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Tom Kelly on U.S. Foreign Policy


South Korea and U.S. warships participate in their joint military drill.

In Asia as in the rest of the world, the key to effective security is effective security partnerships.

“At the forefront of the United States’ foreign policy is the notion that America helps itself by helping others,” U.S. Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs Tom Kelly said to the Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies in explaining how the U.S. Departments of State and Defense work together.

“The challenges we face today typically can’t be solved by just our military, or our economic engagement, and . . . we can’t resolve everything just with our diplomatic efforts, either. . . . Addressing the world’s toughest problems really does take a whole-of-government effort,” he said.

Security cooperation is playing a central role in American foreign policy. “Security is often the foundation for economic growth, democratic governance, and the preservation of human rights,” Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Kelly said. “By helping our partners to take on greater security responsibilities, our assistance helps empower others to advance peace and stability, while at the same time reducing the likelihood of putting our military forces in harm’s way.”

“The rebalance towards Asia” is a central U.S. policy, based on the vision that America has an important stake in a prosperous and stable Asia-Pacific.

“All countries benefit from a global environment that is stable and prosperous,” Mr. Kelly said. “Reaching the goal of universal prosperity depends on security – in [Asia-Pacific’s] case, maritime security. We know that you don’t get [to] trade within Asia, and with Asia and the Americas, without open sea lanes.”

In Asia as in the rest of the world, the key to effective security is effective security partnerships.




“[The United States is] working to modernize [its] alliances and ensure that we can cooperate seamlessly with partners to respond to crises and contingencies,” Mr. Kelly said. “The potential problems are not limited to those caused by people. Mother Nature sometimes forcefully reminds us that she is in charge.”




“By tackling the world’s toughest problems together, we can bring new perspectives and expanded capabilities to bear,” Mr. Kelly said in conclusion. “We can build partnerships to be proud of – within government, with civil society, and with nations around the world.
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