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March 18, 2006

National Security Strategy

Want to download it for yourself? You can get it here. I've got it and will be reading it on the flight over to Korea. That and a *lot* of other stuff during that 15 hours... If I think I have anything useful to add, I'll post about it later. Right now I'm being newsy, not analytical.

Here is the President's Intro to the NSS:

My Fellow Americans,

America is at war. This is a wartime national security strategy required by the grave challenge we face – the rise of terrorism fueled by an aggressive ideology of hatred and murder, fully revealed to the American people on September 11, 2001. This strategy reflects our most solemn obligation: to protect the security of the American people.

America also has an unprecedented opportunity to lay the foundations for future peace. The ideals that have inspired our history – freedom, democracy, and human dignity – are increasingly inspiring individuals and nations throughout the world. And because free nations tend toward peace, the advance of liberty will make America more secure.

These inseparable priorities – fighting and winning the war on terror and promoting freedom as the alternative to tyranny and despair – have now guided American policy for more than 4 years.

We have kept on the offensive against terrorist networks, leaving our enemy weakened, but not yet defeated.

We have joined with the Afghan people to bring down the Taliban regime – the protectors of the al-Qaida network – and aided a new, democratic government to rise in its place.

We have focused the attention of the world on the proliferation of dangerous weapons – although great challenges in this area remain.

We have stood for the spread of democracy in the broader Middle East – meeting challenges yet seeing progress few would have predicted or expected.

We have cultivated stable and cooperative relations with all the major powers of the world.

We have dramatically expanded our efforts to encourage economic development and the hope it brings – and focused these efforts on the promotion of reform and achievement of results.

We led an international coalition to topple the dictator of Iraq, who had brutalized his own people, terrorized his region, defied the international community, and sought and used weapons of mass destruction.

And we are fighting alongside Iraqis to secure a united, stable, and democratic Iraq – a new ally in the war on terror in the heart of the Middle East.

We have seen great accomplishments, confronted new challenges, and refined our approach as conditions changed. We have also found that the defense of freedom brings us loss and sorrow, because freedom has determined enemies. We have always known that the war on terror would require great sacrifice – and in this war, we have said farewell to some very good men and women. The terrorists have used dramatic acts of murder – from the streets of Fallujah to the subways of London – in an attempt to undermine our will. The struggle against this enemy – an enemy that targets the innocent without conscience or hesitation – has been difficult. And our work is far from over.

America now faces a choice between the path of fear and the path of confidence. The path of fear – isolationism and protectionism, retreat and retrenchment – appeals to those who find our challenges too great and fail to see our opportunities. Yet history teaches that every time American leaders have taken this path, the challenges have only increased and the missed opportunities have left future generations less secure.

This Administration has chosen the path of confidence. We choose leadership over isolationism, and the pursuit of free and fair trade and open markets over protectionism. We choose to deal with challenges now rather than leaving them for future generations. We fight our enemies abroad instead of waiting for them to arrive in our country. We seek to shape the world, not merely be shaped by it; to influence events for the better instead of being at their mercy.

The path we have chosen is consistent with the great tradition of American foreign policy. Like the policies of Harry Truman and Ronald Reagan, our approach is idealistic about our national goals, and realistic about the means to achieve them.

To follow this path, we must maintain and expand our national strength so we can deal with threats and challenges before they can damage our people or our interests. We must maintain a military without peer – yet our strength is not founded on force of arms alone. It also rests on economic prosperity and a vibrant democracy. And it rests on strong alliances, friendships, and international institutions, which enable us to promote freedom, prosperity, and peace in common purpose with others.

Our national security strategy is founded upon two pillars:

The first pillar is promoting freedom, justice, and human dignity – working to end tyranny, to promote effective democracies, and to extend prosperity through free and fair trade and wise development policies. Free governments are accountable to their people, govern their territory effectively, and pursue economic and political policies that benefit their citizens. Free governments do not oppress their people or attack other free nations. Peace and international stability are most reliably built on a foundation of freedom.

The second pillar of our strategy is confronting the challenges of our time by leading a growing community of democracies. Many of the problems we face – from the threat of pandemic disease, to proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, to terrorism, to human trafficking, to natural disasters – reach across borders. Effective multinational efforts are essential to solve these problems. Yet history has shown that only when we do our part will others do theirs. America must continue to lead.

March 16, 2006

In the Flash Traffic/Extended Entry you can find some of the officialdom's explanations, if you don't want to wade through the whole thing.

