With just two years left, the Obama administration still has plenty of time for the administration to “shape out a much larger role for America in the world,” National Security Adviser Susan Rice said in Washington Friday, but that role in is likely to be fulfilled without sending large numbers of U.S. troops to war.
“We will always act to defend our country and its people, but we aim to avoid sending many thousands of ground forces into combat in hostile lands,” said Rice, speaking Friday at the Brookings Institute .
Rice also announced in her remarks that the Obama Administration invited Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping to Washington for separate state visits.
In her speech, a hoarse Rice leaned heavily on the administration’s 2015 National Security Strategy, a 29-page security strategy document released earlier in the day. She also made frequent use of buzz words like “strength,” “leadership,” and “values,” and applauded the administration — and America — for restoring diplomatic ties with Cuba, engineering a possible deal on climate change, gutting the Ruble, and forming a coalition to fight ISIS.
Rice went on to commend America for beating back the Ebola epidemic that ravaged western Africa last year. She also said the continent has the potential, in the coming years, to grow into a world economic power. The National Security Strategy document itself endorses the entry of more Western businesses into Africa: “We will continue to support U.S. companies to deepen investment in what can be the world’s next major center of global growth.”
Rice offered lip service to continuing concerns about privacy–despite recent reports that the administration will continue to allow the F.B.I. to use national security letters, which do not require court warrants, to force businesses to hand over customer records–but offered no specifics on the administration’s plans. “We will protect civil liberties and privacy and work to improve transparency on issues like electronic surveillance,” she said.
Rice also offered some criticism of the Washington news media. “We cannot afford to be buffeted by alarmism and a nearly instantaneous news cycle,” she said.
Photo: J. Scott Applewhite/AP