News from NDU

News | Aug. 28, 2015

Ambassador Nick Burns speaks on “America’s Global Foreign Policy Challenges”

By Deby Jones

On 28 August 2015, Harvard University Professor Nicholas Burns challenged National War College students to examine the future of global power, stating that world peace and security would depend upon cooperation among 21st century powers to confront the world’s daunting challenges.  America’s continued global engagement and leadership, he said, are vital to maintaining U.S. national security.  Burns made his remarks to the National War College Class of 2016, on campus, in a speech on “America’s Global Foreign Policy Challenges.”

Burns emphasized that only through the calibrated implementation of the instruments of power – political, economic, military, and the influence of soft power could the United States remain the world’s strongest power.  American leadership, he said, requires the simultaneous balance of cooperation and competition with great powers.  Burns cautioned against an “apolar” world where there is no power or collection of powers to “keep the world peaceful, stable, united, and just.”

Professor Burns is the Roy and Barbara Goodman Family Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Relations at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.  He is Director of the Future of Diplomacy Project and Faculty Chair for the Programs on the Middle East and on India and South Asia.  Professor Burns served 27 years as a U.S. diplomat, including as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs at the Department of State, Ambassador to NATO, Ambassador to Greece, and on the National Security Council at the White House.