"Over the coming decade and beyond, the United States and the international community will face enormously complex security challenges and threats, some of which are not traditionally viewed as security issues. Given the emerging nature of and interdependencies between these threats and challenges, world leaders are increasingly operating in terra incognito. In an effort to assist the Obama administration and international leaders in this new and ambiguous environment, the Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS) at the National Defense University performed a global strategic assessment with the assistance of 125 contributors. The objective of the assessment was not to provide policy prescriptions but to offer a portrait of the world that respects the breadth and diversity of issues driving this nascent security environment. To that end, a publication containing the outcomes of these efforts, Global Strategic Assessment 2009: America's Security Role in a Changing World, will be released in the coming weeks. The publication lays out approaches to the international security environment by analyzing eight key functional trends, highlighting critical regional issues, and suggesting an intellectual construct to evaluate challenges and opportunities. In advance of the final publication's release, INSS convened a public symposium in April 2009 to highlight some of the assessment's key findings and insights. This paper summarizes the symposium presentations and discussions."
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