trump to lay out america first security strategy
Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
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Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
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Trump to lay out 'America First' security strategy

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Arab Today, arab today Trump to lay out 'America First' security strategy

US President Donald Trump.
Washington - Arab Today

Declaring that the world is entering a "new era of competition," President Trump outlined a national security strategy Monday that puts U.S. economic issues — trade, energy independence and even tax reform — to the center of U.S. foreign policy.

"We know that American success is not a foregone conclusion. It must be earned, and it must be won," Trump said in a speech outlining the new strategy. "We are declaring that America is in the game, and America is going to win."

In the first comprehensive update of U.S. foreign policy since 2015, Trump defined his national security strategy as resting on four pillars: Protecting the American people at home, promoting economic prosperity, preserving peace through a strong military and advancing American interests abroad.

The result is a doctrine that attempts to balance competing objectives: Emphasizing political and economic competition with countries like Russia and China while also enlisting their help with security challenges like North Korea's nuclear program.

"While we seek such opportunities of cooperation, we will stand up for ourselves, and we will stand up for our country like we have never stood up before," Trump said.

Every president since Ronald Reagan has used a national security report to Congress to give a high-level overview of their foreign policy priorities, but Trump took the unusual step of also delivering them in a speech Monday to 600 people, including uniformed service members and other national security officials .

Reading from a teleprompter and speaking in a soft, dispassionate voice, Trump's remarks served as much a a first-year report card as a forward-looking security vision, boasting low unemployment numbers and a soaring stock market.

Trump defined his foreign policy in stark contrast to his predecessors, and — while he didn't mention him by name — was clearly singling out President Barack Obama for criticism.

Leaders in Washington, he said, have "negotiated disastrous trade deals," short-changed the military, neglected the North Korea crisis, made a bad nuclear deal with Iran and allowed the Islamic State to gain a foothold in Iraq and Syria.

But in a speech brimming with economic nationalism, he also took aim at his predecessors on trade, borders and immigration.

"A nation without borders is not a nation," he said. "A nation that does not protect prosperity at home cannot protect its interests abroad. A nation that is not prepared to win a war is a nation not capable of preventing a war. A nation that is not proud of its history cannot be confident in its future. And a nation that is not certain of its values cannot summon the will to defend them."

He even argued that his domestic agenda — including tax cuts and deregulation — would make the United States a stronger force in the world.

It's a strategy that puts more emphasis on the business climate than on climate change, a key focus of Obama's last national security strategy document. In fact, Trump's strategy says the United States will counter "an anti-growth energy agenda that is detrimental to U.S. economic and energy security interests."

The strategy places an emphasis on cyber-security even as it reduces intelligence that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election to just a couple lines: "Through modernized forms of subversive tactics, Russia interferes in the domestic political affairs of countries around the world," the written report said.

But Trump omitted even that vague reference from his speech, saying only that the U.S. must "address new forms of conflict such as economic and political aggression."

Trump described Russia and China as "revisionist powers" intent on changing the global status quo by illegitimately seizing territory — Russia through its occupation of Crimea and China through its island-building in the South China Sea. China's unique economic and military clout makes it what the report called a "strategic competitor," aides said.

But that doesn't mean that the United States shouldn't cooperate with them when their interests align, Trump argues. Just Sunday, Trump received the personal thanks of Russian President Vladimir Putin after the CIA gave the Russian security service information about a planned terrorist attack in St. Petersburg.

In other areas, Trump attempts to expand the concept of national security as encompassing fair trade, tax reform and deregulation.

The strategy promotes the idea of "national security innovation base" — a term coined by Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro to describe the technology and other intellectual property that gives the United States a strategic and economic advantage in the world.

 

Source: AFP

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