“Grand Strategy for the 21st Century”

A Conversation with Dr. Anne-Marie Slaughter

Photo by Audrey Adu-Appiah | The Chronicle

Photo by Audrey Adu-Appiah | The Chronicle

Slaughter outlines international policy goals

By Shucao Mo | Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A national conversation redefining the United State’s foreign policy goals is essential for the future of American grand strategy, Anne-Marie Slaughter, former director of policy planning for the U.S. State Department, said Tuesday.

In the von der Heyden Lecture sponsored by the American Grand Strategy Program, Slaughter discussed “Grand Strategy for the 21st Century” and the importance of rebalancing and restructuring the nation’s foreign policy goals. In a time of domestic and international change, the United States is in need of a framework moving forward that tells the country where to go, Slaughter said.

“A strategy on how to get something doesn’t matter unless we know where we are going,” she said. “And we as a nation is to figure that out together.”

Slaughter promoted an American grand strategy that includes strengthening our health and education system and creating more intellectual and physical infrastructure. She also noted the importance of redefining the country’s goals to reflect its new post-Cold War identity.

Making room for other international powers and shifting focus from military security spending to spending on civilian life and empowerment are two essential strategies to achieving this goal, she said.

“If we want an effective international order for everybody to abide by, we need to give everybody more say in our institutions,” Slaughter said. “Climate change, resource scarcity, corruption, pandemics, fragile state, those problems cannot be resolved in government level.”

Slaughter also noted continuing to invest in technological, informational and agricultural innovations as essential to maintaining the country’s foreign power. Slaughter also encouraged using technology and social media to connect societies in tackling problems that government alone can not solve.

“It is more than promoting business, [but more importantly,] to connect roots from different countries…. We need a coalition of civil sector, private sector and government,” she said.

Senior Nick Setterberg said he agreed with Slaughter’s ideas for restrategizing the country’s foreign involvement strategy. Since the country does not have any real threat from another foreign power, Setterberg said the country is in need of a complete overhaul of its international policies.

“The American dream is dead,” he said. “We need to formulate a grand strategy for the United States.”

Reflecting on ways the country can better adapt to its new place in the global world, Slaughter said reforming immigration policy is essential to renewing the country’s international image. Slaughter reflected on American foreign policy during the Cold War and said containment can no longer a part of the country’s grand strategy.

“The most connected nation that has many close ties to other countries is the most powerful nation,” she said.

Sophomore Taylor Imperiale noted that Slaughter has a very different focus than most traditional public policy makers. Imperiale said she enjoyed Slaughter’s holistic approach.

“Rather than analyzing case-by-case policies, she pays attention to changing the structure of the world,” she said.

Ultimately, Slaughter said that in order for America’s grand strategy to be effective, the entire nation must have a good understanding of its national values and project them to the outside world.

“We cannot have credible influence unless we live up to our values,” Slaughter said. “Liberty, democracy and justice—those are the values that we define ourselves with.”

The lecture series is named for the von der Heyden Fellows Program Endowment Fund and was co-sponsored by the Sanford School of Public Policy, the Office of Global Strategy and Programs and the Triangle Institute for Security Studies.

View the original article in The Chronicle here.