Even as it struts and frets its superpower hours upon the global stage, the behaviour of the United States can seem impenetrable, and none are more perplexed than Americans themselves.  Some lament the follies of imprudent idealism.  Others tell a tale of unceasing oppression. Yet almost all insist that the American experience, for good or evil, is unique. In contrast, Giselle Donnelly argues that the origins of American ‘strategic culture’ – and particularly, its understanding of military power –  are to be found in the British colonial experience; the Revolution of 1776 was a revolution within a tradition, not against it.  Please join the Centre for Geopolitics as she discusses her new book Empire Imagined, the first of four volumes on ‘The Personality of American Power’, and its conception during the Elizabethan era.

Giselle Donnelly is a Senior Fellow in Defense and National Security at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where she focuses on national security and military strategy, operations, programs, and defense budgets.

From 1995 to 1999, Ms. Donnelly served as a Policy Group Director and Professional Staff Member at the House Armed Services Committee. She has also served as a Member of the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, the Editor of Armed Forces Journal and Army Times, and the Deputy Editor of Defense News.

Ms. Donnelly has testified before Congress and has been widely published in the popular press, including in The Wall Street Journal and The Weekly Standard, and contributed to many essay collections. Her numerous books include ‘Operation Just Cause: The Storming of Panama’; ‘Clash of Chariots: History’s Greatest Tank Battles’; ‘Lessons for a Long War: How America Can Win on New Battlefields’, coauthored with Frederick W. Kagan and others; ‘Ground Truth: The Future of U.S. Land Power’, coauthored with Frederick W. Kagan; ‘Of Men and Materiel: The Crisis in Military Resources’, coedited with Gary J. Schmitt; ‘The Military We Need: The Defense Requirements of the Bush Doctrine’; and ‘Operation Iraqi Freedom: A Strategic Assessment’. She is currently working on a four-volume series of books, ‘The Personality of American Powe’r, on the origins of the strategic culture of the United States.  The first volume,’ Empire Imagined’, was published by the State University of New York Press in 2022.


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