Invest in the Capacity of Strong and Capable Partners
Where governments are incapable of meeting their citizens’ basic needs and fulfilling their responsibilities to provide security within their borders, the consequences are often global and may directly threaten the American people. To advance our common security, we must address the underlying political and economic deficits that foster instability, enable radicalization and extremism, and ultimately undermine the ability of governments to manage threats within their borders and to be our partners in addressing common challenges. To invest in the capacity of strong and capable partners, we will work to:
Foster Security and Reconstruction in the Aftermath of Conflict: The United States and the international community cannot shy away from the difficult task of pursuing stabilization in conflict and post-conflict environments. In countries like Iraq and Afghanistan, building the capacity necessary for security, economic growth, and good governance is the only path to long term peace and security. But we have also learned that the effectiveness of these efforts is profoundly affected by the capacity of governments and the political will of their leaders. We will take these constraints into account in designing appropriate assistance strategies and will facilitate the kind of collaboration that is essential—within our government and with international organizations—in those instances when we engage in the difficult work of helping to bring conflicts to an end.
Pursue Sustainable and Responsible Security Systems in At-Risk States: Proactively investing in stronger societies and human welfare is far more effective and efficient than responding after state collapse. The United States must improve its capability to strengthen the security of states at risk of conflict and violence. We will undertake long-term, sustained efforts to strengthen the capacity of security forces to guarantee internal security, defend against external threats, and promote regional security and respect for human rights and the rule of law. We will also continue to strengthen the administrative and oversight capability of civilian security sector institutions, and the effectiveness of criminal justice.
Prevent the Emergence of Conflict: Our strategy goes beyond meeting the challenges of today, and includes preventing the challenges and seizing the opportunities of tomorrow. This requires investing now in the capable partners of the future; building today the capacity to strengthen the foundations of our common security, and modernizing our capabilities in order to ensure that we are agile in the face of change. We have already begun to reorient and strengthen our development agenda; to take stock of and enhance our capabilities; and to forge new and more effective means of applying the skills of our military, diplomats, and development experts. These kinds of measures will help us diminish military risk, act before crises and conflicts erupt, and ensure that governments are better able to serve their people.