This article enters the debate on American grand strategy by questioning the logic underpinning offshore balancing. It concludes that the United States is an ambivalent balancer due to the stopping power of water. It builds on the relevant literature in International Relations, producing a novel set of theoretical propositions that are applied to the contemporary Middle East. There and elsewhere, the United States could fail to maintain the balance of power when it is most threatened.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
John M. Schuessler, "Ambivalent Offshore Balancer: America in the Middle East and Beyond," Parameters 53, no. 4 (2023), doi:10.55540/0031-1723.3259.