Sat, 08 Dec 2012 06:13:46 GMT

Obama Admn wants to move from chapter of war to peace



From Lalit K Jha
Washington, Dec 7 (PTI) The Obama Administration which in its first four years was focused on managing legacy issues inherited from its predecessor is hoping to move to a new chapter of peace in its second term, a top presidential advisor has said.

Drawing out a broad sketch of its foreign policy agenda in the second term beginning next January, Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communication for the US President Ben Rhodes said besides continuing with its counter- terrorism effort and meeting its commitment of not letting Iran develop nuclear weapons, the Administration would focus on a host of key issues including nuclear non-proliferation, consolidating Arab spring, cyber security and climate change.

"One thing that we are looking to do is, as we move out of chapter of war and into hopefully a chapter of peace, the US is positioning itself to take advantage of opportunities around the world and is engaging the world in a way that shores up the cornerstone of our engagement, which is our alliances that builds up alliances with emerging powers," Rhodes said.

"We need to complete transition and end of war in Afghanistan and support a stable, durable framework for security in South Asia. We need to continue our efforts against al-Qaeda, but also put those efforts in a sustainable framework for the long term - so, we can protect ourselves, our allies, but not necessarily have terrorism be the predominant focus of American foreign policy but rather something that we are capable of managing as a threat to US and global security," he said.

"We also have a commitment to Iran not developing a nuclear weapon but I''d put that in the broader context of our overall non-proliferation agenda, which involves strengthening a non-proliferation regime, continuing ways to reduce US nuclear stockpiles, continuing to do arms control with Russia, and continuing our efforts to secure nuclear materials," Rhodes said.

"We have a defense budget strategy that we are going to be implementing. We have a number of initiatives that are underway, including a Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement that we''d like to complete. We are focused on how we can continue to posture our forces, security-wise, effectively in the region. We want to continue to invest in our alliances there," he said.

The Obama Administration would like to see how the US can help consolidate a change in Arab Spring countries like Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Yemen.

"We''re also focused very much on cyber security, both in terms of how are we securing the US cyber-infrastructure in particular, but also our dialogue with other countries around the world as cyber becomes a more predominant issue," he said.
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