International

Inside President Obama's First National Security Strategy

National Security Strategy

Thanks to Laura Rozen, at Politico's The Wire, I was able to page through an advance copy of President Obama's first national security strategy (NSS), released today.

"We live in a time of sweeping change," he writes in his introduction.

The success of free nations, open markets, and social progress in recent decades has accelerated globalization on an unprecedented scale. This has opened the doors of opportunity around the globe, extended democracy to hundreds of millions of people, and made peace possible among the major powers.

"As we fight the wars in front of us, we must see the horizon beyond them — a world in which America is stronger, more secure, and is able to overcome our challenges while appealing to the aspirations of people around the world," he continues.

To get there, we must pursue a strategy of national renewal and global leadership — a strategy that rebuilds the foundation of American strength and influence.

The NSS has two parts, entitled "Strategic Approach" and "Advancing Our Interests."

In the first section, the president draws a distinction between how the world sees the US, and how the US sees the world, encouraging "comprehensive engagement" and the promotion of a "just and sustainable international order."

"Advancing Our Interests" centers on security, prosperity, values and international order, stressing the need to strengthen the power of the US by example, promote democracy and human rights abroad, ensure strong alliances, and secure cyberspace.

According to NPR's Dina Temple-Raston, "President Obama stressed that the battle against violent extremism can't come to define this country's engagement with the world."

Instead, he stressed engagement and economic development as key components of US national security, going forward.

That's a key departure from the Bush administration's strategy, she notes.

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