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National Security Strategy 2010

Pursuing Comprehensive Engagement
Our foundation will support our efforts to engage nations, institutions, and peoples around the world on the basis of mutual interests and mutual respect.
Engagement is the active participation of the United States in relationships beyond our borders. It is, quite simply, the opposite of a self-imposed isolation that denies us the ability to shape outcomes. Indeed, America has never succeeded through isolationism. As the nation that helped to build our international system after World War II and to bring about the globalization that came with the end of the Cold War, we must reengage the world on a comprehensive and sustained basis.
Engagement begins with our closest friends and allies—from Europe to Asia; from North America to the Middle East. These nations share a common history of struggle on behalf of security, prosperity, and democracy. They share common values and a common commitment to international norms that recognize both the rights and responsibilities of all sovereign nations. America’s national security depends on these vibrant alliances, and we must engage them as active partners in addressing global and regional security priorities and harnessing new opportunities to advance common interests. For instance, we pursue close and regular collaboration with our close allies the United Kingdom, France, and Germany on issues of mutual and global concern.
We will continue to deepen our cooperation with other 21st century centers of influence—including China, India, and Russia—on the basis of mutual interests and mutual respect. We will also pursue diplomacy and development that supports the emergence of new and successful partners, from the Americas to Africa; from the Middle East to Southeast Asia. Our ability to advance constructive cooperation is essential to the security and prosperity of specific regions, and to facilitating global cooperation on issues ranging from violent extremism and nuclear proliferation, to climate change, and global economic instability—issues that challenge all nations, but that no one nation alone can meet.
To adversarial governments, we offer a clear choice: abide by international norms, and achieve the political and economic benefits that come with greater integration with the international community; or refuse to accept this pathway, and bear the consequences of that decision, including greater isolation. Through engagement, we can create opportunities to resolve differences, strengthen the international community’s support for our actions, learn about the intentions and nature of closed regimes, and plainly demonstrate to the publics within those nations that their governments are to blame for their isolation.

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