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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A Framework for Examining Long-Term Strategic Competition Between Major Powers

  • Author(s): MAHNKEN, Thomas
  • et al.

The concept of long-term peacetime competition between great powers isdeeply rooted in history. This brief offers a framework for thinking about afamily of peacetime competitive strategies. It begins by describing the conceptand provides four approaches to competitive strategy: denial, cost imposition,attacking a competitor’s strategy, and attacking a competitor’s political system.It then explores the criteria that strategists and policymakers should consider informulation of a competitive strategy. It concludes with some thoughts on how toevaluate the success of such a strategy and how the United States measures up.

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