Jake Sullivan Discusses US Foreign Policy Priorities
March 1, 2012
Author: Charles Hobbs
Belfer Center Programs or Projects: The Future of Diplomacy Project
Jake Sullivan, Director of Policy Planning at the US State Department, outlined his interpretation of the goals of American foreign policy in the 21st century as part of the Future of Diplomacy Project’s international speaker series on February 27, 2012. The talk was held in an “off-the-record” format. The following comments summarize the discussion and are not attributable.
In a time of significant global change, Sullivan argued that the future of US influence would lie in America’s ability to mobilize collective international action to resolve global challenges. He also expressed his hopes that American policymaking might be able to transition from a mostly reactive, threat-based stance towards a greater focus on a proactive approach to heading off potential conflicts and disagreements.
Sullivan highlighted four policy areas of particular importance for US officials today. Creating the right conditions for the emergence of a stable Afghan government after the end of US central military involvement in 2014 is a foremost concern for many policymakers. Sullivan also discussed the dynamic nature of evolving US diplomacy in the Middle East in the wake of the Arab Spring, as well the future of US-Iranian relations and the need to be active in engaging productively with China in the Asia-Pacific region.
After concluding his prepared remarks, Sullivan also fielded questions from the audience on a broad swathe of policy issues in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia.
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