Of the United States of America d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 7


ADOPT NEW TRADE AND INVESTMENT AGREEMENTS



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ADOPT NEW TRADE AND INVESTMENT AGREEMENTS 

AND MODERNIZE EXISTING ONES:

 The United States 

will pursue bilateral trade and investment agree-

ments with countries that commit to fair and recip-

rocal trade and will modernize existing agree-

ments to ensure they are consistent with those 

principles. Agreements must adhere to high stan-

dards in intellectual property, digital trade, agri-

culture, labor, and the environment. 

COUNTER UNFAIR TR ADE PR ACTICES: 

The United 

States will counter all unfair trade practices that 

distort markets using all appropriate means, 

from dialogue to enforcement tools. 

COUNTER FOREIGN CORRUPTION: 

Using our eco-

nomic and diplomatic tools, the United States will 

continue to target corrupt foreign officials and 

work with countries to improve their ability to 

fight corruption so U.S. companies can compete 

fairly in transparent business climates. 

WORK WITH LIKE- MINDED PARTNERS: 

The United 

States will work with like-minded partners to pre-

serve and modernize the rules of a fair and recip-

rocal economic order. Together we will emphasize 

fair trade enforcement actions when necessary, as 

well as multinational efforts to ensure transpar-

ency and adherence to international standards 

within trade and investment projects. 

FACILITATE NEW MARKET OPPORTUNITIES:

 Th e United 

States will partner with countries as they build 

their export markets, promote free market com-

petition, and incentivize private sector growth. 

We will expand U.S. trade and investment oppor-

tunities and increase the market base for U.S. 

goods and services.

Lead in Research, Technology, 

Invention, and Innovation

The United States will build on the ingenuity 

that has launched industries, created jobs, and 

improved the quality of life at home and abroad. 

To maintain our competitive advantage, the 

United States will prioritize emerging technolo-

gies critical to economic growth and security , such 

as data science, encryption, autonomous tech-

nologies, gene editing, new materials, nanotech-

nology, advanced computing technologies, and 

artificial intelligence. From self-driving cars to 

autonomous weapons, the fi eld of artifi cial intelli-

gence, in particular, is progressing rapidly. 

Th e United States must continue to att ract the inno-

vative and the inventive, the brilliant and the bold. 

We will encourage scientists in government, aca-

demia, and the private sector to achieve advance-

ments across the full spectrum of discovery, from 

incremental improvements to game-changing 

breakthroughs. We will nurture a healthy inno-

vation economy that collaborates with allies and 

partners, improves STEM education, draws on an 

advanced technical workforce, and invests in ear-

ly-stage research and development (R&D). 

Priority  Actions

U N D E R S TA N D   WO R L DW I D E   S C I E N C E   A N D   T E C H -

NOLOGY (S&T) TRENDS: 

To retain U.S. advantages 

over our competitors, U.S. Government agencies 

must improve their understanding of worldwide 

S&T trends and how they are likely to influence—

or undermine—American strategies and programs. 



ATTRACT AND RETAIN INVENTORS AND INNOVATORS: 

The U.S. Government must improve our collab-

oration with industry and academia and our 

recruitment of technical talent. We will remove 

barriers to the full use of talent across Federal 

agencies, and increase incentives for hiring and 

retaining Federal STEM employees. Initiatives 


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P I L L A R   I I :   P R O M O T E   A M E R I C A N   P R O S P E R I T Y

will include rapid hiring, swift adjudication of 

national security clearances, and offers of com-

petitive salaries. We must create easier paths 

for the flow of scientists, engineers, and technol-

ogists into and out of public service. 

LEVERAGE PRIVATE CAPITAL AND EXPERTISE TO BUILD 

AND INNOVATE: 

The U.S. Government will use pri-

vate sector technical expertise and R&D capabili-

ties more eff ectively. Private industry owns many 

of the technologies that the government relies 

upon for critical national security missions. The 

Department of Defense and other agencies will 

establish strategic partnerships with U.S. compa-

nies to help align private sector R&D resources to 

priority national security applications. 



RAPIDLY FIELD INVENTIONS AND INNOVATIONS: 

The 


United States must regain the element of surprise 

and field new technologies at the pace of mod-

ern industry. Government agencies must shift 

from an archaic R&D process to an approach that 

rewards rapid fielding and risk taking. 

