Notwithstanding competition from China and Russia and challenged by non-state actors and rogue nations like North Korea, US President Donald Trump has asserted that America will lead again. Laying out his new national security strategy yesterday, Trump said both China and Russia seek to “challenge the American values, influence and wealth”. “They are determined to make economies less free and less fair, to grow their militaries, and to control information and data to repress their societies and expand their influence,” he said. “America will lead again”, Trump said as he sent the 68- page National Security Strategy (NSS) document to the US Congress. “We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but we will champion the values without apology. We want strong alliances and partnerships based on cooperation and reciprocity,” he added. “We will make new partnerships with those who share our goals, and make common interests into a common cause. We will not allow inflexible ideology to become an obsolete and obstacle to peace,” he said.
The US will pursue the vision it has carried around the world over this past year — a vision of strong, sovereign, and independent nations that respect their citizens and respect their neighbours; nations that thrive in commerce and cooperation, rooted in their histories and branching out toward their destinies. “With the strategy we are declaring that America is in the game and America is going to win,” he said. And for this he came out with a four-point action plan.
For the first time ever, American strategy now includes a serious plan to defend homeland, he said, adding that it calls for the construction of a wall on southern border; ending chain migration and the horrible visa and lottery programmes; closing loopholes that undermine enforcement.
In addition, the strategy calls for the US to confront, discredit, and defeat radical Islamic terrorism and ideology and to prevent it from spreading into the US. “And we will develop new ways to counter those who use new domains, such as cyber and social media, to attack our nation or threaten our society,” he said.
The second pillar of US strategy is to promote American prosperity. “For the first time, American strategy recognises that economic security is national security. Economic vitality, growth, and prosperity at home is absolutely necessary for American power and influence abroad. Any nation that trades away its prosperity for security will end up losing both,” Trump said. The strategy calls for cutting taxes and rolling back unnecessary regulations.
Describing his third pillar as preserving peace through strength, he recognised that weakness is the surest path to conflict, and unrivalled power is the most certain means of defence. “For this reason, our strategy breaks from the damaging defence sequester. We’re going to get rid of that,” he said, and called for a total modernisation of our military, and reversing previous decisions to shrink armed forces. It calls for streamlining acquisition, eliminating bloated bureaucracy, and massively building up our military, which has the fundamental side benefit of creating millions and millions of jobs.
This strategy includes plans to counter modern threats, such as cyber and electromagnetic attacks. It recognises space as a competitive domain and calls for multi-layered missile defence. “This strategy outlines important steps to address new forms of conflict such as economic and political aggression,” Trump said.
And finally the strategy is to advance American influence in the world, but this begins with building up wealth and power at home.