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Strategic Advantage

Challengers, Competitors, and Threats to America's Future

By almost any measure, the United States is the most powerful nation in the history of civilization. Our resources are immense. But they are not limitless. Today national security requires agility to stay a step ahead of threats that can rapidly appear and change, and endurance to deal with challengers that are unlikely to disappear anytime soon. The central question for U.S. leaders today is how can we retain our strategic advantage and continue to set the agenda for world affairs? All our other goals—promoting freedom, prosperity, human rights, and ensuring the security of Americans—depend on getting the fundamentals right.

Strategic Advantage: Challengers, Competitors, and Threats to America's Future is a concise and provocative analysis of national security policy today—and tomorrow. Drawing on history and contemporary examples, Bruce Berkowitz deftly identifies those countries, groups, and movements that pose the greatest challenges to the United States and suggests ways to deal with them. He lucidly analyzes the components of national power—economic clout, military capability, and cultural influence—that America must sustain if it hopes to maintain its position in the world in the decades ahead.

Strategic Advantage outlines how the United States can stay ahead of potential threats by drawing on the distinctively American culture that rewards entrepreneurship and supports a strong military; by promoting economic growth at home and competing for talent and capital from abroad; by fixing the national security command structure; and by adopting a national strategy that balances goals, costs, and risks. With pacing, foresight, and planning, Berkowitz says, the United States can sustain its global leadership for the long haul.

About the Author

Bruce Berkowitz is the author of several books about national security affairs, including The New Face of War.


"Bruce Berkowitz offers the reader a concise, comprehensive, and coherent picture of how the many cross-currents of foreign affairs, military and economic developments, and technological progress will entwine to present our new leadership with a full plate of heartburn-inducing selections in crafting a new national security strategy to insure continued American preeminence ... A concise, clear, and informative treatment of the elements of grand strategy and how they translate into national security considerations, Strategic Advantage is an excellent text for anyone interested in the future status of the U.S. on the world stage and how the U.S. might retain its preeminence on that stage."—Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management

"A worthwhile read, particularly for those interested in strategic and security studies matters or serving in a like capacity."—Military Review

"Berkowitz has produced an important contribution to the literature on American hegemony and the tools necessary for its resilience."—International Studies Review


"Bruce Berkowitz has been among the most astute participants in the post-9/11 government and intellectual debates over strategic policy. His talent for clear and simple exposition of complex issues is on glittering display in Strategic Advantage. "—John Lehman, former Secretary of the Navy and 9/11 Commissioner

"Bruce Berkowitz analyzes the choices a serious policymaker must make to sustain American leadership in the world. He shows how an effective national security policy must draw on the unique features of American politics, economics, and culture. A must read for policymaker and academic alike."—Helmut Sonnenfeldt, retired State Department official

"A thoughtful and provocative strategy for how the United States can quickly, effectively, and coherently respond to present threats while also planning for future ones. This is exactly the kind of strategic thinking we must consider for the twenty-first century."—Timothy J. Roemer, president of the Center for National Policy, former Congressman (D-IN), member of the 9/11 Commission

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