GDP Now Matters More Than Force

A U.S. Foreign Policy for the Age of Economic Power

Courtesy Reuters

Most nations today beat their foreign policy drums largely to economic rhythms, but less so the United States. Most nations define their interests largely in economic terms and deal mostly in economic power, but less so the United States. Most nations have adjusted their national security strategies to focus on economic security, but less so the United States. Washington still principally thinks of its security in traditional military terms and responds to threats with military means. The main challenge for Washington, then, is to recompose its foreign policy with an economic theme, while countering threats in new and creative ways. The goal is to redefine "security" to harmonize with twenty-first-century realities.

The model already exists for such an economic-centric world and for a policy to match: the approach of U.S. Presidents Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower. They understood that a strong economy is the basis of both a vibrant

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