latest age of the great American strategists following in the footsteps of Alfred Thayer Mahan and George Kennan—or we will all be speaking Chinese and bowing to the West.

America is in an era of great-power competition where there is a real possibility that we won’t come out on top or continue to be able to serve as the world’s safety patrol, the guarantor that conflict and confrontation won’t spin out of control. The United States will prevail only by making better hard choices than its enemies will, and sticking to them over time.

That combination of acumen and will is the essence of strategy—and good strategy has to start with strategists. If America doesn’t find that guiding lifeline of an idea, then it will remain hamstrung in the global competition.

What is probably already apparent is that the current administration won’t deliver the next Clausewitz. Even before the Biden team published its national security and national defense strategies, it was abundantly clear that all this administration has in the brain bank is stale, recycled ideas from the Obama administration that have already been tested and failed.


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