Cover: From Containment to Global Leadership

From Containment to Global Leadership

America and the World After the Cold War

Published 1995

by Zalmay Khalilzad


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With its victory in the Cold War, the United States is now the world’s preeminent military and political power. It has the world’s largest economy. It leads the world in many areas of technology. It faces no global rival and no significant hostile alliances. Most of the world’s economically capable nations are U.S. allies. Three years after the end of the Cold War, however, no new grand design has yet jelled, and this failure carries large opportunity costs. Now is the time for the United States to decide upon a new grand strategy to guide the nation’s direction for the future. The report identifies options for a new U.S. architectural framework. During the Cold War, U.S. foreign and security policies were guided by the objective of “Soviet containment.” Today, does the country need a new vision and grand strategy? What options are there to choose from, which is the best, and why? And what are the preferred option’s implications for America’s foreign and security policies and its military forces? The report seeks to answer these questions and offers seven principles that should guide U.S. policies.

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This report was produced in the Strategy, Doctrine, and Force Structure Program of RAND Project AIR FORCE.

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