Contributing writer from The Hill
President Obama has pursued national security policies that keep the American people safe, while turning the page on a decade of war and restoring American leadership abroad. Since President Obama took office, the United States has limited al Qaeda’s leadership. Ending the war in Iraq and have begun to wind down the war in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, we have refocused on a broader set of priorities around the globe that will allow the United States to be safe, strong, and prosperous in the 21st century.
The National Security Strategy
The National Security Strategy, released May 27, 2010, lays out a strategic approach for advancing American interests, including the security of the American people, a growing U.S. economy, support for our values, and an international order that can address 21st century challenges.
Leadership: Re-energizing America’s Alliances
America’s relationships with allies are at the center of our engagement with the world. Since taking office, President Obama has strengthened America’s old alliances, while building new partnerships to confront the challenges of the 21st century.
• On his first trip overseas, the President visited Europe to begin this process, with the G-20 Summit, the 60th Anniversary NATO Summit, and the U.S-E.U. Summit. During his May 2011 trip to Europe, the President reaffirmed his commitment to the Transatlantic Partnership and its role in addressing global challenges.
• The President made clear in his speech to the Turkish Parliament and in Cairo that America's relationship with the Muslim world will be based on more than our shared opposition to terrorism. We seek broader engagement based on mutual interest and mutual respect.
• The United States seeks to strengthen our historic alliances in Asia while developing deeper bonds with all nations of the region, so that we might work together to confront the challenges of the 21st century, including proliferation, climate change, pandemics and economic instability. Since the beginning of his administration, the President has made three trips to Asia and supported strategic senior-level dialogues with India and China.
Foreign Policy Roles
Chris Hughes, owner of the New Republic, asks President Obama how he "personally, morally" wrestles with the ongoing violence in Syria:
What I have to constantly wrestle with is where and when can the United States intervene or act in ways that advance our national interest, advance our security, and speak to our highest ideals and sense of common humanity. And as I wrestle with those decisions, I am more mindful probably than most of not only our incredible strengths and capabilities, but also our limitations.
Obama has kept decision-making on major issues like the war in Afghanistan and the crisis in Syria inside the White House, where McDonough has had a major role shaping U.S. policy decisions, as evidenced by his presence in the Situation Room the night Osama bin Laden was killed. Continue reading more here
The president called McDonough “an indispensable member” of his national security team when announcing several new staff positions on Friday.