National Security Strategy Announced by President Trump

Today we provide for your consideration information distributed by the White House and the State Department accompanying the December 18, 2017 release of the United States National Security Strategy. The complete document serves as the framework for policymaking, decision making, budget development and other activities of the national defense establishment in coming years to meet America’s foreign affairs challenges.

In addition to the commentaries, summaries and overviews we encourage you to review the full NSS report — that’s where the deliberation and key elements show through.

Among the many reviews of the NSS that you’ll see in the media this week is an analysis released by Anthony H. Cordesman, the Arleigh A. Burke Chair in Strategy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Here’s the link to the report he released on December 18th.

President Trump’s new National Security Strategy (NSS) deserves careful attention, particularly by America’s allies and strategic partners and by those who deal with everything the President says or issues in terms of knee jerk criticism. It is a document that President Trump reviewed and altered in some depth and that represents his views—rather than a bureaucratic compromise. At the same time, it both expands on the classic themes of U.S. strategy—rather than rejects them—and commits the U.S. to playing its traditional role in leading the free world.

— Dr. Anthony H. Cordesman, CSIS


State Department

The United States faces a 21st century global environment that presents unconventional threats from non-state actors, as well as challenges to our economic and national security from traditional state actors. Whether the threats are rogue nations seeking nuclear weapons, terrorists plotting to attack our homeland, or malicious cyber actors seeking to damage and destabilize our critical systems and infrastructure, we must remain vigilant against those who would do harm to our people and our way of life. President Trump’s new National Security Strategy brings to bear all elements of American power to protect our people, generate new economic opportunities, and advance our interests and democratic principles. The State Department will work closely with other federal agencies and our allies and partners around the world to implement this strategy.

— Secretary of State Rex Tillerson

White House

A New National Security Strategy for a New Era
Dec 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

The publication of the National Security Strategy (NSS) is a milestone for any presidency. A statutorily mandated document, the NSS explains to the American people, U.S. allies and partners, and federal agencies how the President intends to put his national security vision into practice on behalf of fellow citizens.

First and foremost, President Donald J. Trump’s NSS is a reflection of his belief that putting America first is the duty of our government and the foundation for effective U.S. leadership in the world. It builds on the 11 months of Presidential action thus far to renew confidence in America both at home and abroad.

Four vital, national interests—organized as the strategy’s four pillars—form the backbone of this commitment:

  • Protect the homeland, the American people, and the American way of life
  • Promote American prosperity
  • Preserve peace through strength
  • Advance American influence

This NSS and its four themes are guided by a return to principled realism.

The strategy is realist because it is clear-eyed about global competition: It acknowledges the central role of power in world affairs, affirms that sovereign states are the best hope for a peaceful world, and clearly defines our national interests. It is principled because it is grounded in the knowledge that promoting American values is key to spreading peace and prosperity around the globe.

President Trump’s ultimate goal is to leave our children and grandchildren a Nation that is stronger, better, freer, prouder, and greater than ever before.


National Security Strategy – Summary

Fact Sheet – Link

National Security Strategy – Complete Document (55 pps)

Full NSS report


The Tennessee World Affairs Council is a nonprofit (501c3), nonpartisan educational charity based in Nashville that works to build understanding of global issues in our communities. Learn more about the Council and find how you can join, donate and volunteer at: www.TNWAC.org  — 

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