Promote and Protect 

the U.S. National Security  

Innovation Base

America’s business climate and legal and regu-

latory systems encourage risk taking. We are a 

nation of people who work hard, dream big, and 

never give up. Not every country shares these 

characteristics. Some instead steal or illicitly 

acquire America’s hard-earned intellectual prop-

erty and proprietary information to compensate 

for their own systemic weaknesses. 

Every year, competitors such as China steal U.S. 

intellectual property valued at hundreds of bil-

lions of dollars. Stealing proprietary technol-

ogy and early-stage ideas allows competitors to 

unfairly tap into the innovation of free societ-

ies. Over the years, rivals have used sophisticated 

means to weaken our businesses and our econ-

omy as facets of cyber-enabled economic war-

fare and other malicious activities. In addition to 

these illegal means, some actors use largely legit-

imate, legal transfers and relationships to gain 

access to fields, experts, and trusted foundries 

that fill their capability gaps and erode America’s 

long-term competitive advantages. 

We must defend our National Security  Innovation 

Base (NSIB) against competitors. The NSIB is 

the American network of knowledge, capabili-

ties, and people—including academia, National 

Laboratories, and the private sector—that turns 

ideas into innovations, transforms discoveries 

into successful commercial products and com-

panies, and protects and enhances the American 

way of life. Th e genius of creative Americans, and 

the free system that enables them, is critical to 

American security and prosperity. 

Protecting the NSIB requires a domestic and inter-

national response beyond the scope of any indi-

vidual company, industry, university, or govern-

ment agency. The landscape of innovation does 

not divide neatly into sectors. Technologies that 

are part of most weapon systems often originate 

in diverse businesses as well as in universities and 

colleges. Losing our innovation and technologi-

cal edge would have far-reaching negative implica-

tions for American prosperity  and power. 

Priority  Actions 

UNDERSTAND THE CHALLENGES: 

Th e U.S. Government 

will develop a capability  to integrate, monitor, and 

better understand the national security implica-

tions of unfair industry trends and the actions of 

our rivals. We will explore new ways to share this 

information with the private sector and academia 

so they bett er understand their responsibilities in 

curtailing activities that undercut America’s NSIB. 

PROTECT INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY: 

Th e United States 

will reduce the illicit appropriation of U.S. pub-


N A T I O N A L   S E C U R I T Y   S T R A T E G Y

22

lic and private sector technology and technical 



knowledge by hostile foreign competitors. While 

maintaining an investor-friendly climate, this 

Administration will work with the Congress to 

strengthen the Committ ee on Foreign Investment 

in the United States (CFIUS) to ensure it addresses 

current and future national 

security  risks. Th e United States 

will prioritize counterintel-

ligence and law enforcement 

activities to curtail intellectual 

property theft by all sources 

and will explore new legal and 

regulatory mechanisms to pre-

vent and prosecute violations. 



T I G H T E N   V I S A   P R O C E D U R E S : 

The United States will review 

visa procedures to reduce economic theft by 

non-traditional intelligence collectors. We will 

consider restrictions on foreign STEM stu-

dents from designated countries to ensure 

that intellectual property is not transferred 

to our competitors, while acknowledging the 

importance of recruiting the most advanced tech-

nical workforce to the United States. 



PROTECT DATA AND UNDERLYING INFRASTRUCTURE:

The United States will expand our focus beyond 

protecting networks to protecting the data on 

those networks so that it remains secure—both at 

rest and in transit. To do this, the U.S. Government 

will encourage practices across companies 

and universities to defeat espionage and theft. 

Embrace Energy Dominance

For the fi rst time in generations, the United States 

will be an energy-dominant nation. Energy dom-

inance—America’s central position in the global 

energy system as a leading producer, consumer, and 

innovator—ensures that markets are free and U.S. 

infrastructure is resilient and secure. It ensures 

that access to energy is diversifi ed, and recognizes 

the importance of environmental stewardship. 

Access to domestic sources of clean, affordable, 

and reliable energy underpins a prosperous, 

secure, and powerful America for decades to come. 

Unleashing these abundant 

energy resources—coal, natural 

gas, petroleum, renewables, and 

nuclear—stimulates the econ-

omy and builds a foundation for 

future growth. Our Nation must 

take advantage of our wealth in 

domestic resources and energy 

efficiency to promote competi-

tiveness across our industries. 

