Twilight of the Republic: Security Competition and the American Experience

Date of Graduation

Spring 2006


Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies


Defense and Strategic Studies

Committee Chair

C. Walton


The purpose of this study is to collect and measure the costs of the American Empire and its current grand strategy of primacy and explain why it is harmful to the security of the United States and the republican ideals for which it stands. This study was undertaken because the choices Washington makes on a day-to-day basis affect every American, from their security to their checkbooks. The current grand strategy of the United States raises the chances of nuclear conflict and keeps the American military embroiled in various conflicts and humanitarian missions on a constant basis. The American Empire is also in direct contrast to the ideals the country was founded on. A large and overweening federal government and the invasion of liberty by that government are both products of primacy. Because of Washington’s massive power projection abroad, it has created a feeling of entitlement at home that goes against the tide of the Founding Fathers. Such a strategy also means that liberty is unnecessarily restricted in an effort to allay that government’s security concerns. To secure America and reestablish its values, Washington should employ a grand strategy of offshore balancing. Such a strategy would reduce America’s footprint in the world by withdrawing the United States from permanent alliances. Offshore balancing would allow Washington to balance in any regional war that affects American national security. The strategy would require continued funding of ballistic missile defenses, a strong navy and air force and securing the borders. Such a strategy would get the United States out of missions based on compassion, credibility or influence. Offshore balancing would also reduce the burden on American taxpayers and giver conservatives the ability to shrink the size of the federal government in the hope of returning the United States Government to its original intent.


foreign policy, grand strategy, republic, primacy, founding fathers

Subject Categories

Defense and Security Studies


© Michael W. Hull