Good afternoon, everyone. Thank you, Strobe, for your kind words and to everyone at Brookings. This was my home for six peaceful years. I miss it. Looking around the room, I see many friends who challenged and encouraged me — and who continue to generate some of the best ideas for America’s foreign policy. So, I’m very pleased to be here.
This morning, President Obama released his 2015 National Security Strategy. Fundamentally, it’s a strategy to strengthen the foundations of America’s power—political, economic, and military—and to sustain American leadership in this new century so that we can surmount the challenges of today and capture the opportunities of tomorrow.
Our strategy is guided by the same four enduring national interests we laid out in the 2010 National Security Strategy – security, prosperity, values, and a rules-based international order. Our interests are enduring, but in many respects, 2015 is a whole new ballgame. Much has changed in the last five years.
As a nation, we are stronger than we’ve been in a long time. Since President Obama took office, we arrested the worst financial crisis and repaired the biggest collapse in world trade since the Great Depression. In 2010, unemployment in the United States was almost 10 percent. Today, businesses have added more than 11 million new jobs, and unemployment is down to 5.7 percent. In 2010, our deficit topped $1 trillion; today, we’ve cut that in half, to less than $500 billion. Our kids are graduating at higher rates, and millions more Americans have healthcare. We’ve unlocked a domestic energy boom that has made us the world’s number one producer of oil and gas, strengthening our energy security – with huge ripple effects for global oil markets and geopolitics. We’ve brought home almost 170,000 American troops, responsibly ending two long and costly ground wars and re-purposing our military strength so we can better respond to emerging threats and crises. The diversity and creativity of the American people continue to be a wellspring of American power—driving innovations that are revolutionizing everything from the way we hail a cab to the way we treat disease. By fortifying our foundational strengths, America is in a better position to confront current crises and seize the opportunities of this new century.
CFR Background & Analysis
National Strategy Documents (The White House)
Addressing Tomorrow’s Challenges with Yesterday’s Budget. David Barno and Nora Bensahel. February 10, 2015 · in Strategic Outpost