On Monday, the White House released the new National Security Strategy (NSS), and despite officials having said in the lead-up to the release it would be a major break with the past, the changes appear largely to be within the rhetoric, not the specifics.
The new NSS relies heavily and repeatedly on the phrase “putting America first,” though in practice it still envisions soaring military spending and protracted overseas engagements as the ticket to American domestic safety and prosperity.
President Trump treated his speech on the NSS as a broad campaign speech, declaring himself a “glorious new hope” that America had embraced in the November 2016 election, cheering high stock market levels, and trumpeting his anti-immigration strategy.
On specific foreign policy, Trump vowed to see North Korea “handled,” and claimed progress was being made in the US war in Afghanistan, while condemning Pakistan and insisting they have to “do something.”
Trump portrayed the open-ended warfare as “competition,” suggesting that rogue nations were trying to pose a challenge to American prosperity through military engagement, and that America has to “earn” its prosperity through enhancing its power.
On the subject of “protecting the homeland,” Trump played heavily on the idea of building a border wall and increasing funding for border patrols. He also talked of defeating radical Islam on social media, though that too has been something administrations have been failing to do virtually from the establishment of social media.
Ultimately much of Trump’s economic strategy also appeared to be his military strategy, promising massive increases to the size of the military, creating “millions of jobs.” He also set out the idea of the military engaging further in “cyber,” as well as the further militarization of space, and protecting against unspecified electromagnetic attacks.
Despite so much emphasis being placed on “America first” within the document, the strategy itself appears extremely intervention-centric, resting on the assumption that American prosperity is inexorably linked to military superiority, and not just superiority by numbers, but the kind that the US has to prove constantly through warfare.
57 thoughts on “Trump Lays Out National Security Strategy”
Did anyone really believe Trump was going to be a “peace President”?
I read recently that the Russians never believed any one President could change US foreign policy. Trump is proof that’s true. His campaign promises were as bogus as any other President’s.
Closest thing to a peace President that America could cough up; no Trump supporter expected actual peace and no small number hoped for an inept stumbling into war.
However, name America’s newest major war under Trump, one that wasn’t already burning.
Perhaps that isn’t fair, as Trump’s predecessors did a good job of lighting up all the loose brush in the world short of Armageddon.
I think Trump gets credit for saharan Africa. While he didn’t put AfriCom in place, like all the others he has left it there, and fed it.
That didn’t make any sense at all. That same reasoning pattern would still blame ongoing wars on Trump, but the point is no new wars are being started (yet).
The U.S. has a long history in Africa and the Sahel is critical second-tier geopolitical real estate. Blackhawk Down remains the worst Empire in Africa single military incident and murder of Gadaffi and collapse of Libya the dumbest military campaign.
Also, Congress (not Trump) insisted on saddling the new NDAA with a clause demanding reciprocal port visits for U.S. and Taiwanese ships. This is perhaps beyond Congressional authority; they can declare war and this clause sort-of does. To pass the NDAA Trump has to sign onto that; yet another bargaining chip waiting to be cashed.
Needless to say, an American warship, a floating sensor and missile platform, in a Taiwanese port is kind of an obvious war trigger against China. Yet it was Congress that laid the groundwork for a policy where at least one is always ‘visiting’, a very much unwelcome foreign policy proposal.
Where were Antiwar’s raging progressives?
So is Trump pushing war? Some want to make sure. Against China, President Trump’s preferred ultimate option till then had been talk towards trade war, not outright hot war.
He gets credit for keeping those going. They’re ‘his’ to win or lose just as Bushco’s two were for Obama.
Not till the end of his term(s).
You keep saying that as if it’s a good thing. Trump is bad but everyone else is worse. We’re still f**ked.
Its only a good thing if people wake up and realize the present opposition is worse AND start working on real understandings that trump the snowflakes better than Trump.
Otherwise yes, we’re kind of screwed.
Give us six months or a year and we may be able to add Iran and North Korea to that list. He sure seems to be champing at the bit to lay waste to both nations.
