Grand Strategy and International Law
by Nicholas ROSTOW
Grand strategy is, or should be, the “calculated relationship of means to large ends.” Interrelated strategic and legal dimensions provide a leitmotif to the modern history of relations among powerful states. States employ an array of means to achieve their large ends—military power, as well as diplomatic, informational, economic/financial, and legal tools and influence.
As grand strategy deals with subjects that touch the sources of sovereignty, is there—can there be—a relationship between law, much less international law, and grand strategy? The answer, of course (despite the skeptics), is yes; it is a different “yes” than advocates of this or that legal or other international institution might intend. At the same time, the nature of the relationship is both complex and straightforward.