II. Strategic Approach
“More than at any point in human history—the interests of nations and peoples are shared. The religious convictions that we hold in our hearts can forge new bonds among people, or tear us apart. The technology we harness can light the path to peace, or forever darken it. The energy we use can sustain our planet, or destroy it. What happens to the hope of a single child—anywhere—can enrich our world, or impoverish it.” —President Barack Obama, United Nations General Assembly, September 22, 2009—
The United States must renew its leadership in the world by building and cultivating the sources of our strength and influence. Our national security depends upon America’s ability to leverage our unique national attributes, just as global security depends upon strong and responsible American leadership. That includes our military might, economic competitiveness, moral leadership, global engagement, and efforts to shape an international system that serves the mutual interests of nations and peoples. For the world has changed at an extraordinary pace, and the United States must adapt to advance our interests and sustain our leadership.
American interests are enduring. They are:
••The security of the United States, its citizens, and U.S. allies and partners;
••A strong, innovative, and growing U.S. economy in an open international economic system that promotes opportunity and prosperity;
••Respect for universal values at home and around the world; and
••An international order advanced by U.S. leadership that promotes peace, security, and opportunity through stronger cooperation to meet global challenges.
Currently, the United States is focused on implementing a responsible transition as we end the war in Iraq, succeeding in Afghanistan, and defeating al-Qa’ida and its terrorist affiliates, while moving our economy from catastrophic recession to lasting recovery. As we confront these crises, our national strategy must take a longer view. We must build a stronger foundation for American leadership and work to better shape the outcomes that are most fundamental to our people in the 21st century.