The United States also anchors 

the North American energy sys-

tem, which is one of the most highly integrated in 

the world. Our vibrant cross-border energy trade 

and investment are vital for a robust and resilient 

U.S. economy and energy market. We are com-

mitted to supporting energy initiatives that will 

attract investments, safeguard the environment, 

strengthen our energy security, and unlock the 

enormous potential of our shared region. 

Climate policies will continue to shape the global 

energy system. U.S. leadership is indispensable 

to countering an anti-growth energy agenda that 

is detrimental to U.S. economic and energy secu-

rity  interests. Given future global energy demand

much of the developing world will require fossil 

fuels, as well as other forms of energy, to power their 

economies and lift their people out of poverty . Th e 

United States will continue to advance an approach 

that balances energy security, economic develop-

ment, and environmental protection. The United 

States will remain a global leader in reducing tradi-

tional pollution, as well as greenhouse gases, while 

expanding our economy. Th is achievement, which 

can serve as a model to other countries, fl ows from 

innovation, technology breakthroughs, and energy 

efficiency gains, not from onerous regulation.



For the fi rst time in 

generations, the United 

States will be an energy-

dominant nation. 

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P I L L A R   I I :   P R O M O T E   A M E R I C A N   P R O S P E R I T Y

As a growing supplier of energy resources, technol-

ogies, and services around the world, the United 

States will help our allies and partners become 

more resilient against those that use energy to 

coerce. America’s role as an energy exporter will 

also require an assessment of our vulnerabilities 

and a resilient American infrastructure. 

Finally, the Nation’s long-term energy security 

future rests with our people. We must invest in our 

future by supporting innovation and R&D, includ-

ing through the National Laboratories.

Priority  Actions

REDUCE BARRIERS: 

Th e United States will promote 

clean and safe development of our energy resources, 

while limiting regulatory burdens that encum-

ber energy production and constrain economic 

growth. We will streamline the Federal regula-

tory approval processes for energy infrastructure, 

from pipeline and export terminals to container 

shipments and gathering lines, while also ensuring 

responsible environmental stewardship. 



PROMOTE EXPORTS: 

The United States will pro-

mote exports of our energy resources, technolo-

gies, and services, which helps our allies and part-

ners diversify their energy sources and brings 

economic gains back home. We will expand our 

export capacity  through the continued support of 

private sector development of coastal terminals, 

allowing increased market access and a greater 

competitive edge for U.S. industries. 



ENSURE ENERGY SECURITY:

 The United States will 

work with allies and partners to protect global 

energy infrastructure from cyber and physical 

threats. The United States will support the diver-

sification of energy sources, supplies, and routes 

at home and abroad. We will modernize our stra-

tegic petroleum stocks and encourage other 

countries to develop their own—consistent with 

their national energy security needs. 



AT TAIN UNIVE RSAL ENERGY ACCESS: 

The United 

States will seek to ensure universal access to 

affordable, reliable energy, including highly effi-

cient fossil fuels, nuclear, and renewables, to 

help reduce poverty, foster economic growth, 

and promote prosperity. 

FURTHER AMERICA’S TECHNOLOGICAL EDGE: 

We will 


improve America’s technological edge in energy, 

including nuclear technology, next-generation 

nuclear reactors, better batteries, advanced com-

puting, carbon-capture technologies, and opportu-

nities at the energy-water nexus. Th e United States 

will continue to lead in innovative and efficient 

energy technologies, recognizing the economic 

and environmental benefi ts to end users. 



  

25

P I L L A R   I I I

Preserve Peace 

Through Strength



“As long as I am President, the servicemen and women who defend our 

Nation will have the equipment, the resources, and the funding they need to 

secure our homeland, to respond to our enemies quickly and decisively, and, 

when necessary, to fi ght, to overpower, and to always, always, always win.”

P R E S I D E N T   D O N A L D   J .   T R U M P  

|

  D E C E M B E R   2 0 1 7



 

central continuity in history is the con-



test for power. The present time period 

is no different. Three main sets of chal-

lengers—the revisionist powers of China and 

Russia, the rogue states of Iran and North Korea, 

and transnational threat organizations, particu-

larly jihadist terrorist groups—are actively com-

peting against the United States and our allies 

and partners. Although differing in nature and 

magnitude, these rivals compete across politi-

cal, economic, and military arenas, and use tech-

nology and information to accelerate these con-

tests in order to shift regional balances of power 

in their favor. These are fundamentally political 

contests between those who favor repressive sys-

tems and those who favor free societies. 

