Overcoming the challenges Africa faces requires partnership, not paternalism. Our strategy is to promote economic development and the expansion of effective, democratic governance so that African states can take the lead in addressing African challenges. Through improved governance, reduced corruption, and market reforms, African nations can lift themselves toward a better future. We are committed to working with African nations to strengthen their domestic capabilities and the regional capacity of the AU to support post-conflict transformations, consolidate democratic transitions, and improve peacekeeping and disaster responses.
3. Middle East
The Broader Middle East continues to command the world’s attention. For too long, too many nations of the Middle East have suffered from a freedom deficit. Repression has fostered corruption, imbalanced or stagnant economies, political resentments, regional conflicts, and religious extremism. These maladies were all cloaked by an illusion of stability. Yet the peoples of the Middle East share the same desires as people in the rest of the world: liberty, opportunity, justice, order, and peace. These desires are now being expressed in movements for reform. The United States is committed to supporting the efforts of reformers to realize a better life for themselves and their region.
We seek a Middle East of independent states, at peace with each other, and fully participating in an open global market of goods, services, and ideas. We are seeking to build a framework that will allow Israel and the Palestinian territories to live side by side in peace and security as two democratic states. In the wider region, we will continue to support efforts for reform and freedom in traditional allies such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Tyrannical regimes such as Iran and Syria that oppress at home and sponsor terrorism abroad know that we will continue to stand with their people against their misrule. And in Iraq, we will continue to support the Iraqi people and their historic march from tyranny to effective democracy. We will work with the freely elected, democratic government of Iraq – our new partner in the War on Terror – to consolidate and expand freedom, and to build security and lasting stability.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization remains a vital pillar of U.S. foreign policy. The Alliance has been strengthened by expanding its membership and now acts beyond its borders as an instrument for peace and stability in many parts of the world. It has also established partnerships with other key European states, including Russia, Ukraine, and others, further extending NATO’s historic transformation. The internal reform of NATO structures, capabilities, and procedures must be accelerated to ensure that NATO is able to carry out its missions effectively. The Alliance’s door will also remain open to those countries that aspire for membership and meet NATO standards. Further, NATO must deepen working relationships between and across institutions, as it is doing with the EU, and as it also could do with new institutions. Such relationships offer opportunities for enhancing the distinctive strengths and missions of each organization.
Europe is home to some of our oldest and closest allies. Our cooperative relations are built on a sure foundation of shared values and interests. This foundation is expanding and deepening with the ongoing spread of effective democracies in Europe, and must expand and deepen still further if we are to reach the goal of a Europe whole, free, and at peace. These democracies are effective partners, joining with us to promote global freedom and prosperity. Just as in the special relationship that binds us to the United Kingdom, these cooperative relationships forge deeper ties between our nations.
The United States seeks to work closely with Russia on strategic issues of common interest and to manage issues on which we have differing interests. By reason of geography and power, Russia has great influence not only in Europe and its own immediate neighborhood, but also in many other regions of vital interest to us: the broader Middle East, South and Central Asia, and East Asia. We must encourage Russia to respect the values of freedom and democracy at home and not to impede the cause of freedom and democracy in these regions. Strengthening our relationship will depend on the policies, foreign and domestic, that Russia adopts. Recent trends regrettably point toward a diminishing commitment to democratic freedoms and institutions. We will work to try to persuade the Russian Government to move forward, not backward, along freedom’s path.
Stability and prosperity in Russia’s neighborhood will help deepen our relations with Russia; but that stability will remain elusive as long as this region is not governed by effective democracies. We will seek to persuade Russia’s government that democratic progress in Russia and its region benefits the peoples who live there and improves relationships with us, with other Western governments, and among themselves. Conversely, efforts to prevent democratic development at home and abroad will hamper the development of Russia’s relations with the United States, Europe, and its neighbors.
6. South and Central Asia
South and Central Asia is a region of great strategic importance where American interests and values are engaged as never before. India is a great democracy, and our shared values are the foundation of our good relations. We are eager to see Pakistan move along a stable, secure, and democratic path. Our goal is for the entire region of South and Central Asia to be democratic, prosperous, and at peace.
We have made great strides in transforming America’s relationship with India, a major power that shares our commitment to freedom, democracy, and rule of law. In July 2005, we signed a bold agreement – a roadmap to realize the meaningful cooperation that had eluded our two nations for decades. India now is poised to shoulder global obligations in cooperation with the United States in a way befitting a major power.
Progress with India has been achieved even as the United States has improved its strategic relationship with Pakistan. For decades, outsiders acted as if good relations with India and Pakistan were mutually exclusive. This Administration has shown that improved relations with each are possible and can help India and Pakistan make strides toward a lasting peace between themselves. America’s relationship with Pakistan will not be a mirror image of our relationship with India. Together, our relations with the nations of South Asia can serve as a foundation for deeper engagement throughout
Central Asia. Increasingly, Afghanistan will assume its historical role as a land-bridge between South and Central Asia, connecting these two vital regions.
Central Asia is an enduring priority for our foreign policy. The five countries of Central Asia are distinct from one another and our relations with each, while important, will differ. In the region as a whole, the elements of our larger strategy meet, and we must pursue those elements simultaneously: promoting effective democracies and the expansion of free-market reforms, diversifying global sources of energy, and enhancing security and winning the War on Terror.