Rethinking the National Security Strategy for the United States

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Setting Priorities for American Leadership: A New National Security Strategy for the United States

A recent report by the Project for a United and Strong America proposes a new National Security Strategy for the United States. From the report’s foreword: “[…] nothing is more important to the future security and well-being of the United States than a clear national strategy for advancing US values and interests – a strategy that makes choices among competing priorities and that is sustainable given the United States’ limited financial, political, and military resources. To address this challenge, a panel of foreign policy and national security experts has produced the following blueprint for a new National Security Strategy for the United States. The strategy places a priority on strength at home in order to underpin a strong US role in the world. It assumes from the outset that the advancement of universal values of democracy and human rights is itself in the long-term security interest of the United States, and that the United States should continue to exercise global leadership. Yet it accepts the need to set priorities and to work with limited resources.”

While the report does not differ from previous Strategies in stressing the core principles of security and economic vitality, it addresses what it describes as “three fundamental shifts”. These are the “impacts of globalization”, “the unfolding legacy of the Arab Spring”, and “the rise of Asia.” Additionally, a future Strategy will need to consider a number of strategic challenges: Security threats (ideological extremism, weapons proliferation, threats to computer networks (cyberterrorism), failing and failed states, and narco-terrorism); political violence and threats to human rights; international economic disparities; and climate change.

For comparison, the following previous National Security Strategies are made available:

National Security Strategy (May 2010)

National Security Strategy (March 2006)

A National Security Strategy for a Global Age (December 2000)

A National Security Strategy for a New Century (October 1998)

A National Security Strategy
of Engagement and Enlargement (February 1996)

National Security Strategy
of the United States (January 1993)

National Security Strategy
of the United States (August 1991)

National Security Strategy
of the United States (January 1987)

A full archive is available through the National Security Strategy Archive

Article formerly posted at https://www.hsdl.org/blog/newpost/view/s_4740