Foreign Affairs Strategy: Logic for American Statecraft

Terry L Deibel (Author)


This is a book on how to think - strategically - about foreign policy. Focusing on the American experience, it defines the national interest as a concept in strategic logic and describes how to select objectives that will take advantage of opportunities to promote interests, while protecting them against threats. It also discusses national power and influence, as well as the political, informational, economic, and military instruments of state power. Based on a graphic framework that models strategic interrelationships, the book is illustrated with numerous examples from recent American statecraft. It ends with an extended critique of current American foreign policy and a detailed outline of an alternative strategy better suited to the problems of the 21st century.

Product Details

Cambridge University Press
Publish Date
July 01, 2007
6.3 X 0.82 X 9.21 inches | 1.38 pounds

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About the Author

Terry L. Deibel holds the Diplome of the Institute of Advanced International Studies in Geneva, Switzerland, and a doctorate from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. He has served in the International Programs Division of the Office of Management and Budget, Executive Office of the President of the United States, and in the Politico-Military Affairs Bureau of the Department of State. Dr Deibel taught at the School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, and since 1978 he has been a faculty member, associate dean, and department chairman at the National War College in Washington, DC, where for many years he directed the teaching of foreign affairs strategy to mid-career foreign service, intelligence, and military officers.


"Terry Deibel argues that logic and strategy should provide the basis for American national security strategy. His book should be required reading for everyone who cares about America's global role and, especially, for our current leaders."
Former Secretary of State, Madeleine K. Albright
"There are many books out there whose authors tell you what to think about American foreign policy. This one explains in clear English how to think about it, how to systematically consider the ends to be sought, the means to pursue them, and the ways to act successfully at bearable cost and risk. Whether you are a foreign policy professional or an interested citizen, I know of no more useful guide to puzzling through the intricacies of 21st century statecraft."
Brent Scowcroft, General USA (Ret), National Security Advisor to both Presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush
"For nearly three decades, Terry Deibel has taught future strategists at the National War College, an exceptional laboratory in which to explore the architecture and logic of strategy, the international and domestic environments which must inform it, and the process of developing sensible and coherent options for national policy-makers to choose among. His unique background makes this a 'must' read for any serious student, let alone practitioner, of the art of statecraft and the logic of strategy."
David Passage, US Ambassador (retired), former NSC official
"Foreign Affairs Strategy is a unique and valuable book that takes a fresh look at some familiar ground. For thirty years Deibel has been teaching senior military, intelligence and state department officials how to think about the national interest, the meaning of grand strategy, the difference between power an influence, about the important features of the contemporary environment for foreign affairs, and the role of statecraft. He has now captured the wisdom of those lectures, and cleared away a lot of the accumulated conceptual underbrush with rigorous analytical thinking, tested against decades of policy experience. Foreign Affairs Strategy is not about policy process, it is about the proper thought process that should proceed, and be hard wired into, foreign policy formulation. This book should be required reading for those who would make policy, and for citizens who would be intelligent critics and consumers of policy."
Robert L. Gallucci, Dean, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University
"Terry Deibel is one of the nation's most incisive analysts of foreign and defense policy. In this clear and well-constructed essay, he doesn't tell the reader what to think about national security -- countless books do that already -- but how to think about it. This is a valuable, instructive work for experts and non-experts alike."
Doyle McManus, Washington Bureau Chief, Los Angeles Times
"There is much to commend in this book. Deibel's methodical overview of foreign policy planning offers a structured way to think about policy instead of policy recommendations per se. At a time when it appears that external crises and internal ideology drive American policy, Deibel reminds us that there is no substitute for pragmatic planning. The policy goals he prescribes, such as combating climate change, restoring US legitimacy in the world, and securing loose nuclear material overseas, are sensible."
Simon Collard-Wexler, Columbia University, International Journal