Strategic Challenges


Strategic Challenges

America's Global Security Agenda

Stephen J. Flanagan and James A. Schear

432 pages


February 2008


$35.00 Add to Cart

February 2008


$65.00 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
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November 2011


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About the Book

Since 2001, the United States has endured a tumultuous period, one dominated by the 9/11 attacks and all that has followed: the war on terrorism, the Afghan and Iraqi campaigns, looming confrontations with known or suspected proliferators of weapons of mass destruction, and episodic explosions of mass violence in chronically unstable regions. In this second half of the decade, these and related strategic challenges will test the skill, tenacity, and imagination of the current and the next U.S. administration and the American public. How well these challenges are managed then, or mastered, will greatly influence whether future historians look back upon this decade as a dangerous passage toward a more peaceful, globally connected order or as a descending path into an ever more fragmented, violent world.This volume explores seven looming, as yet unmastered strategic challenges facing the United States. Each chapter tackles one of the following challenges: tackling global terrorism, stopping WMD proliferation, undertaking defense transformation, protecting the homeland, strengthening relations with allies and partners, engaging other major powers, and defusing conflicts in unstable regions. Each chapter takes a similar approach: defining the problem at hand (i.e., a short discussion of relevant trends); explicating current U.S. efforts to master the challenge (i.e., U.S. objectives, methods, degree of success or setbacks); and analyzing looming choices that U.S. policymakers will face in the next decade and, as appropriate, the consequences of alternative courses of action. Strategic Challenges capitalizes on the great regional and topical expertise of the INSS professional research staff to present an authoritative overview of the global strategic environment facing the United States.

Author Bio

Stephen J. Flanagan is senior vice president and director of the International Security Program at CSIS. Dr. Flanagan has published numerous books, most recently The People’s Liberation Army and China in Transition. He lives in Washington, D.C.


"A serious strategic analysis of America’s genuine security interests that stands in sharp contrast to the demagogic neocon advocacy of a 'World War III' against jihadist Islam."Zbigniew Brzezinski, Former National Security Advisor, Counselor and Trustee, Center for Strategic and International Studies

"The United States will remain preeminent for the next two decades, but it will face a wide range of security challenges to which Stephen Flanagan, James Schear, and their National Defense University colleagues bring wise analysis."Joseph S. Nye, Jr., University Distinguished Service Professor, Harvard University

"Strategic Challenges is a timely edition that invites further discussions on the policy and strategic options that our next administration should consider. They ignore it at our peril."Richard L. Armitage, Former Deputy Secretary of State, President, Armitage International

"Stephen Flanagan and James Schear have put together a very important work that outlines the extensive and dangerous security challenges that the 21st century has presented and will present to the United States. This book is a must read for policymakers at every level."General John P. Abizaid, USA (Ret.), Former Commander, U.S. Central Command, Annenberg Distinguished Visiting Fellow, The Hoover Institution, Stanford University

“The editors, both distinguished scholars, have put together an extensive and fairly complex analysis of U.S. strategy and proposes ways ahead. While there are no final answers, students of our executive and legislative branches should consider this book’s arguments.”Proceedings

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