WASHINGTON — The new U.S. National Security Strategy is one of renewal and global leadership that advances U.S. interests by building the sources of American strength and influence and shaping a more peaceful and more prosperous world, President Barack Obama’s national security advisor said yesterday.
James L. Jones Jr. spoke about the strategy during a news conference at the Foreign Press Center here.
“This is a time of sweeping change,” he said. “Two decades since the end of the Cold War, the free flow of information, people and trade continues to accelerate at an unprecedented pace. Events far beyond our nation’s shores now impact our safety, our security and prosperity, and that of our allies and friends alike, in ways that we could not have imagined just a few years ago.”
This globalization of information and goods promises great benefits, Jones said, but it also can be used against the United States.
“This interconnection also comes with the perils of global challenges that do not respect borders: global networks of terrorists and criminals, threats in space and cyberspace, a degrading climate and technologies with increasing destructive power,” the retired Marine Corps general said. “In addition, the international architecture of the 20th century, designed for another time, is buckling under the weight of these new threats. As a consequence, it has been difficult to forge the cooperative approaches necessary to prevent states from flouting international norms and agreements.”
The United States must be strong economically to be a power internationally, Jones said, and part of the strategy recognizes the importance of economics and growth. “American innovation must be the foundation of American power,” he said, “because at no time in human history has a nation of diminished economic vitality maintained its military and political primacy.”
Engaging with allies and friends is key to the strategy, Jones noted, adding that Obama has stressed that no one nation can solve the problems of the world.
“We will pursue comprehensive engagement around the world,” Jones said. “We will strengthen old alliances, we will build new partnerships with emerging centers of influence in every region, and we will push for institutions that are more capable of responding to the challenges of our time.”
Ensuring international rule of law and enforcing rights and responsibilities also are important aspects of the strategy, the national security advisor said, along with strengthening and integrating national capabilities.
“Going forward, there should be no doubt the United States of America will continue to underwrite global security,” Jones said. “We will do so through our military advantage and we will do so through our wide-ranging commitments to allies, partners and institutions.”
Still, Jones said, it is better, by far, for nations to provide security, maintain order and enforce the rule of law inside their own borders, and the United States will continue to aid nations to do just that.
The strategy calls for a “whole-of-government” approach to security strategy.
“Our diplomacy and development capabilities must be modernized, and our civilian expeditionary capacity strengthened, to support the full breadth of our priorities,” Jones said. “And our intelligence and homeland-security efforts must be integrated with our national-security priorities and those of our allies, our friends and our partners.” The American military will continue to underwrite security around the world, said he added.
The strategy has a number of detailed goals, Jones said. The first is to end the war in Iraq through a responsible transition to Iraqi government. “That is on track,” he said. Overall, he continued, the strategy seeks to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-Qaida and its extremist affiliates in Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere in the world and to stop the spread of weapons of mass destruction and secure vulnerable nuclear materials.
The U.S. government must come up with a strategy “to secure and protect against the full range of threats and hazards to our communities and to enhance our resilience as a nation,” Jones said. The greater Middle East remains a flashpoint, he added, and the United States will remain actively involved in finding the paths to peace in the region.
Jones also said the strategy also looks to protect and secure cyberspace while safeguarding privacy and civil liberties.
U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)