NATIONAL SECURITY & DEFENSE
Issued on: December 18, 2017
“Our government’s first duty is to its people, to our citizens — to serve their needs, to ensure their safety, to preserve their rights, and to defend their values.”
President Donald J. Trump
A NEW NATIONAL SECURITY STRATEGY FOR A NEW ERA: Less than a year after taking office, President Donald J. Trump is unveiling a new National Security Strategy that sets a positive strategic direction for the United States that will restore America’s advantages in the world and build upon our country’s great strengths.
- The 2017 National Security Strategy (Strategy) builds on the 11 months of Presidential action to restore respect for the United States abroad and renew American confidence at home.
- Strategic confidence enables the United States to protect its vital national interests. The Strategy identifies four vital national interests, or “four pillars” as:
- Protect the homeland, the American people, and American way of life;
- Promote American prosperity;
- Preserve peace through strength;
- Advance American influence.
- The Strategy addresses key challenges and trends that affect our standing in the world, including:
- Revisionist powers, such as China and Russia, that use technology, propaganda, and coercion to shape a world antithetical to our interests and values;
- Regional dictators that spread terror, threaten their neighbors, and pursue weapons of mass destruction;
- Jihadist terrorists that foment hatred to incite violence against innocents in the name of a wicked ideology, and transnational criminal organizations that spill drugs and violence into our communities.
- The Strategy articulates and advances the President’s concept of principled realism.
- It is realist because it acknowledges the central role of power in international politics, affirms that strong and sovereign states are the best hope for a peaceful world, and clearly defines our national interests.
- It is principled because it is grounded in advancing American principles, which spreads peace and prosperity around the globe.
I. PROTECT THE HOMELAND: President Trump’s fundamental responsibility is to protect the American people, the homeland, and the American way of life.
- We will strengthen control of our borders and reform our immigration system to protect the homeland and restore our sovereignty.
- The greatest transnational threats to the homeland are:
- Jihadist terrorists, using barbaric cruelty to commit murder, repression, and slavery, and virtual networks to exploit vulnerable populations and inspire and direct plots.
- Transnational criminal organizations, tearing apart our communities with drugs and violence and weakening our allies and partners by corrupting democratic institutions.
- America will target threats at their source: we will confront threats before they ever reach our borders or cause harm to our people.
- We will redouble our efforts to protect our critical infrastructure and digital networks, because new technology and new adversaries create new vulnerabilities.
- We are deploying a layered missile defense system to defend America against missile attacks.
II. PROMOTE AMERICAN PROSPERITY: A strong economy protects the American people, supports our way of life, and sustains American power.
- We will rejuvenate the American economy for the benefit of American workers and companies, which is necessary to restore our national power.
- America will no longer tolerate chronic trade abuses and will pursue free, fair, and reciprocal economic relationships.
- To succeed in this 21st century geopolitical competition, America must lead in research, technology, and innovation. We will protect our national security innovation base from those who steal our intellectual property and unfairly exploit the innovation of free societies.
- America will use its energy dominance to ensure international markets remain open, and that the benefits of diversification and energy access promote economic and national security.
III. PRESERVE PEACE THROUGH STRENGTH: An America strengthened, renewed, and rejuvenated will ensure peace and deter hostility.
- We will rebuild America’s military strength to ensure it remains second to none.
- America will use all of the tools of statecraft in a new era of strategic competition — diplomatic, information, military, and economic — to protect our interests.
- America will strengthen its capabilities across numerous domains — including space and cyber — and revitalize capabilities that have been neglected.
- America’s allies and partners magnify our power and protect our shared interests. We expect them to take greater responsibility for addressing common threats.
- We will ensure the balance of power remains in America’s favor in key regions of the world: the Indo-Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East.
IV. ADVANCE AMERICAN INFLUENCE: As a force for good throughout its history, America will use its influence to advance our interests and benefit humanity.
- We must continue to enhance our influence overseas to protect the American people and promote our prosperity.
- America’s diplomatic and development efforts will compete to achieve better outcomes in all arenas — bilateral, multilateral, and in the information realm — to protect our interests, find new economic opportunities for Americans, and challenge our competitors.
- America will seek partnerships with like-minded states to promote free market economies, private sector growth, political stability, and peace.
- We champion our values — including the rule of law and individual rights — that promote strong, stable, prosperous, and sovereign states.
- Our America First foreign policy celebrates America’s influence in the world as a positive force that can help set the conditions for peace, prosperity, and the development of successful societies.
See also: National Security Strategy of the United States of America, December 2017 (PDF 1.74 MB)