The last two weeks have witnessed escalating tensions on the Korean peninsula, sparked by the suspected sinking of the ROKS Chenoan by a North Korean submarine, which resulted in the deaths of the 46 crew members. Both sides have issued provocations, and the U.S. has stepped up its military preparations in the event that hostilities erupt. What the situation clearly demonstrates is that there is a significant need for a coordinated international response in order to ease tensions and resolve the situation. Such international cooperation and coordination is a pillar of U.S. national security interests and strategy - a point affirmed by President Obama in his West Point address - and is an approach that also benefits U.S. ally South Korea. As Council on Foreign Relations expert Sheila Smith observed, "It is the only way to validate President Lee's efforts to demonstrate to his citizens that the collaborative international approach he has taken will be to South Korea's benefit."
The U.S. request for Pakistani assistance in investigating connections between the failed Times Square bombing and militants operating within its borders highlights the vital link between partnerships abroad and security at home. A year ago, the Administration set out to rebuild what had been anemic counter-terrorism cooperation at best, by improving the broader tenor of U.S.-Pakistani relations. As the U.S. looks to Pakistan to help unravel the Times Square plot and prevent similar attacks in the future, it highlights a larger reality: effectively combating terrorism is a global challenge, which requires a cooperative response.
With America facing two wars and a global economic crisis of nearly unprecedented severity, it is tempting to relegate matters in Latin America to the back-burner. But for the last eight years, the Bush administration has pursued an episodic and ideological approach that ignored the concerns of countries in the regions. The consequences have been troubling. A new report from the Brookings Institution on the future of U.S. - Latin American relations argues that the U.S. must become a full partner in the affairs in its own hemisphere.