THE GEOPOLITICS OF SUPER POWER by Colin S. Gray

THE GEOPOLITICS OF SUPER POWER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Gray, author (Strategic Studies and Public Policy, 1982, etc.), think, tank denizen, and Administration consultant, here employs geopolitical theory to advance a ""grand strategy"" of American national security--a footnote-rife homily that posits a state of (political) war as the permanent condition of US-Soviet relations. Grounding this enmity in the geopolitical theories of Sir Harold Mackinder and Nicholas Spykman, Gray choreographs a danse macabre featuring the Soviet Union as the land-locked ""Heartland"" and the US as the ""Insular Sea-Power."" The prize in their never-ending go-around is the Eurasian littoral--the ""Rimland."" Control of the Rimland is the sine qua non of world domination--in Gray's unrelenting analysis an indefatigable and indeed ineluctable goal of Soviet empire-building; and because the US came of geopolitical age late in the game of power-balance, it has yet to acknowledge fully the gravity of its global responsibility in thwarting Soviet expansionism. Concerned lest the tendentious, ""problem-solving"" character of American political culture render the national will slack in discharging its obligation, Gray argues for the adoption of a national security policy that articulates the long haul. He weighs the alternatives (""Fortress America,"" ""Rollback,"" ""Passive and Active Containment"") and favors ""dynamic"" containment as the ""grand strategy"" best fitted to the projection of maritime power. In military terms, he argues for a phase-out of a NATO defense coupled with an incredible nuclear threat, and the phase-in of a Europeanized defense tied to the ""total mobilizable defense potential of the United States and its allies."" Gray's grim realm of ""necessity"" admits no shading of gray, no diplomatic sidestep. This is hard. core hard-line, replete with chestnuts, bromides, gross caricatures, and shrewd observations.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1987
Publisher: Univ. Press of Kentucky