Also, enough already with the “Trump was the least bad” motif. Trump is the one in power, and he’s the one who consistently undermines his own State Department and turned the wars over to “HIS generals.” I’m sure you believe that Hillary already would have launched nukes but Trump is the one who promised “fire and fury” the likes of which NK had never seen, and who wants to dismantle a no-nuke agreement with Iran that ACTUALLY WORKS!
“Trump is the least bad” is the only argument that exists. The opposition hasn’t gone beyond nit-picking smoke-and-mirrors to present itself as better.
Iran never wanted nukes (it would lose worse) and North Korea doesn’t want war (it would lose period). No-one is really offering peace to either nation, only different means of beating them.
Under any President, should the opportunity to pursue Mackinderan inevitability arise, that opportunity would be pursued. Without mercy or quarter, until such time the Deep State abandons Mackinderan geopolitics or is itself removed, if only by the planet itself dying out from under all of us.
Trump is the ONE in power. There is no true opposition, and everyone can see that.
Politics has hit past rock bottom and Trump has cornered the bottom. Past that is WW IV. The usual way of topping an opponent in foreign policy, being more aggressive, has hit a wall.
Therein lies Trump hate; in the game of one-up, America ran out of bat with his fist on the wood.
Justin Raimondo still believes he’s anti-war president, because of some of his campaign rhetoric Justin decides to still believe in.
I don’t think the Russians are telling anybody what they really believe. There haven’t been too many ‘world leaders’ either honest or sensible enough to listen to them.
Obama came close, ‘charming’ Putin into letting him ‘do’ Libya. Putin is still holding that mistake against America.
So someone is finally going to start spending money on our power grid against the vaunted EMP attack that I keep hearing about?
I hope so, I’m tired of hearing how Iran or N. Korea can destroy the entire U.S. with a single bomb detonated at altitude with a single satellite. This is usually accompanied as a reason to destroy said countries. Currently, we are on track to spend $7T on our military over the next 10yrs with no plans to protect our power grid.
So how much will protecting our power grid cost?
The Republicans always vote against it because their corporate donors who own the grids don’t want to spend the money, or worse, they want the EMP/Solar flare to fry it out then they can charge a trillion dollars for an entirely new “electrical infrastructure” owned by the corporations and built with public funds, of course. The cost to harden the grid is no more than 2 Billion, but the ROI of post-disaster is enormous. As always, profit lust drives PIG AMERICA.
I think we’d be glad to pay trillions to get the electricity back on. Life, without it, just won’t be the same after the freezer thaws and we ruin out of candles.
Yes, that is the American way. Pay a trillion later to the corporations rather than force the corporations to upgrade now. Corporations are more important than people in the US.
Did you say ‘force’ the corporation to do anything? Now how would any decent capitalist do that? Boycott?
Unfortunately hardening the grid equals preparing for EMP war and diluting Mutually Assured Destruction.
Its the sun and another Carrington event we should be concerned about, and that has been promoted as an excuse to harden.
Apparently things are warm enough internationally to take that remote natural catastrophe chance. The military stuff should be already hardened anyway; no need to worry about the civvies.
How is the military stuff hardened? A microcircuit is a microcircuit and none of them exist independent of some kind of ‘grid’. I think, if anything, we’re even more susceptible, to-day, that when the phenomenon was first noticed in the late 60’s. Back them the only circuits that weren’t ‘fried’ were regulated on vacuum tubes. Remember those?
True, however EMP effects are divided into three categories, E1, E2, andE3, and E3. E2 is lightning and E3 is the solar storm effect, but all three accompany a nuclear blast.
“E1, E2 and E3”, Jerry Emanuelson, futurescence. com
Against a natural geomagnetic storm, hardening and shielding are expected to be accompanied by enough forewarning to begin isolating transformers, shutting down grids, and preparing to shunt surges. Against just E3 military and industrial hardening might be enough.
On the other hand hoarding spare transformers and other electrical and electronic necessities in bunkers looks kind of full-spectrum suspicious because of the sheer expense.
E2 is the easiest to defend against; planes get hit by lighting but redirect the current through the metal skin (faraday cage shielding) and absorb transient voltage via surge protectors (hardening).
