Trump unveils national security vision, labels China, Russia as threats to US leadership

In his first major speech on national security strategy, President Trump laid out his administration’s goals for the U.S. in a Monday address from the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C.

In his opening remarks, Trump described his administration’s determination to reverse what he chronicled as decades of neglect of American ideals and vowed to restore “our nation, our confidence, and our standing in the world.”

Addressing a wide range of priorities in his nearly 30-minute speech to 650 audience members, including military brass, Trump outlined several areas of prime concern in his new National Security Strategy (NSS), which will be delivered to Congress.

In the NSS, Trump laid out four pillars based on principled realism:  Protecting the homeland, promoting American prosperity, preserving “peace through strength” and advancing U.S. influence abroad.

Paramount among his priorities:  Blunting Chinese “dominance” and “subversive” Russia, border security to thwart Islamist terror, North Korea and Iran, cybersecurity, immigration and drug trafficking, targeting extremist groups and crafting fair trade pacts with economic partners.

Trump’s NSS also specifically describes China and Russia as “revisionist powers” and calls for stronger economic ties with traditional Pacific Rim nations to counter Beijing’s expansionist ideas, while referring to Moscow’s campaign of misinformation as an attempt to disrupt American-European credibility and democratic traditions. 

According to documents sent from Washington to U.S. embassies across the world, American diplomats are being encouraged to talk tough on Russia, which American intelligence believes is attempting to “weaken” U.S. ties with European allies.

On the matter of global threats, Trump specifically mentioned North Korea’s nuclear ambitions, Iran as a repeated state-sponsor of terror and a disruptive influence in the Middle East.  Trump also called for cooperation from South Korea and Japan and vowed an “overwhelming” response to any direct attack from the rogue regime.

Addressing trade, the president told the audience competition would be vital in erasing massive trade deficits and his administration is devoted to securing “fair” bi-lateral trade agreements with foreign nations.

Regarding the Middle East, Trump intends to shift from the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict to extremism and extremist groups such as al-Qaeda and ISIS as the main source of instability.  He promised to focus efforts in the region to promote gradual change among allies in Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

To further combat extremism, Trump also proposed the strengthening of ties to India and rebuilding America’s military.

 

[Foreign Policy] [Al Jazeera] [Reuters] [Photo courtesy ZeroHedge]