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When you hear the term grand strategy relative to a state or government, it usually refers to the overarching strategy that 1) considers the long-term consequences of using all instruments of national power – military, economic, diplomatic, informational, etc. – to advance national interests, and 2) governs all underlying objectives, tactics, and decisions. To be most effective, a state sets policies connected and consistent with its overarching grand strategy and acts accordingly. It’s simple enough in theory. I thought about grand strategy recently while I heard the artist Pitbull (Armando Christian Pérez) mention his annual goals:

2009: freedom. 2010: invasion. 2011: build empire. 2012: grow wealth. 2013: put the puzzle together. 2014: buckle up. 2015: make history. 2016 disruption. 2017: gingerbread man, catch me if you can. 2018: legacy.

Ten years of explicit goals, a show in Las Vegas, and more to come in the years ahead (clear vision, generational wealth, etc.). It’s a guide to focus objectives, an anchor against competing priorities, and a framework to allocate resources. What could we accomplish with a grand strategy?

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