Carnegie Mellon University

US Grand Strategy

Course Number: 84-680

What role should the United States play in the world? Should the US solely protect its own borders or advance democracy, promote human rights, and contain aggressive countries? These are questions that Americans have wrestled with throughout modern US history. In this class, students will learn about those arguments and engage in debate over both the goals of US foreign policy and the means of achieving them. This course will situate current events in the historical context of grand strategy during and after the Cold War, as well as a wider understanding of how countries determine their goals and seek to pursue them through a combination of diplomatic, economic, military, and political means. Students will explore the connection between domestic and foreign affairs and how all these issues relate to current US strategy toward a rising China, an assertive Russia, and so-called "rogue states" like Iran and North Korea. Students should emerge from the class with a better understanding of US grand strategy but also with a greater ability to formulate and communicate their own views on US strategy toward the rest of the world.

Academic Year: 2021-2022
Semester(s): Fall
Required/Elective: Elective
Units: 12
Location(s): Pittsburgh

Learning Objectives

This course is critical to the International Relations and Politics major and understanding international relations and global politics more broadly, as well as how the United States fits into the broader picture. Students will learn how the US rose to primacy following World War II, how the United States staked its claim to be the leader of the free world during the Cold War, and how the US was impacted by 9/11 and the global war on terrorism, as well as what US Grand Strategy looks like today and what it may look like in the future.

Fall 2021
Monday and Wednesday
3:05-4:25 PM

Concentration course for the following IPS degrees:
Master of Science in International Relations and Politics
Master of Information Technology Strategy