China and Russia want to shape a world antithetical 

to U.S. values and interests. China seeks to displace 

the United States in the Indo-Pacifi c region, expand 

the reaches of its state-driven economic model, 

and reorder the region in its favor. Russia seeks to 

restore its great power status and establish spheres 

of influence near its borders. The intentions of 

both nations are not necessarily fi xed. Th e United 

States stands ready to cooperate across areas of 

mutual interest with both countries. 

For decades, U.S. policy was rooted in the belief 

that support for China’s rise and for its integra-

tion into the post-war international order would 

liberalize China. Contrary to our hopes, China 

expanded its power at the expense of the sov-

ereignty of others. China gathers and exploits 

data on an unrivaled scale and spreads features 

of its authoritarian system, including corrup-

tion and the use of surveillance. It is building the 

most capable and well-funded military in the 

world, after our own. Its nuclear arsenal is grow-

ing and diversify ing. Part of China’s military mod-

ernization and economic expansion is due to its 

access to the U.S. innovation economy, includ-

ing America’s world-class universities.

Russia aims to weaken U.S. infl uence in the world 

and divide us from our allies and partners. Russia 

views the North Atlantic Treaty Organization 

(NATO) and European Union (EU) as threats. Russia 

is investing in new military capabilities, includ-

ing nuclear systems that remain the most signifi-

cant existential threat to the United States, and in 


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26

destabilizing cyber capabilities. Th rough modern-



ized forms of subversive tactics, Russia interferes 

in the domestic political aff airs of countries around 

the world. The combination of Russian ambition 

and growing military capabilities creates an unsta-

ble frontier in Eurasia, where the risk of conflict 

due to Russian miscalculation is growing. 

Th e scourge of the world today is a small group of 

rogue regimes that violate all principles of free 

and civilized states. The Iranian regime spon-

sors terrorism around the world. It is developing 

more capable ballistic missiles and has the poten-

tial to resume its work on nuclear weapons that 

could threaten the United States and our part-

ners. North Korea is ruled as a ruthless dictator-

ship without regard for human dignity. For more 

than 25 years, it has pursued nuclear weapons 

and ballistic missiles in defi ance of every commit-

ment it has made. Today, these missiles and weap-

ons threaten the United States and our allies. Th e 

longer we ignore threats from countries deter-

mined to proliferate and develop weapons of mass 

destruction, the worse such threats become, and 

the fewer defensive options we have. 

The United States continues to wage a long war 

against jihadist terrorist groups such as ISIS and 

al-Qa’ida. These groups are linked by a common 

radical Islamist ideology that encourages vio-

lence against the United States and our partners 

and produces misery for those under their control. 

Although the United States and our partners have 

infl icted defeats on ISIS and al-Qa’ida in Syria and 

Iraq, these organizations maintain global reach 

with established branches in strategic locations. 

The threat from jihadist terrorists will persist, 

even as we intensify efforts to prevent attacks on 

Americans, our allies, and our partners. 

Protecting American interests requires that we 

compete continuously within and across these 

contests, which are being played out in regions 

around the world. The outcome of these con-

tests will influence the political, economic, and 

military strength of the United States and our 

allies and partners.

To prevail, we must integrate all elements of 

America’s national power—political, economic, and 

military. Our allies and partners must also con-

tribute the capabilities, and demonstrate the will, 

to confront shared threats. Experience suggests 

that the willingness of rivals to abandon or forgo 

aggression depends on their perception of U.S. 

strength and the vitality  of our alliances. 

The United States will seek areas of cooperation 

with competitors from a position of strength, fore-

most by ensuring our military power is second 

to none and fully integrated with our allies and 

all of our instruments of power. A strong mili-

tary ensures that our diplomats are able to oper-

ate from a position of strength. In this way we can, 

together with our allies and partners, deter and if 

necessary, defeat aggression against U.S. interests 

and increase the likelihood of managing competi-

tions without violent confl ict and preserving peace. 

Renew America’s 

Competitive Advantages

The United States must consider what is endur-

ing about the problems we face, and what is new. 

