JOURNAL OF DEFENCE STUDIES

The Problem of Grand Strategy

V. Krishnappa was Research Fellow at Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis, New Delhi. Click here for detailed profile.
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  • July 2012
    Volume: 
    6
    Issue: 
    3
    Focus

    This paper interrogates the concept of grand strategy. Its proponents argue that the absence of a publicly articulated and coherent grand strategy leads to incoherence in practice: armed forces acquire technologies without a strategy, government departments pursue their specific interests without reference to overarching national goals, and diplomats have a hard time explaining India’s behaviour to foreign interlocutors. Despite its apparent desirability, the concept of grand strategy has come to mean different things to different thinkers depending on their vision of the world, their conceptions about the nature of power, their institutional affiliations, and the interests they seek to pursue. A proper understanding of grand strategy, therefore, is a first step towards its development. This paper presents multi-dimensional aspects of the concept and identifies its implications for practice.

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