National Security Strategy Stresses Globalized Approaches By Jim Garamone American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 16, 2006 – The White House today released President Bush's second-term National Security Strategy, a 49-page document that details how the administration intends to protect the United States, its interests and its people.
In a speech today at the U.S. Institute for Peace here, Stephen Hadley, the president's national security adviser, explained the rationale behind the strategy.

"The president's strategy begins with the recognition that America is at war," Hadley said. "Protecting the American people remains the first duty of the president of the United States. The president's strategy renews his commitment to maintain an American military without fear, that can dissuade, deter and defeat a wide variety of potential threats."

Hadley said President Bush "continues to mobilize all elements of America's national power to defeat the terrorist threat. To do that, he believes we must stay on the offense. We must defeat the terrorists abroad so we do not need to face them here at home."

The strategy also reaffirms that America makes no distinction between terrorists and countries that harbor them, Hadley said. Though the preference is to work with allies and friends to seek diplomatic solutions to situations that pose potential threats, Hadley said, the strategy allows for pre-emptive action if it's deemed necessary.

"The president believes that we must remember the clearest lesson of Sept. 11: that the United States of America must confront threats before they fully materialize," he said. "The president's strategy affirms that the doctrine of pre-emption remains sound and must remain an integral part of our national security strategy."

At the heart of the strategy is the idea that as the world becomes more interconnected -- or "globalized" to use the strategy's term -- the more the need for global solutions to security.

Building democracy and promoting freedom are keys to this globalized approach. This is not a new concept for the Bush administration. "These inseparable priorities -- fighting and winning the war on terror and promoting freedom as the alternative to tyranny and despair -- have now guided American policy for more than four years," Bush says in the introduction to the strategy.

In the short term, the strategy continues the campaign to root out and capture or kill terrorists and terrorist supporters. It seeks to build militaries around the world to effectively combat the threat, and seeks to strengthen counterterrorism cooperation among nations.

Short-term goals also include strengthening democratically elected governments. Many democratic governments in the world are shaky at best. Strengthening these governments' effectiveness and the rule of law in these nations is a U.S. security necessity. Working with nations to combat transnational threats -- such as pandemic diseases, HIV/AIDS, counternarcotics, illegal immigration, natural disasters and terrorism -- makes those governments more secure and, as a result, the United States more secure.

Training foreign servicemembers, police and government employees becomes more important to this strategy. Strong, free, democracies "do not oppress their people or attack other free nations,," according to the strategy. They also can exercise control over the entire territories of their countries -- cutting down the amount of "ungoverned areas" that terrorist may use to train, refit and plan.

The strategy marshals all aspects of the government as it confronts the threats of "the Long War." Promoting and honoring basic human rights -- including freedom of religion, speech, assembly, association, the press and conscience -- will be the key to U.S. foreign policy.

Stopping young people from joining extremists groups is a large part of the strategy. The strategy says that terror groups recruit people "who have no voice in their own government and see no legitimate way to promote change in their own country. Without a stake in the existing order, they are vulnerable to manipulation by those who advocate a perverse vision based on violence and destruction."

Helping these nations develop economically and politically will stem the flow of recruits to these terrorist groups.

The strategy points out that democracy in other nations will not look the same as it does in the United States. "Freedom cannot be imposed; it must be chosen," the strategy reads. "The form that freedom and democracy take in any land will reflect the history, culture and habits unique to its people."

In fact, the strategy is tailored to each area and contingency.

The strategy uses examples to show the changes. Iran has become an increasing U.S. concern. "We may face no greater challenge from a single country than from Iran," the strategy document says. "For almost 20 years, the Iranian regime hid many of its key nuclear efforts from the international community. Yet the regime continues to claim that it does not seek to develop nuclear weapons.

"The Iranian regime's true intentions are clearly revealed by the regime's refusal to negotiate in good faith; its refusal to come into compliance with its international obligations by providing the (International Atomic Energy Agency) access to nuclear sites and resolving troubling questions; and the aggressive statements of its president calling for Israel to 'be wiped off the face of the earth.'"

The U. S. has joined with the European Union and Russia to pressure Iran to meet its international obligations and provide objective guarantees that its nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes. "This diplomatic effort must succeed if confrontation is to be avoided," the document states.

The strategy addresses threats from rogue states such as North Korea and Sudan. The strategy promises the United States will remain involved in negotiating between Israelis and Palestinians, between India and Pakistan, and between Eritrea and Ethiopia as just a few examples.

"The president's National Security Strategy charts the way forward along the path of confidence," Hadley said. "It is a strategy of leadership. It is a strategy of partnership. It is a strategy that protects America's vital interests, reflects America's history and promotes America's highest ideals."