Building on Success

Opportunities for the Next Administration

Biden in Tel Aviv, March 2016. Baz Ratner / Reuters

The next administration will take the reins of American foreign policy in a world that is more complex than at any point in our modern history, including the twilight of the Cold War and the years that followed the 9/11 attacks. But it is also the case that despite the proliferation of threats and challenges—some old, some new—by almost any measure, we are stronger and more secure today than when President Barack Obama and I took office in January 2009. Because of our investments at home and engagement overseas, the United States is primed to remain the world’s preeminent power for decades to come. In more than 40 years of public service, I have never been more optimistic about America’s future—if only we continue to lead.


From the outset, our administration has been guided by the belief that the foundations of U.S. global leadership reside first and foremost in our dynamic economy, peerless military, and universal values. We have built on these core strengths by expanding and modernizing the United States’ unrivaled network of alliances and partnerships and embedding them within a wider international order of rules and institutions.

Having inherited a deep economic recession, our administration first sought to steer an economy in collapse through an arduous recovery. In doing so, we have reestablished our standing as the world’s strongest and most innovative major economy, undergirded by the rule of law, the finest research universities, and an unparalleled culture of entrepreneur­ship. Smart investments coupled with American ingenuity have also made the United States the epicenter of a global energy revolution, both in renewables and in fossil fuels.

And we are seeing the results of a revitalized economy—in sustained job growth, a shift from outsourcing to insourcing, and a renewed consensus that the United States is once again the best place for businesses to invest worldwide, with the consulting firm A. T. Kearney ranking it now four years running as the top destination for foreign

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