“What happens when lightning strikes an airplane?”, Edward J. Rupke, Scientific American.
The U.S. Air Force was surprised when some of the early ECM they used against Soviet aircraft was ineffectual though it worked against their own; it turned out Soviet warplanes used vacuum tubes well into the 80s.
Military hardening use the same methods as civilian industry uses to protect against transient voltages. Nested faraday cages are formed from heavier metal casings or fine mesh, designing equipment not to attract transient voltage, like closed loop batteries and loop antennae, surge protection using zener diode filters on connectors, deep grounding.
Ultimately none of that had been expected to work in a nuclear war, as only burying stuff deep underground provides enough insulation and shielding against E1. It so happens many military facilities are underground bunkers.
We’ve never experienced another Carrington event, but the somewhat smaller 1989 geomagnetic storm only took out a power grid in Quebec; smaller electronic devices were undamaged. Radios, for example, may have had bad reception but still worked and anything unplugged from the grid was certainly safe.
An EMP-only war has only recently been popularized, which is still dangerous as an EMP blinded opponent with the capability will almost certainly go straight nuclear to avoid losing the arsenal. An EMP first strike from NK may scare North Americans, but what is really scary is that it wouldn’t stop there which is why NK wouldn’t take a first shot. At best it would be a spoilsport last shot.
If they are attacked, conventionally, in any way that would jeopardize the regime, I wouldn’t bet bitcoin on them not taking the first shot at the USA. America has more to lose, for slinging anything back at them is going to directly impact Chinese and Russian territory. Both of those have their national territory and well-being to defend and nuclear arsenals that could be compromised.
Getting the RoKs or Japanese to do it is even more a crapshoot as they would fire at them, on principle. Again leaving the US with self-defeating option.
Wait… That didn’t make sense; no-one is going to attack NK except maybe the U.S., in which case a NK response would not be a first shot.
Does Justin even read these goddamn things?
Justin as well as most progressives are probably 100% wrong on Trump’s mind when it comes to war and peace and in particular his statements on the issue.
Trump wants to be greatest (and probably richest) businessman the world has ever known. War, and especially big wars can destroy that desire since he is not in the weapons industry and business. Bombs can destroy Trump Towers and Casinos and Hotels everywhere. From Trump’s vantage point real wars with Iran and North Korea are potentially risky affairs for his business empire. Hence threaten but do not act rashly.
Then why does he often take the opposite position of Tillerson? On Iran and now on N. Korea? Or why does he throw ever more funding into the Pentagon? Or remain in Syria? The so-called deep state? Nonsense.
Imagine that Trump and Tillerson were debating their positions on Iran and N. Korea before one of Trump’s rowdy stump crowds. Who do you think will get the applause and who the boos?
There is your answer. Trump’s statements on war and peace are not driven by the deep state but by his devoted and loving and mostly hawkish base. That is risky too. Trump probably knows that and is taking that risk. It is dangerous to take such risks over which you have almost no control when the fighting threatens to erupt.
Justin has not got it. We are not dealing with a hawk or a dove but with an addicted business gambler and now addicted political gambler.
The greatest mistake Trump may have made in his life was running for US President and winning. He may believe that it was necessary to run and win to become the world’s most powerful businessman. It may also ruin him.
One can hope.
So what’s your point? Trump’s mind knows that war is bad for (his) business, but to fire up the base, he speaks of war and rattles the sabers and undermines Tillerson. So who cares what he actually thinks? It’s his (shoddily) verbalized words and his actions that set the precedent, not the thoughts that rattle around in his brain and never make it out.
Raimondo?…. You know, one of the founders of this site. Who thinks that hope springs eternal from the inner sanctum of Donald Trump’s ass. Or are you doing a bit? It’s hard to read sarcasm in two words.
No, he’s as far down the rabbit hole as he Obama-bots he rightfully decried who put their own blinders on in 2009.
I think they may be related. Can you read sarcasm in 6 words?
Well, I did ketch that one in 13, so I wanna say yes.
