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The Strategy of the United States

Feb. 29, 2016

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  • Last updated: May 18
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Originally produced on Feb. 22, 2016 for Mauldin Economics, LLC

By George Friedman

What is striking about American strategy is its paradoxical nature: The fact that each solution to a threat poses a new threat. Since its birth, the United States has sought to defend itself. The US approaches each threat with a constant outward movement of attention and resources…and now, it straddles the world. This means that the political, economic, and military postures of the United States have tended to be offensive.

The Birth of a Nation: Destined for Manifest Destiny

Consider the US at the time of its founding. The colonial United States existed on a relatively thin strip between the Appalachian Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean. Its north-south communication was weak, as most rivers run from the mountains to the Atlantic. That meant not only that commerce was difficult, but also that the rapid movement of troops to repel an invasion was difficult.

Therefore, even after it de

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