Foreign Policy

President Obama Updates National Security Strategy For First Time in Five Years

America's national security strategy is to take responsibility for world security, peace, and prosperity.


White House

For the first time since 2010, the White House has updated (PDF) its National Security Strategy, a report required annually by law. The document is full of generic rhetoric like leading with purpose, leading with strength, and leading with "a long-term perspective," placing on the U.S. the responsibility for maintaining peace, security, and prosperity around the world, with no recognition of how that posture has made peace, security, and prosperity around the world more difficult to achieve.

The strategy laid out, the document claims, "builds on the progress of the last 6 years, in which our active leadership has helped the world recover from a global economic crisis and respond to an array of emerging challenges."  Those challenges successfully responded to include "strengthening an unrivaled alliance system" in Europe, bringing "most of our troops home after more than a decade of honorable served in two wars while adapting our counterterrorism strategy for an evolving terrorist threat," responding to natural disasters in places like Haiti, Japan, and the Philippines, and "building an unprecedented international sanctions regime to hold Iran responsible for failing to meet its international obligations" while continuing negotiations, and "taking concerted action to confront the dangers posed by climate change."

The document outlines eight security points in part covered in the challenges the White House says the U.S. is successfully confronting already:

(1) Strengthening national defense by continuing to "insist on reforms and necessary investment" in the military

(2) Reinforcing homeland security by "bringing together all elements of our society—individuals, local communities, the private and non-profit sectors, faith-based organizations, and all levels of government—to make sure America is resilient in the face of adversity."

(3) Combatting the "diminished" but still persistent threat of terrorism by "pursuing a more sustainable approach that prioritizes targeted counterterrorism operations, collective action with responsible partners, and increased efforts to prevent the growth of violent extremism and radicalization that drives increased threats"

(4) Strengthening "U.S. and international capacity to prevent conflict among and within states." The document mentions "Russia's violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity" and "North Korean provocation in East Asia, pointing to continued effort "to bolster the capacity of the U.N. and regional organizations to help resolve disputes, build resilience to crises and shocks, strengthen governance, end extreme poverty, and increase prosperity."

(5) Preventing the spread of WMDs

(6) Confronting climate change, by negotiating more

(7) Assuring access to "shared spaces—cyber, space, air, and oceans—that enable the free flow of people, goods, services, and ideas."

(8) "Cybersecurity," where the U.S. has a "special responsibility" as the birthplace of the Internet.

U.S. national security interests remained defined the same way in the 2015 update to the national security strategy, broad enough to cover any interventionist want:

• The security of the United States, its citizens, and U.S. allies and partners

• A strong, innovative, and growing U.S. economy in an open international economic system that promotes opportunity and prosperity

• Respect for universal values at home and around the world; and

• A rules-based international order advanced by U.S. leadership that promotes peace, security, and opportunity through stronger cooperation to meet global challenges.

"This National Security Strategy provides a vision for strengthening and sustaining American leadership in this still young century," the document concludes. "It clarifies the purpose and promise of American power. It aims to advance our interests and values with initiative and from a position of strength. We will deter and defeat any adversary that threatens our national security and that of our allies."

Read the 29-page document here and then check out Reason's foreign policy special here.

NEXT: Hiking Medicaid Reimbursement Improved Access to Doctors. What Happens Now That Payments Have Plunged?

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  1. OT, Funny how journalist always turn out to be weirdos whenever the mask slips.…..awyer.html

    1. none of our fucking business. also, didn’t seem too weird to me- or her for that matter.

      1. Yeah pretty much. And this guy is a journalist. He makes his living invading people’s privacy. So enjoy some schadenfreude.

        1. I don’t really get why you think ‘guy caught having an affair’ should be something to gloat over.

          Because he helped bust Bill Clinton on it 20+years ago?

          Most of the work the 60mins crew did over the years is of the generally most-respectable type of journalism.

    2. ‘Don’t work too hard this week bc I wanna wear you out afterward,’ Goines reportedly replied.

      Aw yisssss.

    3. Drums beating, cold English blood runs hot
      Lady of the house wonderin’ where it’s gonna stop

      1. Houseboy knows that he’s doing all right,
        You shoulda heard him just around midnight.

    4. ” he told her he ‘would rather be eating your pudding’ than be at work.”

      Brown Sugar.

      I’m not sure its super-weird for a 69yr old guy to have a thing for women 25yrs younger than him.

      I bought steve croft a beer once! He slipped in next to me at a bar and in my mind i had to go through the entire 60minutes staff before I could remember his name… (“I’m morely safer.. I’m lesley stahl….I’m bob simon…”) ‘Steve!’ He looked 60 when he was 45. He’s got a Yoda-level-leathery complexion.

      1. My seventy-some-odd year old father has the hots for Taylor Swift. I find that to be… disturbing.

        1. me too, but mainly because she looks like a little boy.

          1. Swift is one of those people on paper I should find attractive but don’t in real life.

    5. She’s extremely hot. He looks like a dried-out turd.

      1. She is in great shape for 41

    6. To be fair, look at the pictures of Goines and of Kroft’s wife.

  2. You know who else worked in 5-year plans?

    1. I’d almost welcome a five-year plan to allow market forces to stimulate the economy.

      1. Allowing things to happen isn’t a plan. You must force them to happen.

        1. i plan to do NOTHING!

