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U.S. policy is dictated by global political and economic realities as well as domestic U.S. policy priorities. Not only is President Obama faced with the stark reality of an America perceived by many to have lost its moral compass in an increasingly multi-polar world where American power and resource capacities are dwindling and its leadership role being challenged, but the priorities of policy and resource allocation must remain for the short and near-terms on the domestic economic crisis, the two unpopular wars he has inherited and traditional national interest priorities. In the realm of foreign affairs, this means that Europe, Russia, the Middle East, Japan and China will continue to be the highest priorities and, as the developing world intersects with those policy priorities, it will be mostly in the form of India, Brazil, and, perhaps, South Africa.

About the Author

Steve McDonald

Steve McDonald

Former Director, Africa Program, Woodrow Wilson Center
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Africa Program

The Africa Program works to address the most critical issues facing Africa and U.S.-Africa relations, build mutually beneficial U.S.–Africa relations, and enhance knowledge and understanding about Africa in the United States. The Program achieves its mission through in-depth research and analyses, including our blog Africa Up Close, public discussion, working groups, and briefings that bring together policymakers, practitioners, and subject matter experts to analyze and offer practical options for tackling key challenges in Africa and in U.S.-Africa relations.    Read more

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