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Critical Regions and Issues Involving U.S. Foreign Policy


America's interests - and reach - are global. Therefore, a crisis anywhere on the planet has a good chance of being on the agenda at the White House, State Department, and Pentagon as well. Here are the top hot spots consuming U.S. foreign policy efforts today.
  1. Iraq
  2. Afghanistan
  3. Libya and Africa
  4. Europe and Eurasia
  1. Israel, the Middle East, and Persian Gulf
  2. Asia
  3. Latin America and the Caribbean


While the Obama Administration has begun withdrawing US troops from Iraq, the war that the United States began there in 2003 and its fallout continue to occupy much of American foreign policy efforts.


The US-led war in Afghanistan, which began in November 2001, effectively became "Obama's War" in 2009 when the president ordered a troop surge to roll back gains of the Taliban. In June 2011, Obama announced the beginning of troop withdrawals, but Afghanistan truly remains a critical foreign policy region.

Libya and Africa

Libya dominates much of America's foreign policy attention in Africa, but the US has interests throughout the continent.

Europe and Eurasia

The United States and western Europe have traditionally had close ties. After the fall of Communism, the U.S. has also made inroads into eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.

Israel, the Middle East, and Persian Gulf

Ensuring security for Israel and securing peace among its neighbors has been a prime part of U.S. foreign policy for over 50 years.


From North Korea's sabre-rattling and suspected nuclear weapons program, to China's emergence as one of the world's top economic powers, East Asia remains a focus of US foreign relations.

Latin America and the Caribbean

Hostile governments in Cuba and Venezuela, drug and human trafficking, and immigration issues continue to mark US foreign policy issues with the countries of Central and South America and the Caribbean.

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