The Foreign Service Journal, December 2022

14 DECEMBER 2022 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL TALKING POINTS New National Security Strategy Released O n Oct. 12, President Joe Biden pre- sented his National Security Strat- egy (NSS) o utlining the administration’s priorities in response to current threats worldwide. The four-part strat- egy lays out the coun- try’s approach to power competition between democracies and autocra- cies; the maintenance of and investment in U.S. industrial, military, and diplomatic efforts; climate change, food insecurity, and other sources of global instability; and a break- down of relational strategies by region. Part 3 highlights the importance of “out-competing China and constraining Russia,” while still emphasizing “coopera- tion on shared challenges,” such as transi- tioning away from fossil fuel dependency. According to Politico , the congres- sionally mandated document reflects aspects of both the Obama and the Trump administrations’ outlooks on national security, with interests in strengthening international alliances while investing in domestic economic initiatives. The Pentagon’s National Defense Strategy and Nuclear Posture Review are expected to follow in the coming weeks, in alignment with the president’s and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan’s vision of “a step forward toward the reduction of the role of nuclear weapons in American strategy,” according to The New York Times . Critics of the 48-page NSS say that while the plan integrates a full range of critical issues, ideas for implementing solutions fall short on specifics and practicality. They also note that the plan’s reduced focus on the Middle East is unexpected, given that many experts inWashington believe what happens in that region is vital to American security and prosperity. In a press statement about the strategy, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that “American diplomacy will continue to leverage our country’s unrivaled networks of allies and partners to build the strongest possible coalition of nations … at a moment when revisionist, authoritarian powers are undermining international peace and stability and we face unprecedented, shared chal- lenges that threaten the lives and livelihoods of all our people.” Senior Appointments at State and USAID D espite a lull in nominations and con- firmations during the autumn Senate recess, the month of October saw a series of important appointments to senior posi- tions in the foreign affairs agencies. On Oct. 3, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced the return of Ambas- sador Nina Hachigian to the State Depart- ment as the first special representative for subnational diplomacy. In this role, she will also lead the newly established Unit for Subnational Diplomacy. Most recently, Amb. Hachigian served as the first deputy mayor for international affairs for the city of Los Angeles. She previously served as the second resident U.S. ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and on the National Security Council during the Clinton administration. In a press statement, Secretary Blinken said State recognizes that “U.S. cities and states are incubators for inno- vative and novel ideas that tackle global challenges, and the Department should harness these solutions. Amb. Hachigian will also lead and coordinate the devel- opment of subnational diplomacy policy across the Department.” Little has been made public about the formation of the new subnational diplomacy unit, although for several years diplomats and foreign policy ana- lysts have called for the creation of such an office to centrally coordinate part- nerships among cities, states, and the USAID Administrator Samantha Power swears in Clinton White as the agency’s new counselor on Oct. 4, 2022. USAID