“Grand strategy” is not a term that appears in the United Kingdom’s foreign policy lexicon often. The last Labour government and both Conservative-led administrations have preferred instead to outline “national security strategies.” In some quarters, grand strategy is seen as “hubristic” and “associated with empire.” It certainly does not have to be so and the latter claim rests, to some extent, on a misreading of history. All states conduct grand strategy – whether they choose to acknowledge it or not – and to varying degrees of success. Channelling Trotsky, Hal Brands wryly observed, “You may not be interested in grand strategy but grand strategy is interested in you.”
Ambition Meets Reality for Global Britain
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