Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 11/2009

America's Security Role in a Changing World

Patrick M. Cronin, editor

September 2009

Academy of Political Science


Although the United States cannot afford to be the world’s exclusive security guarantor, the world is ill prepared for U.S. retrenchment. This Global Strategic Assessment offers a conceptual pathway for U.S. policymakers to begin recalibrating America’s security role to reverse what has appeared to be a widening gap between U.S. ends and means, now and in the future. International security requires U.S. active engagement, but the character of that engagement is changing along with the global environment. Worldwide trends suggest that the United States will increasingly have to approach complex challenges and surprises through wider and more effective partnerships and more integrated strategies. This volume explains the complex security environment and how in particular the United States can begin the process of strategic adaptation.