The contests over influence are timeless. They 

have existed in varying degrees and levels of inten-

sity, for millennia. Geopolitics is the interplay of 

these contests across the globe. But some condi-

tions are new, and have changed how these com-

petitions are unfolding. We face simultaneous 

threats from different actors across multiple are-

nas—all accelerated by technology. The United 

States must develop new concepts and capabili-

ties to protect our homeland, advance our pros-

perity , and preserve peace. 


27

Since the 1990s, the United States displayed a great 

degree of strategic complacency. We assumed that 

our military superiority  was guaranteed and that 

a democratic peace was inevitable. We believed 

that liberal-democratic enlargement and inclu-

sion would fundamentally alter 

the nature of international rela-

tions and that competition would 

give way to peaceful cooperation. 

I n s t e a d   of   bu i ld i n g   m i l i-

tary capacity, as threats to our 

national security increased, 

the United States dramatically 

cut the size of our military to 

the lowest levels since 1940. 

Instead of developing import-

ant capabilities, the Joint Force 

entered a nearly decade long 

“procurement holiday” during 

which the acquisition of new 

weapon systems was severely 

limited. The breakdown of the 

Nation’s annual Federal budgeting process, exem-

plified by sequestration and repeated continu-

ing resolutions, further contributed to the ero-

sion of America’s military dominance during a 

time of increasing threats.

Despite decades of efforts to reform the way that 

the United States develops and procures new weap-

ons, our acquisition system remained sclerotic. 

The Joint Force did not keep pace with emerg-

ing threats or technologies. We got less for our 

defense dollars, shortchanging American tax-

payers and warfi ghters. 

We also incorrectly believed that technology could 

compensate for our reduced capacity —for the abil-

ity  to fi eld enough forces to prevail militarily, con-

solidate our gains, and achieve our desired polit-

ical ends. We convinced ourselves that all wars 

would be fought and won quickly, from stand-off 

distances and with minimal casualties. 

In addition, after being dismissed as a phenom-

enon of an earlier century, great power competi-

tion returned. China and Russia began to reassert 

their infl uence regionally and globally. Today, they 

are fi elding military capabilities designed to deny 

America access in times of cri-

sis and to contest our ability to 

operate freely in critical com-

mercial zones during peacetime. 

In short, they are contesting our 

geopolitical advantages and try-

ing to change the international 

order in their favor.

Moreover, deterrence today 

is sig n if ica ntly more com-

plex to achieve than during the 

Cold War. Adversaries stud-

ied the American way of war 

and began investing in capabil-

ities that targeted our strengths 

and sought to exploit perceived 

weaknesses. The spread of accu-

rate and inexpensive weap-

ons and the use of cyber tools have allowed state 

and non-state competitors to harm the United 

States across various domains. Such capabili-

ties contest what was until recently U.S. domi-

nance across the land, air, maritime, space, and 

cyberspace domains. They also enable adversar-

ies to att empt strategic att acks against the United 

States—without resorting to nuclear weapons—in 

ways that could cripple our economy and our abil-

ity  to deploy our military forces. Deterrence must 

be extended across all of these domains and must 

address all possible strategic attacks. 

In addition, adversaries and competitors became 

adept at operating below the threshold of open 

military conflict and at the edges of interna-

tional law. Repressive, closed states and orga-

nizations, although brittle in many ways, are 

often more agile and faster at integrating eco-

nomic, military, and especially informational 

P I L L A R   I I I :   P R E S E R V E   P E A C E   T H R O U G H   S T R E N G T H

Th e United States will seek 

areas of cooperation with 

competitors from a position 

of strength, foremost by 

ensuring our military 

power is second to none 

and fully integrated with 

our allies and all of our 

instruments of power.


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means to achieve their goals. They are unencum-



bered by truth, by the rules and protections of pri-

vacy inherent in democracies, and by the law of 

armed conflict. They employ sophisticated politi-

cal, economic, and military campaigns that com-

bine discrete actions. They are patient and con-

tent to accrue strategic gains over time—making 

it harder for the United States and our allies to 

respond. Such actions are calculated to achieve 

maximum effect without provoking a direct mil-

itary response from the United States. And as 

these incremental gains are realized, over time, 

a new status quo emerges. 

