Trump’s National Security Strategy unveiled, with focus on economics | World Defense

Trump’s National Security Strategy unveiled, with focus on economics


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Nov 17, 2017
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Trump’s National Security Strategy unveiled, with focus on economics
18 Dec 2017

WASHINGTON — U.S. President Donald Trump’s new National Security Strategy lays out a world where America is locked in global economic competition with both partners and potential adversaries.

Trump officially revealed the 68 page report during a Monday speech, telling an audience that the new strategy document will pave the way for America to remain a leader in global affairs.

“A nation that does not protect prosperity at home cannot protect its interests abroad. A nation that is not prepared to win a war is a nation not capable of preventing a war.,” Trump said. “A nation that is not proud of its history cannot be confident in its future. And a nation that is not certain of its values cannot summon the will to defend them.”

On Sunday, a trio of senior administration officials previewed the document for reporters o. The theme of the document is what those officials called “principled realism” of an “ever-competitive world,” where the question of “how we advance our goals is more critical than ever.”

The NSS is the broadest of a series of upcoming strategic documents. Following the release of the National Security Strategy will come the National Defense Strategy, then in some order the Nuclear Posture Review, National Biodefense Strategy and Missile Defense Review, all of which are expected to be released in early 2018.

Click here to read the National Security Strategy

By design, there are no breakdowns on a country-by-country level, the officials said. Instead, expect to see broad statements, with the document broken down into four key categories:

  • Protecting the homeland, which will include a focus on border security as well as missile defense.
  • Promoting American prosperity, which emphasizes the economy as a national security concern and protecting what one official called the “national security innovation base,” a term the administration has coined “capture the broader ecosystem of activities we need to make sure to protect and promote to make sure we can continue to innovate as a nation.” This section will also emphasize the need to maintain an edge in areas such as space and cyber.
  • Preserving peace through strength, a riff on the classic Reagan motto. This section covers the Pentagon’s concerns about modernization and readiness, looks at potential threats posed by competitors, and also supports upgrading the “instruments of information statecraft.”
  • Advancing American interests, which focuses on identifying “new approaches to development” that can build up future American allies and trading partners. That includes looking to the private sector to lead in investments abroad as opposed to the traditional grant model used by the government development agencies.
When asked how this document, with its broad topics, differentiates from the Obama administration’s NSS, a second official pointed to two areas of emphasis — an “unprecedented” focus on homeland security, and the focus on the economy as a national security issue.

Indeed, the economic focus appears to be woven throughout the strategy, with the “serious intellectual property threat” posed by China a point of emphasis.

The document calls for reforms to the CFIUS rules, which govern how foreign nations can invest in the U.S. and which are already being looked at in a bipartisan manner inside Congress. The strategy also calls for a look at how to better secure R&D centers, such as universities, in order to make sure American IP is protected.

“We’re looking at the measures we need to take to protect the national security [industrial] base,” the official said, including “looking at reciprocity or the lack of reciprocity” in technological investments, to make sure “we are being treated fairly.”

In addition, the officials highlighted “several” sections on the need for fair and balanced trade agreements between the U.S. and its partners overseas. “It features pretty significantly in the strategy,” the first official said.

Another thread the officials emphasized is the idea that “America First does not mean America alone,” a line promoted heavily by national security adviser H. R. McMaster at the Reagan Defense Forum earlier this month.

The first administration official described the document as presenting how America will “find areas of cooperation with our allies, our partners and sometimes, with our competitors.” However, the Trump administration will continue to “demand fair and reciprocal” economic agreements across the globe, again coming back to the economic focus of the Trump administration.

Other parts of the NSS will call for updates to NATO and the U.N, in line with previous calls from Trump; finding ways cooperate with Russia and China “where they can be found” while also being “vigilant of American interests;” and while the term “preemptive strike” does not appear in the document, it will make clear that the Trump administration “will defend our national interest and our values when threatened.”

While climate change is “not identified as a national security event,” “environmental stewardship” is discussed as an issue, the second official said. - Daily News Roundup


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Nov 17, 2017
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Revealed: Trump talks tough on Tehran as he announces his national security strategy
The US president is pledging to confront “the danger posed by the dictatorship in Iran, which those determined to pursue a flawed nuclear deal had neglected”
by Joyce Karam
December 18, 2017
Updated: December 18, 2017 11:50 PM

The Trump government has released its released its national security strategy in which it calls China a “strategic competitor”, singles out jihadist terrorism, escalates its policy against Iran and omits climate change as a threat.

The strategy, a document every US president must provide, was released on Monday with Mr Trump expected to present it in a speech at the Ronald Reagan building last night.

The 70-page document was released ahead of schedule, and was put together by departing deputy national security adviser Dina Habib Powell and senior director at the national security council, Nadia Schadlow.

