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The practice of the Great Strategy in the United Kingdom and Spain (DIEEEO44-2017)

Grand Strategy is an unpopular idea, often considered both “imperialistic” and unfit for the current, extremely complex, world. However, if effectively implemented, current-day National Security Strategies (NSS) may amount to Grand Strategies. This article aims to re-discover what Grand Strategy is and why it is still a valuable tool for medium-sized states like Britain and Spain today. To do so, it first proposes a definition of Grand Strategy based on the three core elements of any strategy: ends, ways and means. Then it establishes seven conditions to assess whether a country can be recognised to “do” Grand Strategy. Finally, it applies these criteria to the most recent British and Spanish NSS documents and their respective implementation. The conclusion shows that the UK is considerably close to the practice of Grand Strategy, while Spain still has a long way to go.

Author: Joan Prats i Amorós





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