Th e United States must prepare for this ty pe of com-

petition. China, Russia, and other state and non-

state actors recognize that the United States often 

views the world in binary terms, with states being 

either “at peace” or “at war,” when it is actually an 

arena of continuous competition. Our adversar-

ies will not fi ght us on our terms. We will raise our 

competitive game to meet that challenge, to pro-

tect American interests, and to advance our values. 

Our diplomatic, intelligence, military, and eco-

nomic agencies have not kept pace with the changes 

in the character of competition. America’s mili-

tary must be prepared to operate across a full spec-

trum of confl ict, across multiple domains at once. 

To meet these challenges we must also upgrade 

our political and economic instruments to operate 

across these environments. 

Bureaucratic inertia is powerful. But so is the tal-

ent, creativity, and dedication of Americans. By 

aligning our public and private sector efforts we 

can field a Joint Force that is unmatched. New 

advances in computing, autonomy, and manufac-

turing are already transforming the way we fi ght. 

When coupled with the strength of our allies and 

partners, this advantage grows. The future that 

we face is ours to win or lose. History suggests 

that Americans will rise to the occasion and that 

we can shift trends back in favor of the United 

States, our allies, and our partners. 

Renew Capabilities

Given the new features of the geopolitical envi-

ronment, the United States must renew key capa-

bilities to address the challenges we face. 

Military

U.S. military strength remains a vital compo-

nent of the competition for influence. The Joint 

Force demonstrates U.S. resolve and commit-

ment and provides us with the ability to fight 

and win across any plausible conflict that threat-

ens U.S. vital interests. 

The United States must retain overmatch—

the combination of capabilities in sufficient 

scale to prevent enemy success and to ensure 

that America’s sons and daughters will never 

be in a fair fight. Overmatch strengthens our 

diplomacy and permits us to shape the inter-

national environment to protect our interests. 

To retain military overmatch the United States 

must restore our ability to produce innovative 

capabilities, restore the readiness of our forces for 

major war, and grow the size of the force so that it 

is capable of operating at sufficient scale and for 

ample duration to win across a range of scenarios. 

We must convince adversaries that we can and 

will defeat them—not just punish them if they 

att ack the United States. We must ensure the abil-

ity to deter potential enemies by denial, convinc-

ing them that they cannot accomplish objectives 

through the use of force or other forms of aggres-

sion. We need our allies to do the same—to modern-

ize, acquire necessary capabilities, improve read-

iness, expand the size of their forces, and affirm 

the political will to win. 



29

Priority  Actions 

 

MODERNIZATION : 

Ensuring that the U.S. military 

can defeat our adversaries requires weapon sys-

tems that clearly overmatch theirs in lethality. 

Where possible, we must improve existing systems 

to maximize returns on prior investments. In other 

areas we should seek new capa-

bilities that create clear advan-

tages for our military while 

posing costly dilemmas for our 

adversaries. We must elimi-

nate bureaucratic impediments 

to innovation and embrace less 

expensive and time-intensive 

commercial off-the-shelf solu-

tions. Departments and agen-

cies must work with industry to 

experiment, prototype, and rap-

idly field new capabilities that 

can be easily upgraded as new 

technologies come online. 



ACQUISITION:

 The United States will pursue new 

approaches to acquisition to make better deals 

on behalf of the American people that avoid 

cost overruns, eliminate bloated bureaucra-

cies, and stop unnecessary delays so that we can 

put the right equipment into the hands of our 

forces. We must harness innovative technolo-

gies that are being developed outside of the tradi-

tional defense industrial base. 



CAPACITY: 

The size of our force matters. To deter 

conflict and, if deterrence fails, to win in war, 

the Nation must be able to field forces capa-

ble of operating in sufficient scale and for ample 

duration to defeat enemies, consolidate mili-

tary gains, and achieve sustainable outcomes 

that protect the American people and our vital 

interests. The United States must reverse recent 

decisions to reduce the size of the Joint Force 

and grow the force while modernizing and 

ensuring readiness. 



IMPROVE READINESS: 

Th e United States must retain 

a ready force that is capable of protecting the home-

land while defending U.S. interests. Readiness 

requires a renewed focus on training, logistics, 

and maintenance. We must be able to get to a the-

ater in time to shape events quickly. This will 

require a resilient forward posture and agile 

global mobility forces. 

