U.S. National Security Advisor Thomas Donilon cites specific steps the Obama administration is taking to help foster a "stable security environment" in Asia. Watch the complete speech below. (4 min., 37 sec.)
News broke today that U.S. President Barack Obama's national security adviser Tom Donilon is resigning and will be replaced by Susan Rice, the current U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Donilon's exit, set to be officially announced later today, is effective in early July. From The New York Times:
A central member of Mr. Obama’s foreign-policy team since he first took office, Mr. Donilon, 58, has exerted sweeping influence, mostly behind the scenes, on issues from counterterrorism to the reorientation of America to Asia from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Among his last big projects was negotiating the highly unusual informal meeting between Mr. Obama and President Xi Jinping of China on Friday at an estate in Southern California. Mr. Donilon, just back from talks in Beijing, clearly took pride of ownership.
Asia Society Vice President of Global Policy Programs Suzanne DiMaggio said the departure of Donilon, one of the key architects of the U.S. "rebalance" to Asia, does not signal a change of focus from the region:
Many on both sides of the Pacific are wondering if the Obama administration will follow through on this strategic shift. It would be a mistake to view his departure as a diminishment in the U.S. focus on Asia. In fact, in President Obama's second term we are seeing a concerted effort to carry through with policies focused on deepening political, economic, and military engagement across Asia. How this "rebalance" plays out will be a key factor in shaping Mr. Donilon's eventual legacy. And with the Obama-Xi summit later this week, one big part of that legacy could be setting the stage for a new kind of bilateral relationship with China.
On March 11, 2013, Donilon gave a major address at Asia Society headquarters New York in which he reaffirmed the Obama administration's second-term focus on the Asia-Pacific region. You can watch a clip from Donilon's Asia Society speech above. We have also embedded the complete program, including an on-stage Q&A with DiMaggio, below. The complete text from Donilon's Asia Society speech can be found here.
Next week, Donilon is scheduled to receive the Policy Achievement Award at Asia Society's Washington, D.C., awards dinner on Wednesday, June 12. Tickets are still available.
Donilon outlines the Obama administration's views on the path ahead for the United States in Asia in the areas of security, democracy, trade, and economics. Following his remarks, he is joined in discussion by Asia Society's Suzanne DiMaggio. (1 hr., 6 min.)