"The global financial and economic crisis affects all three of the essential national interests of the United States: national security, economic well being, and value projection. Only occasionally does an event of this magnitude occur that generates such daunting challenges yet also opportunities for U.S. policy. The effects of the crisis on foreign policy, trade, and security are so diverse and widespread that, out of necessity, policy responses must range from the highly specific to the broad and ethereal. This report provides an overview of the major non-financial effects of the global crisis. In some countries, incumbent governments have lost support or authoritarian governments are consolidating power. In certain countries, conditions for citizen discontent or even radicalism are being augmented and market capitalism is being questioned. On the world stage, U.S. leadership is being challenged; money to lend is becoming a critical component of soft power; budgets are tightening and threatening funds for economic assistance and national security; international financial institutions are assuming a higher profile relative to national governments; and shifts in trade flows are raising forces for protectionism. As seen in the G-20 London Summit, the financial crisis also has become a rallying point for anti-globalization groups and anti-government activists. The U.S. Director of National Intelligence, Dennis Blair, has told Congress that instability in countries around the world caused by the global economic crisis and its geopolitical implications, rather than terrorism, is the primary near-term security threat to the United States."
CRS Report for Congress, R40496
U.S. Dept. of State, Foreign Press Centers: http://www.fpc.state.gov/