RETAIN A FULL-SPECTRUM FORCE:

The Joint Force must remain 

capable of deterring and defeat-

ing the full range of threats to the 

United States. The Department 

of Defense must develop new 

operational concepts and capa-

bilities to win without assured 

dominance in air, maritime, 

land, space, and cyberspace 

domains, including against 

those operating below the level 

of conventional military con-

flict. We must sustain our competence in irregu-

lar warfare, which requires planning for a long-

term, rather than ad hoc, fight against terrorist 

networks and other irregular threats. 

Defense Industrial Base

A healthy defense industrial base is a critical ele-

ment of U.S. power and the National Security 

Innovation Base. The ability of the military to 

surge in response to an emergency depends on 

our Nation’s ability to produce needed parts and 

systems, healthy and secure supply chains, and a 

skilled U.S. workforce. The erosion of American 

manufacturing over the last two decades, how-

ever, has had a negative impact on these capa-

bilities and threatens to undermine the ability 

of U.S. manufacturers to meet national security 

requirements. Today, we rely on single domes-

tic sources for some products and foreign supply 

chains for others, and we face the possibility  of not 

being able to produce specialized components for 

P I L L A R   I I I :   P R E S E R V E   P E A C E   T H R O U G H   S T R E N G T H

Support for a vibrant 

domestic manufacturing 

sector, a solid defense 

industrial base, and 

resilient supply chains 

is a national priority .


N A T I O N A L   S E C U R I T Y   S T R A T E G Y

30

the military at home. As America’s manufactur-



ing base has weakened, so too have critical work-

force skills ranging from industrial welding, to 

high-technology skills for cybersecurity  and aero-

space. Support for a vibrant domestic manufactur-

ing sector, a solid defense industrial base, and resil-

ient supply chains is a national priority.



Priority  Actions 

UNDERSTAND THE PROBLEM:

 We will evaluate the 

strengths and weaknesses of our defense indus-

trial base, including the identification of materi-

als essential to national security, contingencies 

that could affect supply chains, and technologies 

that are likely to be critical for the future. 

ENCOURAGE HOMELAND INVESTMENT: 

The United 

States will promote policies and incentives 

that return key national security industries 

to American shores. Where possible, the U.S. 

Government will work with industry partners to 

strengthen U.S. competitiveness in key technolo-

gies and manufacturing capabilities. In addition, 

we will reform regulations and processes to facili-

tate the export of U.S. military equipment.



PROTECT AND GROW CRITICAL SKILLS:

 The United 

States must maintain and develop skilled trades 

and high-technology skills through increased 

support for technical college and apprentice-

ship programs. We will support STEM efforts, 

at the Federal and state levels, and target national 

security technology areas. 



Nuclear Forces

Nuclear weapons have served a vital purpose in 

America’s National Security Strategy for the past 

70 years. They are the foundation of our strat-

egy to preserve peace and stability by deterring 

aggression against the United States, our allies, 

and our partners. While nuclear deterrence strat-

egies cannot prevent all conflict, they are essen-

tial to prevent nuclear att ack, non-nuclear strategic 

attacks, and large-scale conventional aggression. 

In addition, the extension of the U.S. nuclear deter-

rent to more than 30 allies and partners helps to 

assure their security, and reduces their need to 

possess their own nuclear capabilities.

Following the Cold War, the United States reduced 

investments in our nuclear enterprise and reduced 

the role of nuclear weapons in our strategy. Some 

parts of America’s strategic nuclear Triad of bomb-

ers, sea-based missiles, and land-based missiles are 

over 30 years old, and much of our nuclear infra-

structure dates to the World War II era. At the same 

time, however, nuclear-armed adversaries have 

expanded their arsenals and range of delivery sys-

tems. The United States must maintain the credi-

ble deterrence and assurance capabilities provided 

by our nuclear Triad and by U.S. theater nuclear 

capabilities deployed abroad. Significant invest-

ment is needed to maintain a U.S. nuclear arsenal 

and infrastructure that is able to meet national 

security  threats over the coming decades. 



Priority  Actions 

SUSTAIN U.S. NUCLEAR WEAPONS:

 The United States 

will sustain a nuclear force structure that meets 

our current needs and addresses unanticipated 

risks. The United States does not need to match 

the nuclear arsenals of other powers, but we must 

sustain a stockpile that can deter adversaries, 

assure allies and partners, and achieve U.S. objec-

tives if deterrence fails. 

