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American Grand Strategy under ObamaCompeting Discourses$
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Georg Löfflmann

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474419765

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474419765.001.0001

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Strategic Vision: National Security, Defense Policy, and the Geopolitics of Military Pre-Eminence

Strategic Vision: National Security, Defense Policy, and the Geopolitics of Military Pre-Eminence

Chapter:
(p.146) Chapter 6 Strategic Vision: National Security, Defense Policy, and the Geopolitics of Military Pre-Eminence
Source:
American Grand Strategy under Obama
Author(s):

Georg Löfflmann

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474419765.003.0007

This chapter explores how the US Department of Defense has acted as key producer of practical grand strategy discourse, regularly translating geopolitical imaginations, threat assessments and strategic narratives into concrete policy outcomes and security practices, from defense policy planning documents to the stationing of US troops and the conducting of military operations. High-level strategic documents published under the Obama presidency, such as the Quadrennial Defense Review reports or the Defense Strategic Guidance are examined in this chapter as key political outputs in providing the ‘big picture’ of national security. The chapter examines how several practical issues in defense policymaking and military planning were, at the same time, indicating are careful shift in the conceptualization and operation of American hegemony. The chapter details how budget sequestration had a lasting impact on the overall size of the US military while Obama’s ‘pivot to Asia’ shifted its geopolitical and operational focus. This limitation, recalibration and downsizing challenged a status quo of American primacy and global military supremacy that politicians, policy experts and military officials had largely taken for granted since the end of the Cold War.

Keywords:   Pivot to Asia, Defense Policy, Military Power, Strategy, Department of Defense, National Security, Sequestration

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