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HKS Authors

See citation below for complete author information.

Roy and Barbara Goodman Family Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Relations

Abstract

With his dramatic victory in Tuesday’s election, President Obama must now pivot quickly to address three urgent foreign policy issues that may go a long way to determine the success of his second-term agenda. By any objective standard, Obama produced a successful international record during the past four years. He brought us out of Iraq, took the fight to Al Qaeda, resurrected our global credibility, and charted a new policy to sustain American power in Asia. But there is no rest for the weary in international politics. Obama now faces a sea of strategic challenges from ongoing terrorist threats to climate change, the European debt crisis, a rogue regime in North Korea, and the uncertain path of the Arab revolutions. Three big crises, however, will not wait much beyond inauguration day. The most important is, by far, the economy. America’s power abroad has always depended on our economic health at home. We won’t be able to afford our first-rate armed forces and Foreign Service without a revived economy.

Citation

Burns, R. Nicholas. "Three Crises That Can’t Wait." The Boston Globe, November 8, 2012.