Trump Puts America 1st
Donald Trump on Monday announced the national security strategy, the first of its kind since he took office in January and the 17th since the former Reagan administration began to submit the report to the U.S. Congress in 1987.
In a speech delivered in Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, Trump said the report, which has been developed for over a year, features “principled realism” and identifies four vital national interests or four “pillars,” namely, to protect the homeland and its people, promote the U.S. prosperity, preserve peace through strength and advance the U.S. influence.
“This strategy recognizes that, whether we like it or not, we are engaged in a new era of competition. We accept that vigorous military, economic and political contests are playing out all around the world,” he said.
He also vehemently blasted the “failures” of his predecessors, saying “for many years our citizens watched as Washington politicians presided over one disappointment after another.” These included the expansion of the Islamic State (ISIS) and the unfairly proportionally defense burden Washington has shouldered for its allies.
Saying he will not tolerate the aforementioned “disappointments” any more, Trump also defended a string of his highly controversial decisions to retreat from “job-killing deals” and the “very expensive and unfair Paris climate accord,” as well as to decertify the hard-won Iran nuclear deal in October.
For his part, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson later issued an announcement, saying that the United States “faces a 21st century global environment that presents unconventional threats from non-state actors, as well as challenges to our economic and national security from traditional state actors.”
“The State Department will work … to implement this strategy,” he added.
Overall the strategy was based in the context of an ever competitive world rife with political, economic and military competitions, all accelerated by information and data in the fiber domain, the White House officials argued earlier on Monday, saying Washington “has not been competing as effectively as it might across these competitions, and we need to do better to protect our interests.”
According to the officials, what was specifically new in this report, compared with its predecessors, was the inclusion of economic and trade security into the report. The White House highlighted the protection of the U.S. national security innovation base (SIB), a new term it introduced to “capture the range of activities” to secure the U.S. economic interest and beyond.
According to Michael O’Hanlon, a senior fellow on foreign policy at the Brookings Institution, Trump’s report shows “there is a sense among some of the top team” in the White House that other nations are taking advantage of the United States.
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