The Foreign Service Journal, January-February 2021

40 JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2021 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL THE FIRST 100 DAYS: TOWARD A MORE SUSTAINABLE AND VALUES-BASED NATIONAL SECURITY APPROACH By the CAP National Security and International Policy Team Center for American Progress Oct. 19, 2020 In January 2020 the Center for Ameri- can Progress set out to consider what a progressive national security agenda could look like in the next administra- tion, whether a new Biden administra- tion or a second Trump administration. The organization convened experts to consider concrete ways to advance pro- gressive ideas in the first 100 days. The following are excerpts from the report’s introduction and summary. The full report contains a chapter on each of five “pil- lars,” with detailed recommendations in each, as well as substan- tive appendices. The report is supplemented with an interactive database containing some 250 recommendations from the report that users can sort and review by topic, type of action, and rel- evant agency, office or official responsible for their execution. Over the past several months, the CAP National Security and International Policy teamworked to develop an actionable plan that could serve as a roadmap for the early days of a willing administration—the first executive actions, human capital and budget investments, and policy initiatives. We identified five key pillars of action that not only reflect the reality of the world that the next administration will confront but also the progres- sive values that are necessary to put the United States on a more principled and sustainable path internationally: 1. Rebuilding and modernizing our national security institu- tions to provide the tools and resources necessary to meet today’s national security challenges. 2. Living our democratic values at home and abroad and prioritizing the defense of those values. 3. Ending the current wars responsibly and leading with diplomacy—not military action—to resolve conflicts. 4. Recalibrating our global relationships, including with U.S. allies, competitors and adversaries. 5. Tackling global challenges such as climate change, migration, arms control, corruption and building a new multilateralism that advances the collective good. As CAP built this 100-day plan, we were mindful that the line between domestic and foreign policy is no longer as stark as it once was. This plan touches on what necessary steps the United States must take at home to put it on a stronger footing in the world, including investing in its economic competitiveness, strengthening its democracy and taking bold steps on climate change. CAP will continue to deliver additional bold, progressive ideas in these areas in the months ahead. … Rebuilding and Rebalancing Our National Security Tools and Institutions. …Recommendations to rebuild and restore trust in our national security institutions and rebalance our national security tools to end the cycle of overreliance on the armed forces tomanage problems that should be handled by civilian agencies. Living Our Democratic Values. Protecting human rights and upholding democratic values has been a perennial goal for U.S. presidents of both major political parties. …The next administra- tion must take immediate steps to reverse harmful policies and halt human rights violations in U.S. domestic and foreign policy, demonstrating through words and deeds a renewed commitment to living our values. Ending the Wars Responsibly. Despite conflict fatigue at home, ending direct U.S. military involvement will not “end the wars” and will lead to profound consequences for innocent civilians. A more responsible approach will require a com- mitment to lead with diplomacy, enhance transparency and develop a more sustainable and resilient approach to ongoing threats, including terrorism. Recalibrating U.S. Global Relationships. America’s interna- tional reputation has suffered greatly from the current admin- istration’s abandonment of alliances, disregard of democratic values and mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic. The next administration will need to make a concerted effort to rebuild relationships with democratic allies and partners, offering a new vision for global engagement with democratic values at its core. The following chapter provides recommendations to restore democratic partnerships, compete more effectively with adver- saries and recalibrate relationships to fit today’s challenges. Tackling Global Challenges. Climate change, unprec- edented human migration, new technologies and an ongoing pandemic are just some of the issues the next administration will face from its first day in office. Working with international partners to tackle these problems will be essential to achiev- ing meaningful progress. The next administration will need to return to multilateralism—with renewed commitments to rebuild the trust that was lost over the past four years—to tackle this growing list of global challenges. n