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National Security Strategy 2010

The global economy is being reshaped by innovation, emerging economies, transition to low-carbon energy, and recovery from a catastrophic recession. The convergence of wealth and living standards among developed and emerging economies holds out the promise of more balanced global growth, but dramatic inequality persists within and among nations. Profound cultural and demographic tensions, rising demand for resources, and rapid urbanization could reshape single countries and entire regions. As the world grows more interconnected, more individuals are gaining awareness of their universal rights and have the capacity to pursue them. Democracies that respect the rights of their people remain successful states and America’s most steadfast allies. Yet the advance of democracy and human rights has stalled in many parts of the world.
More actors exert power and influence. Europe is now more united, free, and at peace than ever before. The European Union has deepened its integration. Russia has reemerged in the international arena as a strong voice. China and India—the world’s two most populous nations—are becoming more engaged globally. From Latin America to Africa to the Pacific, new and emerging powers hold out opportunities for partnership, even as a handful of states endanger regional and global security by flouting international norms. International institutions play a critical role in facilitating cooperation, but at times cannot effectively address new threats or seize new opportunities. Meanwhile, individuals, corporations, and civil society play an increasingly important role in shaping events around the world.
The United States retains the strengths that have enabled our leadership for many decades. Our society is exceptional in its openness, vast diversity, resilience, and engaged citizenry. Our private sector and civil society exhibit enormous ingenuity and innovation, and our workers are capable and dedicated. We have the world’s largest economy and most powerful military, strong alliances and a vibrant cultural appeal, and a history of leadership in economic and social development. We continue to be a destination that is sought out by immigrants from around the world, who enrich our society. We have a transparent, accountable democracy and a dynamic and productive populace with deep connections to peoples around the world. And we continue to embrace a set of values that have enabled liberty and opportunity at home and abroad.
Now, the very fluidity within the international system that breeds new challenges must be approached as an opportunity to forge new international cooperation. We must rebalance our long-term priorities so that we successfully move beyond today’s wars, and focus our attention and resources on a broader set of countries and challenges. We must seize on the opportunities afforded by the world’s interconnection, while responding effectively and comprehensively to its dangers. And we must take advantage of the unparalleled connections that America’s Government, private sector, and citizens have around the globe.

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