“We must use what has been called smart power: the full range of tools at our disposal – diplomatic, economic, military, political, legal, and cultural – picking the right tool, or combination of tools, for each situation.” — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton
The Obama Administration recognizes that the United States and the world face great perils and urgent foreign policy challenges including ongoing wars and regional conflicts, the global economic crisis, terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, climate change, worldwide poverty, food insecurity, and pandemic disease.
Military force may sometimes be necessary to protect our people and our interests. But diplomacy and development are equally important in creating conditions for a peaceful, stable and prosperous world. That is the essence of smart power – using all the tools at our disposal.
Smart power requires reaching out to both friends and adversaries, bolstering old alliances and forging new ones. Even if we disagree with some governments, America shares a bond of common humanity with the people of every nation, and we work to invest in that common humanity.
Foreign Policy Goals
Agility and Interdependence
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is pursuing a foreign policy agenda powered by partnership, principles, and pragmatism. Cooperating and collaborating with other nations and organizations, the State Department is working to design and implement global and regional solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.
Development and Human Rights as Integral
More than two billion people worldwide live on less than two dollars a day, and many suffer daily violations of their dignity and human rights. Economic and social development and the promotion of human rights worldwide, especially for women and girls, remain essential to U.S. foreign policy.
Foreign Policy Tools
The State Department is disciplined in evaluating foreign policy choices; weighing the costs and consequences of our action or inaction; gauging the probability of success; and insisting on measurable results.
The American Spirit
American democracy continues to inspire people worldwide, and U.S. influence is greatest when we live up to our own ideals. The Obama Administration aims to make the United States an exemplar of our own values.