American Global Leadership

Ailing US Diplomacy and Solutions for the Twenty-First Century

  • Author(s): Davis, G. Doug and Michael O. Slobodchikoff, editors
  • Series: Legacies of War
  • Imprint: University of Tennessee Press
  • Publication Date: 2024-05-24
  • Status: Active
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Throughout my career in the US Marine Corps, I leaned on the wisdom of history to prepare myself and my commands for the uncertainties of the future. Drawing upon the lessons of our predecessors is one of the great, learned abilities of humankind, and it is a highly sought-after attribute in the military. This book, American Global Leadership: Ailing US Diplomacy and Solutions for the Twenty-First Century, curates the lessons of the last seventy years of American diplomacy, exposing the failures and illuminating the successes while creating a path forward for the next generation of leaders.

—General (Ret.) Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., U.S. Marines, Former Commander, U.S. Central Command, and Executive Director, Global and National Security Institute at the Florida Center for Cybersecurity, University of South Florida.

In American Global Leadership: Ailing US Diplomacy and Solutions for the Twenty-First Century, G. Doug Davis and Michael O. Slobodchikoff present a selection of fifteen essays that trace the history of American diplomacy from Eisenhower to Trump. Penned by American statesmen—among them, James A. Baker III, General Wesley Clark, Thomas Pickering, and Michael McFaul—these essays illuminate US foreign policy through the Cold War, the Iraq and Afghan wars, the economic crisis of 2008, and the instability that arose during Trump’s presidency. Each chapter reflects the wisdom and experiences of its author to illustrate the realities of diplomacy in the United States and the difficulties diplomats, military leaders, and foreign policymakers encounter today.

Among other themes, the discussions in this volume explore the relevance of diplomacy in resolving global crises, the use of military policy and force as diplomatic tools, skills diplomats should possess, and current obstacles facing US foreign policy. Through the lens of their professional service as US diplomats, the authors examine American mistakes and successes of the past seventy years to assess how the role of diplomacy within US foreign policy has changed over time and how it must continue to evolve to meet future challenges. One conclusion proves recurrent: the US can no longer afford to rely only on might and force but must rededicate itself to diplomatic strategies to achieve its long-term goals.

American Global Leadership is not just a valuable resource for scholars of diplomatic history and political science; it is also an important work for current diplomats and those aspiring to careers in the US Foreign Service.

G. DOUG DAVIS is an associate professor of political science at Troy University in Alabama. He is coauthor of Cultural Imperialism and the Decline of the Liberal Order: Russian and Western Soft Power in Eastern Europe.

MICHAEL O. SLOBODCHIKOFF is professor and chair in the Department of Political Science and director of the Center for Eastern and Central European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies at Troy University. He is the coauthor of India as Kingmaker: Status Quo or Revisionist Power.