December 18, 2017

TSC IntelBrief: The Old-is-New U.S. National Security Strategy

The new National Security Strategy to be unveiled today by President Donald Trump embodies essentially the same four core national interests proclaimed by previous administrations, though with vital differences as to how these interests are meant to be achieved.

• On December 18, President Trump will unveil the new U.S. National Security Strategy, which serves as a quasi-mission statement for coming years.

• In a preview on December 12, National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster said the new strategy would rely on ‘peace through strength’ with ‘a big emphasis on competitive engagement across … arenas of competition.’

• McMaster also referred to China and Russia as ‘revisionist powers’ seeking to upend the world order established in large part by Washington after the Second World War, even as the Trump administration is moving away from that architectural world order.

• As with other aspects of the current administration, there is a worrisome disconnect between much of the career staff in the national security and foreign affairs communities and the White House.