The New American Realism

The Secretary of State reflects on the lessons of the past eight years:

Condoleezza Rice is U.S. Secretary of State;

What is the national interest? This is a question that I took up in 2000 in these pages - Foreign Affairs. That was a time that we as a nation revealingly called "the post-Cold War era." We knew better where we had been than where we were going. Yet monumental changes were unfolding -- changes that were recognized at the time but whose implications were largely unclear.
And then came the attacks of September 11, 2001. As in the aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, the United States was swept into a fundamentally different world. We were called to lead with a new urgency and with a new perspective on what constituted threats and what might emerge as opportunities. And as with previous strategic shocks, one can cite elements of both continuity and change in our foreign policy since the attacks of September 11.
What has not changed is that our relations with traditional and emerging great powers still matter to the successful conduct of policy. Thus, my admonition in 2000 that we should seek to get right the "relationships with the big powers" -- Russia, China, and emerging powers such as India and Brazil -- has consistently guided us. As before, our alliances in the Americas, Europe, and Asia remain the pillars of the international order, and we are now transforming them to meet the challenges of a new era.


"(...) ... .. The importance of strong relations with global players extends to those that are emerging. With those, particularly India and Brazil, the United States has built deeper and broader ties. India stands on the front lines of globalization. This democratic nation promises to become a global power and an ally in shaping an international order rooted in freedom and the rule of law. Brazil's success at using democracy and markets to address centuries of pernicious social inequality has global resonance. Today, India and Brazil look outward as never before, secure in their ability to compete and succeed in the global economy. In both countries, national interests are being redefined as Indians and Brazilians realize their direct stake in a democratic, secure, and open international order -- and their commensurate responsibilities for strengthening it and defending it against the major transnational challenges of our era. (...)". Fonte: Foreign Affairs, July/August 2008 Photo: Rice and President Lula from Brazil. By Ton.

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