The Grand Chessboard Book Analysis Essay

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Summary of the Book

As 21st century is drawing to an end, the United States has emerged as the sole superpower with no rival in the international system based on its superior economic and military powers. However, a critical issue still remains with reference to the U.S. global strategy and its exceptional position in the international system. Zbigniew Brzezinski has been able to address this issue in his path-breaking and an incisive book titled "The Grand Chessboard." (Brzezinski, 1998 p 1). Brzezinski analyzes the American provocative and bold geostrategic vision in the 21st century, and its supremacy on the Eurasian landmass. Brzezinski, (1998) pointed out that Eurasia was the center of world power five-century ago, and during this period, Eurasia dominated and penetrated the international system, dictating the world order, and attaining the special status of being the premier power. However, in the 20th century, the world witnessed a tectonic shift where a non-Eurasian state emerged as the only paramount power dictating the international political affairs. Moreover, the defeat and disintegration of the Soviet Union have been the final step in the ascendance of power to the western hemisphere. Lately, America has emerged as the first dominant superpower, although Eurasia still retains its geopolitical strategic importance, nevertheless, Europe has started exerting global political and economic power. Additionally, Asia and Eastern regions have been exerting political influence and achieving economic growth.

In the book, Brzezinski discussed the post-cold war geopolitical strategy, and emphasized on American global supremacy. Theoretically, America continues dominating the political and economic arena employing different strategies to minimize strategic risks. For example, the United States divided Eurasia into four regions in order to dominate the global systems. According to Brzezinski, (1998), sources of the U.S. economic growth are its democratic and open political institutions as well as an open market system that allow the country to boost its international political and economic reputations.

Despite the current U.S. dominance, the task facing America statesmen is the strategy to manage relationships and conflicts in Asia, Europe and the Middle East. The U.S. major challenge is also to ensure that no rival superpower has been able to challenge or threaten its hegemony and well-being. The rise of the Islamic fundamentalist has also become a threat to the U. S superiority. For example, the United States is facing challenges in West Asian region. Brzezinski also focuses on the American stakes in Russia, Europe, East Asia and Central Asia. According to Brzezinski, (1998), the dissolution of the Soviet Union has created relationships and new rivalries that map out a new geopolitical realism.
For example, China has become a major important state in the international arena playing stick and carrot game with the United States.


The salient point in the book is the rise of the American dominance in the contemporary global political environment that spells the country foreign policy. Brzezinski argued that the goal of the American foreign policy during the cold war was to thwart the menace of the Soviet Union and disorganized the global scenario. Moreover, American goal was to provide security for Eurasia to enhance American global domination and supremacy. The policy is also to stabilize a relationship with Eastern Asian and Western European countries to enhance international prosperity and stability. While cold war is over, and the United States has become a dominant force in the international system, nevertheless, America still requires maintaining its hegemony as the dominant super power through a grand strategy. The concept grand strategy is the ability of an entity to secure a long-term security, prosperity and peace. The grand strategy combines the fundamental traditional elements that include statecraft, history, diplomacy, warfare, and international relations. While the United States has been able to dictate affairs of the international political system since the collapse of former Soviet Union, nevertheless, the country is presently facing challenges to maintain a grand strategic force based on the rise of new state actors and non-state actors in the international system. Coupled with China that has become a threat to the United States economic dominance, some non-state actors are also emerging and serving as threats to the U.S. technological innovation. For example, many U.S. companies have lost millions of dollars with the rise of state-sponsored and non-state sponsored hackers who have become threats to the U.S. economic supremacy.

While the U.S. has emerged as the only superpower, however, the country still requires maintaining its hegemony to prevent an insurgency of dangerous bipolar or multi -polar worlds where each state is scrambling to take advantage of porous global systems. According to Brzezinski, it is pertinent for the United States to maintain a firm control of the international system by preventing other advanced countries to challenge its….....

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Brzezinski, Z. (1998). The Grand Chessboard: American primacy and its geostrategic imperatives. Basic Books.

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