How does the U.S.’s preeminent position in international economic and political affairs constrain or enable its grand strategy? How much can the U.S. afford to spend on its national security in light of current demands on its resources and what tools of statecraft are most sustainable in the current environment?
With initiative chair Jeremi Suri (University of Texas-Austin, History), the Tobin Project convened a group of scholars and policymakers to discuss this set of questions in Washington, D.C., in October. In a morning session at the Capitol, six scholars presented discussion papers to a group of senior Congressional and Administration staff, including representatives from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, the Office of Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), the Committee Staff of Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN), and the Department of State.
In an afternoon session composed solely of scholars, the paper authors – Jeremi Suri, Jonathan Kirshner (Cornell University, Government), Cindy Williams (MIT, Security Studies Program), Matthew Connelly (Columbia University, History), Daniel Drezner (Tufts University, Political Science), and Paul Barford (University of Wisconsin-Madison, Computer Science) – had an opportunity to discuss the feedback provided by policymakers in the morning session and to further explore the question of what might constitute a sustainable grand strategy for the United States.