Trump National Security Strategy Puts America First

A break with Obama and Bush.

President Donald Trump has released a new National Security Strategy, a congressionally mandated document, that makes some key breaks with his predecessors Barack Obama and George W. Bush. In the just-released document, Trump calls Russia and China a threat to America and freedom and no longer sees climate change as a security problem.

The document refers to countries such as Russia and China as "rival actors" looking to destabilize democracy. While not calling out Russia for specifically interfering in the 2016 presidential election, the document does acknowledge that Russia, and other countries, do try to disrupt democracies around the world:

Rival actors use propaganda and other means to try to discredit democracy. They advance anti-Western views and spread false information to create divisions among ourselves, our allies, and our partners.  

China has recently been called out for trying to influence elections and governments in Australia and Canada:

China and Russia challenge American power, influence, and interests, attempting to erode American security and prosperity. They are determined to make economies less free and less fair, to grow their militaries, and to control information and data to repress their societies and expand their influence.

In the document, President Trump lays out four key policies for his administration on the national security front:

I. Protect the homeland, the American people, and American way of life;

II. Promote American prosperity;

III. Preserve peace through strength;

IV. Advance American influence.

Trump calls his plan one 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.  

In his speech outlining the new plan, President Trump blamed leaders in Washington on all sides for putting outside interests ahead of American interests and forgetting whom they represented. For those worried that President Trump is moving towards the globalist view so prominent in foreign affairs, the president made clear he is more interested in building up America than building up other countries.

"Our leaders engaged nation-building abroad while they failed to build up and replenish our nation at home," Trump said.

Trump's plan also labels Chinese ownership of American technology as problematic and drops climate change as a national security threat.