US National Security Strategy, Implementation, and the Middle East

The US National Security Strategy, released on February 6, reflects President Barack Obama’s world view in the context of dynamic and volatile global change. The document focuses on US leadership in the face of complex emergencies with a strong commitment to promoting US values through global cooperation with capable partners. It leaves behind the passive “leading from behind” rhetoric and recognizes the interdependence of global economies. Overall, the strategy largely takes a positive, proactive, and cooperative approach to global issues, but leaves many questions over implementation to further elaboration by the administration.

Ambassador Francis J. Ricciardone, Vice President and Director of the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, offers a review of this policy-guiding document in his latest article on The New Atlanticist blog, titled “A Strong Affirmation of Goals, But Short on Commitment of Resources to Diplomacy.” In it, he notes:

Ricciardone further examines how this strategy applies to the Middle East. He notes that it does not revolve around a single issue, such as the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL), but rather accurately reflects a commitment to supporting international rule of law. While recognizing the need to maintain a principled approach to promoting democracy and human rights, he applauds the President’s realism in recognizing the need to work with all stakeholders to achieve the fundamental need for stability and peace in the region.