US President Donald Trump has released the new US National Security Strategy, calling it a “milestone for any presidency.” It says, “First and foremost, President Donald J. Trump’s NSS is a reflection of his belief that putting America first is the duty of our government and the foundation for effective U.S. leadership in the world. It builds on the 11 months of Presidential action thus far to renew confidence in America both at home and abroad.” The policy has four pillars: a) Protect the homeland, the American people, and the American way of life; b) Promote American prosperity; c) Preserve peace through strength; c) Advance American influence.
“National Security Strategy sets a positive strategic direction for the United States that is meant to reassert America’s advantages on the world stage and to build upon our country’s great strengths. During the Trump Administration, the American people can be confident that their security and prosperity will always come first. A secure, prosperous, and free America will be strong and ready to lead abroad to protect our interests and our way of life.
The new US National Security Strategy talks in detail about Trump’s security vision for South Asia. Here’s the full text:
South and Central Asia
With over a quarter of the world’s population, a fifth of all U.S.-designated terrorist groups, several fast-growing economies, and two nuclear-armed states, South and Central Asia present some of the most complicated national security challenges and opportunities. The region spans the terrorist threats emanating from the Middle East and the competition for power unfolding in Europe and the Indo-Pacific. The United States continues to face threats from transnational terrorists and militants operating from within Pakistan. The prospect for an Indo-Pakistani military conflict that could lead to a nuclear exchange remains a key concern requiring consistent diplomatic attention.
U.S. interests in the region include countering terrorist threats that impact the security of the U.S. homeland and our allies, preventing cross-border terrorism that raises the prospect of military and nuclear tensions and preventing nuclear weapons, technology, and materials from falling into the hands of terrorists. We seek an American presence in the region proportionate to threats to the homeland and our allies. We seek a Pakistan that is not engaged in destabilizing behavior and a stable
and self-reliant Afghanistan. And we seek Central Asian states that are resilient against domination by rival powers, are resistant to becoming jihadist safe havens, and prioritize reforms.
POLITICAL: We will deepen our strategic partnership with India and support its leadership role in Indian Ocean security and throughout the broader region. We will press Pakistan to intensify its counterterrorism efforts, since no partnership can survive a country’s support for militants and terrorists who target a partner’s own service members and officials. The United States will also encourage Pakistan to continue demonstrating that it is a responsible steward of its nuclear assets. We will continue to partner with Afghanistan to promote peace and securi in the region. We will continue to promote anti-corruption reform in Afghanistan to increase the legitimacy of its government and reduce the appeal of violent extremist organizations. We will help South Asian nations maintain their sovereign as China increases its influence in the region.
ECONOMIC: We will encourage the economic integration of Central and South Asia to promote prosperity and economic linkages that will bolster connectivity and trade. And we will encourage India to increase its economic assistance in the region. In Pakistan, we will build trade and investment ties as security improves and as Pakistan demonstrates that it will assist the United States in our counterterrorism goals.
MILITARY AND SECURITY: We are committed to supporting the Afghan government and security forces in their fight against the Taliban, al-Qa’ida, ISIS, and other terrorists. We will bolster the fighting strength of the Afghan security forces to convince the Taliban that they cannot win on the battlefield and to set the conditions for diplomatic efforts to achieve enduring peace. We will insist that Pakistan take decisive action against militant and terrorist groups operating from its soil. We will work with the Central Asian states to guarantee access to the region to support our counterterrorism efforts.