GOOD WAY TO MAKE MORE ENEMIES, LIKE WE DON’T HAVE ENOUGH.
i wasn’t impressed. Trump looked nervous saying what he did. I don’t think he believes it himself.
more taxpayer funded unaccountable govt
The hero syndrome is a phenomenon affecting labor union members who seek
payment or recognition, usually by creating a desperate situation which
they then claim only they can resolve. This can include unlawful
acts, such as racketeering or even arson. The phenomenon has been most
noted in government employee unions or civil servants, such as
firefighter unions, police unions ..for more information see..
Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy Treatment and Symptoms
taxpayer funded drones
are the new flying killing machine for tyrannical govt.
Obama Golfing Buddy is banker Robert Wolf
who quickly became no-bid pentagon drone contractor
Meet Hillary’s Wolf of Wall Street
Jul26, 2016 – PHILADELPHIA — Robert Wolf has been called everything from
President Obama’s “fat cat” banker buddy to “the real Wolf of Wall
Street;” now ..
America’s biggest export is gasoline.
no-bid pentagon corporation labor unions
who are gouging USA by selling gas back to the united states military for $600 a gallon , often in countries where gas is 6 cents a gallon
US Published National Debt….$20,492,890,485,188
Each Taxpayer’s owes $685,000
Actually, no taxpayer owes a dime. “We intend to steal it from you because we borrowed a bunch of money” is not the same thing as “you owe it.”
still lacking knowledge and flooding the comment section with worthless information
Yes, you are. But I have confidence that you can improve quality of your comments if you apply yourself.
you are lacking knowledge and constant deflection of your lack of knowledge indicates you are not as educated about the real world as you might think.
it makes me wonder why you are such an anti American and how any moderator could be as misinformed and uniformed at the same time . but then again i realize from well documented past that alot of retired military men themselves had no idea they were coined useful idiots .
don’t spin this anymore off topic than you already have by trying to read more into something that is not even there . .
but the national debt is owed by all of us including you, if you are taxpayer and citizen of these united states . and that debt clock has current info but the total $ of debt is still going to be higher from compounded daily interest the federal reserve charges as well as any govt agency who has lost or misplaced their balance sheets and other factors .
The function of a moderator is to enforce rules. Being a moderator doesn’t have anything to do with my opinions or my level of knowledge about the issues.
That said, you publicly wallow in your own ignorance at an annoyingly semi-literate level and are so completely unqualified to judge my “lack of knowledge” or my attitude toward ‘Murica that it would be funny if it wasn’t pitiful.
Fortunately for you, neither abysmal ignorance nor sub-elementary language skills are against the rules here. Have a nice day.
you lack knowledge and discount others who know more than you about the real world. do the forum a favor and refrain from commenting on anything i write.
you will be doing your website and yourself a favor
Like you, I will comment on anything I damn well please.
You don’t have to like it. That’s how it is whether you like it or not.
i will do my best to educate you
and make you aware of what is really going on in this country.
have a great day
Taxpayers Now Face Postal Union’s $100 Billion in Unfunded Liabilities.
The postal labor union insists that nothing is wrong —
nothing a taxpayer funded postage $tamp fee increase bailout wouldn’t solve.
If that a pension plan, the solution is a no-brainer. Sh*t happens, every day.
not only pensions but illegal overtime
Government employee labor unions
spend $65 million taxpayer dollars annually on Washington dc lobbyists
Catherine Austin fitts
..says govt employee labor union pension debt is $41 trillion.
California senators vote 28 – 8
..to exempt themselves from new gun laws disarming the citizens of California
Pentagon loses around $86 million of your taxpayer dollars per hour.
Taxpayer funded Pentagon budget is around $700 billion….
own auditors found they cannot account for 25 percent of their daily
expenditures.That means Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., the
Pentagon loses around $86 million tax dollars an hour. The Pentagon
loses more of your tax dollar money before lunch each day than
Americans will see in their entire life times
It would take a division to move 86 million in cash around every day. So it must be in a couple of hundred largish credit notes. They’re easier to lose.
moving cash would be if taxpaying public were dumb enough to think pentagon handles actual cash daily
The did in Iraq – multiple C-17 loads of it. Afghanistan too.
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