'Speak softly and carry a big stick' was Roosevelt's approach to global strategy.  But the big stick didn't work according to plan in Iraq and Afghanistan.  And speaking softly to Russia prior to the Ukraine invasion now looks to have been a terrible mistake.   In a multi-polar world an effective foreign policy looks increasingly elusive and unknown. Against a backdrop of the highest number of violent conflicts since the second world war the Deputy Secretary of the UN  claimed in 2022 that people's sense of security and safety is at an all time low in almost every country.  In response military spending is rising across the world, with increasingly strident voices saying it is not rising fast enough.

Without a dominant global power, is there a strategy that can avoid a seemingly uncontrollable increase in military expenditure and conflict?  In a world where military technology is so powerful, is it possible for individual countries to have their own independent foreign policies? Or is a new era of alliances to counter the growing threats the only way forward?  
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