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Today, the United States possesses military predominance, and American political and economic ideas have broad global appeal. Almost all of the economically capable nations are our allies. Yet the end of the Cold War has also brought an increase in disorder as a result of the rise in ethnic nationalism and the fragmentation of several states. And these are not the only complications in the current strategic situation. The old U.S. grand strategy — its stand against the Soviet Union — has become moot, and a new one must be devised in the face of a changing world. This book discusses this need and examines three possible strategies. It goes on to discuss the complexities of current geopolitical trends and describes the demands these situations might place on the U.S. military and, in particular, the Air Force.

"A scholarly series of essays on current political, military and economic trends that enables U.S. policymakers to map out a grand strategy for the new era."

- Airforce Magazine, Canada

"All of the chapters are significant. Perhaps the questions of greatest immediate interest presented here are those on the expansion of the European Union and the future of NATO."

- Perspectives on Political Science

"A work of general utility for the student of strategic affairs… Although the purpose of the book is to help Air Force decision-makers 'understand the strategic background' to their decisions, it is a work of general utility for the student of strategic affairs."

- Foreign Affairs

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Drawing primarily on the expertise of RAND researchers in a wide variety of geopolitical issues, this book was produced in the Strategy and Doctrine Program of RAND's Project AIR FORCE, which is sponsored by the United States Air Force.

This report is part of the RAND monograph report series. The monograph/report was a product of RAND from 1993 to 2003. RAND monograph/reports presented major research findings that addressed the challenges facing the public and private sectors. They included executive summaries, technical documentation, and synthesis pieces.

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