Are We “Offshore Balancing?”

Nov 29 2011 @ 11:50am

Beinart dubs Obama's grand strategy:

There’s a name for the strategy the Obama administration is increasingly pursuing from the Persian Gulf through the Hindu Kush to the South China Sea: offshore balancing. It’s the idea that America can best contain our adversaries not by confronting them on land, but by maintaining our naval and air power and strengthening those smaller nations that see us as a natural counterweight to their larger neighbors.

Dan Trombly is not impressed:

One of the consistent errors of offshore balancing discussion has been the tendency to believe that it necessarily demands there be no military engagement with the world beyond dealing with great powers, and that this military engagement must necessarily not include the use of ground forces, especially outside the core areas of engagement…if we recognize Britain as a prime example of a great power using an offshore balancing strategy, we can recognize that offshore balancers frequently commit ground forces to wars, and very often outside of the context of great power politics.

Previous discussion of "offshore balancing" here.