Toward a Strategy of Positive Ends

  • September 01, 2001
  • Dr Antulio J Echevarria II, BG Huba Wass de Czege

Brigadier General (Retired) Huba Wass de Czege and Lieutenant Colonel Antulio J. Echevarria II make a case for a strategy aimed at achieving positive, rather than neutral or negative, ends. They first discuss the dynamic conditions of the new strategic environment, then explore the options the United States has available for dealing with those conditions. The options include (1) preventive defense, (2) neo-isolationism, and (3) a strategy that pursues positive ends. Only the last, the authors argue, deals with the new security environment in a proactive way. It enables the United States to define its vital interests in terms of conditions--such as peace, freedom, rule of law, and economic prosperity--rather than as the containment or defeat of inimical state or nonstate actors. The basic approach of a strategy of positive ends would be to build and enlarge a circle of stakeholders committed to creating conditions for a profitable and enduring peace--thereby reducing the potential for crises--and to preparing response mechanisms for coping successfully when crises do occur.