In summary, a strategy of engagement reaps significant benefits for our Nation — benefits that actively support our goals of security, prosperity and democracy, yet always remain in consonance with our principles of protecting our national interests and advancing our values. Indeed, there is no other viable policy choice in this global era.
II. Implementing the Strategy
Into the 21st century, the United States must continue to adapt to changes brought by globalization such that we foster close cooperative relations with the world’s most influential nations while preserving our ability to shape those nations capable of having an adverse effect upon our well-being and way of life. A stable, peaceful international security environment is the desired endstate — one in which our nation, citizens and interests are not threatened. It is important that we work to enhance the health and safety of our citizens by promoting a cleaner global environment and effective strategies to combat infectious disease. We must work to ensure that the United States continues to prosper through increasingly open international markets and sustainable growth in the global economy, and that democratic values, respect for human rights, and the rule of law are increasingly accepted.
Chapter II describes how we intend to utilize the instruments at our disposal to implement our strategy for engagement and, in the process, achieve the goals of security, prosperity, and democracy — our vision for ourselves and others in the 21st century.
Enhancing Security at Home and Abroad
Our strategy for enhancing U.S. security has three principal elements: shaping the international security environment, responding to threats and crises, and preparing for an uncertain future.
Shaping the International Environment
The United States seeks to shape the international environment through a variety of means, including diplomacy, economic cooperation, international assistance, arms control and nonproliferation efforts, military presence and engagement activities, and global health initiatives. These activities enhance U.S. security by promoting regional security; enhancing economic progress; supporting military activities abroad, international law enforcement cooperation, and environmental efforts; and preventing, reducing or deterring the diverse threats we face today. These measures adapt and strengthen alliances and friendships, maintain U.S. influence in key regions, and encourage adherence to international norms.
The U.S. intelligence community provides various Federal agencies with critical support for the full range of our involvement abroad. Comprehensive collection and analytic capabilities are needed to provide warning of threats to U.S. national security, give analytical support to the policy, law enforcement, and military communities, enable near-
real time intelligence while retaining global perspective, identify opportunities for advancing our national interests, and maintain our information advantage in the international arena. We place the highest priority on monitoring the most serious threats to U.S. security. These include countries or other entities potentially hostile to the United States; proliferation of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons and their means of delivery; other transnational threats, including terrorism, drug trafficking, proliferation of small arms and light weapons, other international crime, and potential threats to our critical infrastructure such as computer network attack; potential regional conflicts that might affect U.S. national security interests; illegal economic or uncontrolled refugee migration; and threats to U.S. forces and citizens abroad.
Active diplomacy is critical to advancing our national security. The work of our missions and representatives around the world serves a number of shaping functions. Examples include adapting alliances, as the State and Defense Departments do when they work to ensure that NATO “candidate” militaries will be interoperable with those of current NATO members; deterring aggression, mediating disputes, and resolving conflicts as shown by our efforts to dampen the momentum to conflict in South Asia and the Middle East; promoting the trade and investment opportunities that increase U.S. economic prosperity; and confronting new threats.
While crisis management is an important foreign policy function, crisis prevention is far preferable. Throughout the 1990s, the United States has most frequently chosen a policy of preventive diplomacy to avert conflict as well as humanitarian and other emergencies. Bringing disputing parties to the table is less costly in lives and resources than separating warring parties; helping failing states is less burdensome than rebuilding failed states; and feeding the hungry is far more effective and easier than treating victims of diseases wrought by malnutrition.
Our diplomatic efforts are often multilateral. Consistent with our global leadership role, it is incumbent upon the United States to maintain its financial and political support for international institutions such as the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the World Trade Organization. We must continue to work to ensure we meet our financial obligations to international organizations.
Likewise, domestically, we must remain committed to supporting the State Department, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Peace Corps, and other vehicles of U.S. diplomacy. Our diplomatic infrastructure must be updated to meet critical productivity and information age requirements to effectively serve our diplomatic and consular efforts worldwide. Modernization of embassies, consulates, and our diplomatic telecommunications and information infrastructure is essential to advancing and protecting vital national interests overseas. Our embassies and consulates host critical elements of peacetime power: diplomatic personnel, commercial, defense, and legal attaches, and consular and security officers dedicated to protecting Americans at home and abroad. Our commitment in properly resourcing these modernization plans is essential if we are to have the future diplomatic infrastructure capable of supporting and enhancing our leadership role worldwide.
Such enhancements to our diplomatic infrastructure will also help attract a new generation of professionals whose skill, dedication, and creativity are at the heart of our ability to use diplomacy to protect American interests. To both attract and retain these individuals, we must take every measure to keep our personnel safe overseas. The State Department is therefore implementing a broad program of security enhancements in response to continued threats of terrorism directed at U.S. diplomatic and consular facilities overseas. The investment is warranted. The cost to sustain and protect the diplomatic components of our peacetime power is a tiny fraction of the price associated with the crises averted by their presence.