The paper has tough talk for Tehran, pledging to confront “the danger posed by the dictatorship in Iran, which those determined to pursue a flawed nuclear deal had neglected”.

It accuses Tehran of trying “to destabilise regions, threaten Americans and our allies, and brutalise their own people”.

“Iran supports terrorist groups and openly calls for our destruction,” it says, laying the ground to counter Tehran’s ballistic missile activities and those of “Iranian-backed groups such as Lebanese Hizbollah”.

The document said Washington sought a “Middle East that is not a safe haven or breeding ground for jihadist terrorists, not dominated by any power hostile to the US, and that contributes to a stable global energy market”.

“For years, the interconnected problems of Iranian expansion, state collapse, jihadist ideology, socio-economic stagnation and regional rivalries have convulsed the Middle East,” it said.

“Some of our partners are working together to reject radical ideologies, and key leaders are calling for a rejection of Islamist extremism and violence. Israel is not the cause of the region’s problems.

“We remain committed to helping our partners achieve a stable and prosperous region, including through a strong and integrated GCC. We will strengthen our long-term strategic partnership with Iraq as an independent state.

“We will seek a settlement to the Syrian civil war that sets the conditions for refugees to return home and rebuild their lives in safe. We will work with partners to deny the Iranian regime all paths to a nuclear weapon and neutralise Iranian malign influence.

“We remain committed to helping facilitate a comprehensive peace agreement that is acceptable to both Israelis and Palestinians.”

A senior US official said Mr Trump made the decision on the spot to approve the document less than 12 months into his term. His predecessors took more than a year or even 20 months to present theirs.

“The US has not been competing as it should,” the official said.

The Trump strategy calls China and Russia “strategic competitors” and uses the phrase Jihadist terrorism instead of violent extremism or just terrorism, as used during the Obama presidency.

The strategy pledges to “pursue threats to their source, so that jihadist terrorists are stopped before they ever reach our borders”.

The document identifies Tehran and Pyongyang as “rogue regimes” and seeks to work with regional partners and Europeans to counter “Russian subversion and aggression, and the threats posed by North Korea and Iran”.

It says that “the US is deploying a layered missile defense system focused on North Korea and Iran to defend our homeland against missile attacks”.

But it says that “enhanced missile defence will not undermine strategic stability or disrupt long-standing strategic relationships with Russia or China”.

A senior US official said that relations with Russia were no longer at an all-time low but “lot of work needs to be done” for improvement.

The official said that Washington’s tactics in Northern Iraq made it harder for Tehran to establish a land bridge through Iraq and Syria, and into Lebanon.

Unlike Mr Trump’s campaign where he called Nato obsolete, the document emphasises the need to “work with Nato to improve its integrated air and missile defense capabilities to counter existing and projected ballistic and cruise missile threats, particularly from Iran”.

The document is the first to be released by the Trump team and will serve as a strategic guideline to US policy until the next administration.


Nov 19, 2017
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Saudi Arabia
WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump laid out his first foreign policy before the American nation on Monday, identifying three main sets of challenges to the United States and its partners that come from China, Russia, Iran, North Korea and jihadist terrorists.

The main thrust of the policy, however, is on China, which has been relegated from the status of a “strategic partner” to a “revisionist” strategic competitor — a shift that will be particularly testing for Pakistan as it wants to maintain good relations with both powers.

As President Trump read out his policy paper from the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, his own foreign policy chief, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, did not show up to hear him

Later, the White House issued a statement, saying Mr Tillerson had “other plans” and that’s why he could not come, but the US media referred to recent reports of serious differences between President Trump and his foreign policy czar and to the possibility that he was on his way out.


Mr Trump, however, continued to focus on his foreign policy agenda, despite the absence of his top diplomat.

“Three main sets of challengers — the revisionist powers of China and Russia; the rogue states of Iran and North Korea; and transnational threat organisations, particularly jihadist terrorist groups — are actively competing against the United States and its allies and partners,” said the document Mr Trump presented before his nation.

“Although differing in nature and magnitude, these rivals compete across political, economic, and military arenas, and use technology and information to accelerate these contests, in order to shift regional balances of power in their favour.” The new policy also repeats a pledge that President Trump made in its recent speeches — not to impose American values on others. “We are not going to impose our values on others,” it declares.

The paper says that the United States bases its partnerships with other states on policies that “enable us to achieve our goals while our partners achieve theirs”.

The document depicts both China and Russia as “revisionist powers” that seek to change the global status quo, but China is marked out as a greater threat.

“China and Russia challenge American power, influence, and interests, attempting to erode American security and prosperity,” said Mr Trump.

Published in Dawn, December 19th, 2017