Brent Scowcroft Center Senior Navy Fellow Mark Seip writes for the Huffington Post on what the United States can do to prepare for its foreign policy strategy:
More than raw talent or organizational history, the ability for a team to maximize its chance for success on any given Sunday is its preparation leading up to game time. Likewise, success on the field of foreign policy rests upon a country’s ability to apply intellectual rigor to the development of its strategy, ideally before that strategy must be implemented. With the myriad crises occurring recently, that preparation is even more critical so that a nation such as the United States can develop a playbook and be focused going forward. A failure to do said preparation will lead to reactive policies that will sow doubt about the nation’s reliability among allies and partners, and may even create outcomes that run counter to one another on the global scene.
Therefore, like a team preparing for game day, the United States can break down its preparation in foreign policy into three basic but critical elements:
Know Yourself. The first and most critical step for a team is to acknowledge and understand its core strengths. The US reputation abroad is built on its support of universal values such as individual empowerment, freedom of speech and religion, and championing rule of law that preserves human dignity. By contrast, China and Russia focus on a transactional policy, using the accumulation of resources as their guiding principle. The United States needs to avoid the perception of falling into this mold and remain focused on the preservation of human dignity to the maximum extent possible in its policy development.