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Senior Adviser on the Iran Nuclear Negotiations, Jake Sullivan, discusses American foreign policy priorities

Nov. 02, 2014

Former Director of Policy Planning at the U.S. State Department and current Senior Adviser on the Iran Nuclear Negotiations, Jake Sullivan, delivered an address entitled "Headlines and Trendlines - the Obama Administration's Foreign Policy" and led a discussion with the Future of Diplomacy Faculty Director, R. Nicholas Burns, experts, students, and fellows in the Belfer Center Library on October 30. He examined President Obama's current foreign policy strategy and national security priorities as well as expectations for the remaining two years of the Obama presidency.

Jake Sullivan began his seminar by maintaining that the Obama administration is "faced with the greatest multiplicity of issues," ranging from conflict in the Middle East to the Ukraine crisis and ongoing climate change negotiations. In the midst of these issues, Sullivan stressed that President Obama's response has been to "rebuild, rebalance, and reshape." Sullivan acknowledged progress and positive developments in Trans-Atlantic and Trans-Pacific partnerships (TTIP and TPP) and praised President Obama's commitment to tackling the rise of ISIS and leading climate change commitments in the leadup to the 2015 Paris Conference.

Sullivan framed Obama's foreign policy around two major issues currently on the foreign policy agenda: maintaining a healthy US-China relationship and supporting European and Asian allies confront global challenges, including violent extremism, increased Russian assertiveness, and regional economic stagnation.

Drawing upon his personal experience as National Security Advisor to Vice-President Biden, Sullivan was critical of the Syria 'Red Line' narrative of President Obama as an "insufficiently assertive or self-assured" President, arguing instead that the "headlines have really crowded out Obama's foreign policy." Sullivan maintained that President Obama has consistently been and still remains as assertive and committed to the multiplicity of global issues that the US confronts.

For more information on this publication: Please contact Future of Diplomacy Project
For Academic Citation:Senior Adviser on the Iran Nuclear Negotiations, Jake Sullivan, discusses American foreign policy priorities.” News, , November 2, 2014.