        2. Ah, compulsory free markets. Brilliant! Hugh, go spend $100 on the required goods and services.

          1. You just…you don’t get it, do you ProLib? If I’m allowed to make decisions, it’s not really your plan, is it?

            Only when I’m too terrified to do anything without your express permission or direction will civilization be achieved.

            1. Fool! You are no free actor. No. You are manipulated by television to do as your government tells you.

              Allow me to demonstrate: Quack like a duck.

              1. Sorry chief, I don’t have cable. I don’t even know who won the Game of Thrones this season.

                1. Then why are you quacking? Behold, Hugh quacks!

                  1. we are all prisoners of biology.

                  2. Well quaking is wat duk ninjas dew my bologna sammich PL bro does… Dunking chump dont chump jump round jump jump jump mumps mumps

    2. “You know who else worked in 5-year plans?”

      Joseph something…. He had a big moustache and lived in some foreign country where it snowed a lot.

      My brain is stalling on this one.

      1. Gordon-Levitt?

      2. Fiennes?

        1. Say, do we still have someone’s word that I’m going to like the way I look at the Men’s Wearhouse?

          1. you should jump jump jump like a fukin nekid clow sweer PL… jump jump jump

  3. “I want world peace.”

    /Miss America

  4. The strategy laid out, the document claims, “builds on the progress of the last 6 years, in which our active leadership has helped the world recover from a global economic crisis and respond to an array of emerging challenges.”

    I assume, a al Ministry of Truth, that they also go back and edit those annual reports in order to show the progress they’ve made.

    1. Jesus, are these people completely delusional?

      1. if you say it more people will believe it than if you don’t.

    2. I don’t mind the fact that Obama immediately used the financial crisis as an excuse to spend a trillion bucks on a bunch of boondoggles for cronies. It was inevitable.

      But characterizing that pillage of the public-till as being some kind of Jumper-Cable which ‘rebooted the global economy’…. as opposed to, oh, just *prolonging a recession*… and making the inevitable rebound as tepid as has ever been seen in US history?

      Anyone who makes the claim that he did anything ‘actively’ to actually stimulate* the broader economy is not just ignorant, but grossly self-deluded.

      Nevermind the impacts of the ACA, which just add insult to injury,

      And this is before we even get to the unholy clusterfuck of Obama’s massive foreign policy incompetence… which people across the political spectrum agree is an embarrassing shambles which has served to damage our relationships with allies, actively empower our adversaries, wasted American lives in prolonging the Afghan conflict while accomplishing nothing, and erased whatever moral credibility we might have had by supporting programs of domestic surveillance and international unilateral assassinations.

      All of that would be bad enough. The back-patting himself in the process? is just absurd

      1. Him saying this sort of thing isn’t even slightly surprising. What’s sad is that so many people swallow this crap. Even if you are on his side, politically, why accept these blatant lies, when they are purely serving his interest, not the country’s? I just don’t get it.

        1. TEAM UBER ALLES

          1. You need to have faith. You know, in people who are dumber, less honest, and less capable at anything useful than you.

  5. Notice how these national security memos always say the government is doing everything right and making no mistakes?

    I hope this is just the shit they throw out to the general public for propaganda purposes and that there’s no one in the Pentagon who actually believes it.

    I mean:

    ‘Combatting the “diminished” but still persistent threat of terrorism by “pursuing a more sustainable approach that prioritizes targeted counterterrorism operations, collective action with responsible partners, and increased efforts to prevent the growth of violent extremism and radicalization that drives increased threats”‘

    Diminished how? Boka Haram owns wide swaths of Nigeria, the area around Raqqa is utterly dominated by ISIS, the Saudis continue to fund Wahabbists while we respond with government funded poetry readings in Riyadh, Yemen’s government was toppled by a Shia militia, Libya has been partitioned by feuding warlords to such an extent that the central government has no control over most of the country…that’s not even getting into the Charlie Hebdo shooting and the attendant crackdown by the French government on their public’s basic free speech rights.

    Things are going wonderfully on that front.

    1. And the economy is like, I dunno, supermegabooming.

    2. What are you talking about? Obama killed Bin Laden with his bare hands and then ripped his throat out with his teeth!

    3. I hope this is just the shit they throw out to the general public for propaganda purposes

      sorry to disappoint, but this is the document trickles down into everything the pentagon does from national military strategy to operational plans

  6. Hey, he buys defense for the Euros on the US taxpayer’s bill, the Euros love him after the US gets fed up with his slimy act!

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  8. You do unsterstand that power in like a cheese sammich filled with ninjas…
    maybe that ninjas is a jump jump jump and cheese is an asian sweet pussy… don’t shell my death cunt…

    I will jump aroumd jump jump jump asiam sump sump reek brains slithc slitch jakz dumbo dumbo withcha witcha jumapa jumap arparpoumd jump jump jump jump like a fucking tentacles alien eatin human brains….

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