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The Sheriff

The Sheriff: America's Defense of the New World Order

Colin S. Gray
Copyright Date: 2004
Edition: 1
Pages: 208
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  • Book Info
    The Sheriff
    Book Description:

    Since the end of the Cold War, and especially since September 11, few issues have been more hotly debated than the United States' role in the world. In this hard-nosed but sophisticated examination, Colin S. Gray argues that America is the indispensable guardian of world order. Gray's constructive critique of recent trends in national security is holistic, rooting defense issues and prospective answers both in U.S. national security policy, broadly defined, and in the emerging international security environment. Colin S. Gray is professor of international politics and strategic studies at the University of Reading, England, and senior fellow at the National Institute for Public Policy in Fairfax, Virginia. He is the author of seventeen books, including Modern Strategy and Strategy for Chaos: Revolutions in Military Affairs and the Evidence of History.

    eISBN: 978-0-8131-4797-0
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-xii)
    Colin S. Gray
  4. CHAPTER 1 The Argument
    (pp. 1-30)

    Military power is not self-validating. It should be considered preparation, or prudent investment, in anticipation of strategic demand from foreign policy. When we design, bargain over, and pursue the capabilities, declarations, and actions that comprise defense policy, we are guessing about the requirements for military support that our country may need over the years ahead. Context can be all important. A defense policy good enough for 1916, 1940, 1949, or mid-2001 looked nothing of the sort in 1917, 1941–42, 1950, or late September 2001. The narrative of U.S. defense policy is a constant trialogue among the more permanent features...

  5. CHAPTER 2 Protecting World Order
    (pp. 31-60)

    It is important not to be confused about matters that are fundamental to national and international security. World order, for a leading example, though in theory an eminently contestable concept, in practice is sufficiently clear in its implications as to provide adequate guidance for high policy. It should be understood, without much need for elaboration, that the notion of order the United States is stepping up to protect and advance is one that reflects and privileges American values and interests. No apology should accompany this less than startling revelation. The United States must serve itself if it is to serve...

  6. CHAPTER 3 Staying Number One
    (pp. 61-96)

    The United States should wish to remain Number One for as long as proves feasible. Naturally and necessarily, U.S. determination to remain preponderant, especially militarily preponderant, is self-serving. The United States is serving its own national interest. This is nothing to be ashamed of; indeed, it could not be concealed even if desired. Critics of U.S. statecraft often seem to inhabit a fictitious world wherein foreign policy is, or should be, a form of missionary activity, undertaken simply because it is virtuous. Those critics, domestic and foreign, need to step up to the reality that the sheriff role is frequently...

  7. CHAPTER 4 The Strategic Dimension
    (pp. 97-130)

    Unfortunately, Plato spoke for all time when he declaimed pessimistically that “only the dead have seen the end of war.” That familiar aphorism bears frequent quotation because we classical realist theorists, with our somewhat unfashionable positivist approach to world politics and security, are always trying to dodge the slings and arrows of a legion of optimistic liberals.¹ Many liberals believe, as an attractive article of faith, that “this time” things will be better—which is to say they will be different from the 2,400-year-long course of history from Plato’s time until today. Liberals of various stripes are not entirely wrong...

  8. CHAPTER 5 The Familiar Twenty-First Century
    (pp. 131-153)

    Many books present bold statements of controversial answers to challenging questions. This is not one of those, though some readers may disagree. By calling chapter 1 “The Argument,” I risk inadvertently exaggerating the extent to which my nine key points are seriously disputable. A great many people around the world will not like the argument presented here, but that is only to be expected. Furthermore, there are grounds for anxiety lest the role of sheriff should prove unduly demanding on American society. Nonetheless, this author is convinced both that his argument is far more description than it is prescription, and...

  9. NOTES
    (pp. 154-174)
    (pp. 175-190)
  11. INDEX
    (pp. 191-195)