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Grand strategy

With weapons of mass destruction in private hands, will American power and European co-operation give way to a global police state?

By Robert Cooper   December 2002

Good laws and good armies are the foundation of the state, said Machiavelli. The Shield of Achilles (Allen Lane), the book by American grand strategist Philip Bobbitt, is about just that: armies, laws and the state. To put it another way, this book is about legitimacy. The great wars around which the argument is structured were fought about different ideas of legitimacy; and the great peace settlements that ended them were attempts to embody the new legitimacy that emerged with victory.

Armies are vital to legitimacy. The first duty of the state is to protect its citizens from foreign attack.…

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