A Tough-Minded Critique of the US’s International Relations Strategy

Share Article

Dismissing claims of overextended US resources and perceived safety, Miller argues in his new book that nuclear autocracies, armed non-state actors, failed states, and the transnational jihadist movement still pose immense threats to American security and the international system.

News Image

“Paul Miller’s new book, American Power and Liberal Order, represents an important contribution to the growing literature on American grand strategy. This book offers a robust defense of strong American leadership and engagement in support of a liberal global order, and it provides a range of specific and often provocative recommendations for how to implement that strategy. Miller’s book deserves a wide reading among those who take an interest in grand strategy and in America’s relationship with the world.”—Hal Brands, Duke University

In American Power and Liberal Order: A Conservative Internationalist Grand Strategy, Paul D. Miller explores how the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan convinced many policymakers and scholars that the United States is overstretched and should pull back in international affairs and that restraint should guide grand strategy. In response, Miller offers a tough-minded critique of this trending body of thought, arguing that US security in fact depends on active, sustained support of the international liberal order.

Miller blends academic rigor with his experiences as former Director for Afghanistan and Pakistan on the National Security Council to offer conservative internationalist prescriptions for US grand strategy. Dismissing claims of overextended US resources and perceived safety, Miller argues that nuclear autocracies, armed non-state actors, failed states, and the transnational jihadist movement still pose immense threats to American security and the international system. His analysis offers policy options for balancing against the nuclear autocracies, championing liberalism to maintain the balance of power in its favor, targeting militant non-state actors, investing in governance in weak and failed states, and strengthening homeland security. As Miller shows, these necessary steps will fortify the international liberal order that forms the outer perimeter of American security—and aid US efforts to craft a more just peace among nations.

Paul D. Miller is the associate director of the Clements Center for National Security at The University of Texas at Austin and an adjunct political scientist at the RAND Corporation. He previously held the position of Director for Afghanistan and Pakistan on the National Security Council from 2007 to 2009, worked as an analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency, and served as a military intelligence analyst with the US Army in Afghanistan. He is the author of Armed State Building: Confronting State Failure, 1898–2012.

PUBLICATION DATE: September 2016, 336 pages
ISBN 978-1-62616-342-3, hardcover $32.95

PUBLICITY CONTACT: Jackie Beilhart, (804) 839-0851, Jackie.Beilhart(at)georgetown(dot)edu

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Jacqueline Beilhart
Visit website