GS Byzantine - Chad Peltier INTL 8200 The Grand Strategy of...

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Chad Peltier INTL 8200 The Grand Strategy of the Byzantine Empire Luttwak’s Grand Strategy of the Byzantine Empire is in many ways his foil to Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire – it was completed over a much longer time period, it includes far more soft power goals, his style of writing and the structure of the book are far less mechanical, and he offers a positive normative advice, rather than the negative example of the Western Roman Empire. In fact, Luttwak appears to have an overall, coherent strategic lesson for readers and statesmen – total war and the complete defeat of an enemy only serves to create a power vacuum in which another power will ultimately fill. The only definite result of a war is its cost; therefore the maintenance of a balance of power between enemies and allies through disruption rather than destruction is far better for a great power. In addition to the grand strategic lessons Luttwak offers from the Byzantine Empire, Luttwak offers several contentious statements on grand strategy worthy of further discussion, including the possible inclusion of “special circumstances” into the model, the idea that threats are a prerequisite for grand strategy, and the argument that all states have a grand strategy. Before discussing these questions, it is important to describe my model for Byzantine grand strategy because I was forced to make several hard choices in terms of classification. I chose the following categories of means: geographic, economic, military, infrastructure, and soft power. The Byzantines were blessed with a both productive and taxpaying lands, with the advanced tax system to harness that economic power. Their
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