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Obama to Prioritize Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran Policies

Posted December. 23, 2008 05:34,   


U.S. President-elect Barack Obama has pledged to prioritize U.S. foreign policy on Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran after taking office next month.

In an interview with the latest edition of Time magazine, Obama was asked what three places Hillary Clinton will visit first after assuming the position of secretary of state.

He declined to elaborate but briefly mentioned his top priority is Iraq, and that managing a more effective strategy in Afghanistan is another key priority.

Selected the magazine’s person of the year, he said, “Recognizing that it is not simply an Afghanistan problem but it’s an Afghanistan-Pakistan-India-Kashmir-Iran problem is going to be a priority.”

“Dealing with our transatlantic alliance in a more constructive way and trying to build a more effective relationship with the newly assertive and, I believe, inappropriately aggressive Russia is going to be a priority.”

He added, “Managing our relationship with China and the entire Pacific Rim is something that will keep not just me busy but my successor busy.”

Obama cited nuclear non-proliferation, climate change and dealing with development and poverty around the world as critical components of his foreign policy.

On what challenges that really weigh on him as intractable problems, he cited economic recovery and Afghanistan along with non-proliferation as the things that keep him up at night.

“The U.S. is going to have to take leadership in stitching back together a nonproliferation regime that has been frayed. We’re going to have to do it at the same time as the Internet has made technology for the creation of weapons of mass destruction more accessible than ever before and at a time when more countries are going to be pursuing nuclear power,” he said.

“I believe I was mandated for change in the presidential election. It is not a mandate for an ideology or a party but a mandate for the creation of the government that keeps focusing on the demand, pain and dream of ordinary citizens.”