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Grand strategy is military strategy considered at the level of the movement and use of an entire nation state or empire's resources. Issues of grand strategy typically include the choice of primary versus secondary theatres in war, the general types of armaments to favor manufacturing, and which international alliances best suit national goals. It has considerable overlap with foreign policy, but is focussed primarily on the military implications of policy.
Grand strategy is typically decided by the political leadership of a country, with input from the most senior military officials. Because of its scope and the number of different people and groups involved, grand strategy is usually a matter of public record, although the details of implementation (such as the immediate purposes of a specific alliance) are often concealed. A grand strategy may extend across many years or even multiple generations.
A classic example of modern grand strategy is the decision of the Allies in World War II to concentrate on the defeat of Germany first. The decision, a joint agreement made after the attack on Pearl Harbor had drawn the US into the war, was a sensible one in that Germany was the most powerful member of the Axis, and directly threatened the continued existence of both the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union. Conversely, while Japan's conquests garnered considerable public attention, they were mostly in colonial areas deemed less essential by planners and policymakers. The specifics of Allied military strategy in the Pacific War was therefore shaped by the lesser resources made available to the theatre commanders.
An example of grand strategy incorporating both military and economic elements was the decision by the Chinese leadership in the early 1980s to reduce the size of the People's Liberation Army so that more resources could be used by the civilian economy on the premise that a growing civilian economy would be able to support a larger military in the future.
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