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U.S. President Donald Trump attends the multilateral meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Brussels. U.S. President Donald Trump attends the multilateral meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Brussels, Belgium, July 11, 2018 (AP photo by Pablo Martinez Monsivais).

What Would a U.S. Grand Strategy of Restraint Look Like?

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

In his 2014 book “Restraint: A New Foundation for U.S. Grand Strategy,” Barry Posen argued that America’s post-Cold War grand strategy of global engagement is costly, unsustainable and unnecessary. U.S. national security interests could be secured, he argued, with a leaner and more effective national security strategy that places more of an emphasis on air and sea power rather than the permanent stationing of U.S. troops overseas.

In this week’s podcast interview, Posen, who is currently the Ford International Professor of Political Science at MIT and the Director of the MIT Security Studies Program, joins WPR’s associate editor, Elliot Waldman, for a conversation about how the ideas he advanced in his book might look when put into practice. They also discuss the Trump administration’s foreign policy and why Posen believes Trump’s grand strategy can be called “illiberal hegemony.”

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Relevant Articles on WPR:
Trump Has Opened the Floodgates to New Appraisals of U.S. Foreign Policy
America’s Quest for an Open World: A Grand Strategy Grounded in History
Obama Was on the Right Track Recalibrating America’s Role in the World
Was the Liberal International Order All That?

Trend Lines is produced and edited by Peter Dörrie, a freelance journalist and analyst focusing on security and resource politics in Africa. You can follow him on Twitter at @peterdoerrie.

To send feedback or questions, email us at podcast@worldpoliticsreview.com.