Trump Administration Delivers on National Security Strategy

In its highly anticipated release, the Trump Administration emphasizes an “America First” approach to the national security strategy.

The document outlines the strategy in four pillars: protecting the homeland, developing economic prosperity, exceeding global competition, and asserting American influence. There is a particular focus on increasing the strength of U.S. sovereignty through preserving national security and pursuing “cooperation with reciprocity.” Both factors establish a platform for the Administration’s strategic framework:

Cooperation means sharing responsibilities and burdens. In trade, fair and reciprocal relationships benefit all with equal levels of market access and opportunities for economic growth. An America First National Security Strategy appreciates that America will catalyze conditions to unleash economic success for America and the world.

Other highlights include:

  • “Jihadist” and “Islamist” are repeatedly used when referencing American security – terms that were deliberately excluded from the Obama Administration’s strategy in 2015.
  • U.S. identifies China and Russia as antithetical challengers to the  global and regional balances of power.
  • Fossil fuels remain an integral part of international development (in addition to other forms of energy).
  • Military superiority will continue to be a priority for the U.S. in an effort to combat traditional and unconventional threats.
  • Nuclear proliferation poses a great security challenge to the U.S. and its allies.

Though the language appears dramatic, the policies fall largely in line with the norms of previous administrations.

The most significant departure, however, is the omission of climate change from the list of national security concerns. After withdrawing from the Paris Agreement earlier this year, the move comes as no surprise. The strategy reiterates the Administration’s commitment to “countering an anti-growth energy agenda.” It advocates that a balance between energy security, environmental protection, and a strong economy is possible without imposing heavy regulations.

Technology and innovation are also repeated themes. The Administration calls on a unified effort for the U.S. to emerge as the global leader in cyber operations.

The full document is available on the HSDL. To read the 56-page strategy, click here.