M O D E R N I Z E   U . S .   N U C L E A R   F O R C E S   A N D   I N F R A -

STRUCTURE: 

We will modernize our nuclear enter-

prise to ensure that we have the scientific, engi-

neering, and manufacturing capabilities nec-

essary to retain an effective and safe nuclear 

Triad and respond to future national secu-

rity threats. Modernization and sustainment 

require investing in our aging command and 

control system and maintaining and growing 


31

the highly skilled workforce needed to develop, 

manufacture, and deploy nuclear weapons.

MAINTAIN STABLE DETERRENCE: 

To avoid miscalcu-

lation, the United States will conduct discussions 

with other states to build predictable relation-

ships and reduce nuclear risks. We will consider 

new arms control arrangements if they contribute 

to strategic stability and if they are verifiable. We 

will not allow adversaries to use threats of nuclear 

escalation or other irresponsible nuclear behav-

iors to coerce the United States, our allies, and   

our partners. Fear of escalation will not prevent 

the United States from defending our vital inter-

ests and those of our allies and partners. 

Space 

The United States must maintain our leadership 

and freedom of action in space. Communications 

and fi nancial networks, military and intelligence 

systems, weather monitoring, navigation, and 

more have components in the space domain. As 

U.S. dependence on space has increased, other 

actors have gained access to space-based systems 

and information. Governments and private sector 

fi rms have the ability  to launch satellites into space 

at increasingly lower costs. Th e fusion of data from 

imagery, communications, and geolocation ser-

vices allows motivated actors to access previously 

unavailable information. Th is “democratization of 

space” has an impact on military operations and 

on America’s ability  to prevail in confl ict. 

Many countries are purchasing satellites to sup-

port their own strategic military activities. Others 

believe that the ability  to att ack space assets off ers 

an asymmetric advantage and as a result, are pur-

suing a range of anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons. 

The United States considers unfettered access to 

and freedom to operate in space to be a vital inter-

est. Any harmful interference with or an attack 

upon critical components of our space archi-

tecture that directly affects this vital U.S. inter-

est will be met with a deliberate response at a 

time, place, manner, and domain of our choosing.



Priority  Actions

ADVANCE SPACE AS A PRIORITY DOMAIN: 

America’s 

newly re-established National Space Council, 

chaired by the Vice President, will review America’s 

long-range space goals and develop a strategy that 

integrates all space sectors to support innova-

tion and American leadership in space. 

PROMOTE SPACE COMMERCE: 

The United States will 

simplify and update regulations for commer-

cial space activity to strengthen competitiveness. 

As the U.S. Government partners with U.S. com-

mercial space capabilities to improve the resil-

iency of our space architecture, we will also con-

sider extending national security protections to 

our private sector partners as needed. 

MAINTAIN LEAD IN EXPLORATION: 

To enable human 

exploration across the solar system and to bring 

back to Earth new knowledge and opportuni-

ties, we will increase public-private partnerships 

and promote ventures beyond low Earth orbit 

with allies and friends. 

Cyberspace

Malicious state and non-state actors use cyberat-

tacks for extortion, information warfare, disinfor-

mation, and more. Such att acks have the capability  

to harm large numbers of people and institutions 

with comparatively minimal investment and a 

troubling degree of deniability. These attacks can 

undermine faith and confidence in democratic 

institutions and the global economic system. 

Many countries now view cyber capabilities 

as tools for projecting influence, and some use 

cyber tools to protect and extend their autocratic 

regimes. Cyberattacks have become a key feature 

of modern conflict. The United States will deter, 

P I L L A R   I I I :   P R E S E R V E   P E A C E   T H R O U G H   S T R E N G T H


N A T I O N A L   S E C U R I T Y   S T R A T E G Y

32

defend, and when necessary defeat malicious 



actors who use cyberspace capabilities against the 

United States. When faced with the opportunity 

to take action against malicious actors in cyber-

space, the United States will be risk informed, but 

not risk averse, in considering our options.

Priority  Actions

I M P R OV E   AT T R I B U T I O N ,   AC C O U N TA B I L I T Y,   A N D 

RESPONSE: 

We will invest in capabilities to sup-

port and improve our ability to attribute cyber-

attacks, to allow for rapid response. 



ENHANCE CYBER TOOLS AND EXPERTISE:

 We will 

improve our cyber tools across the spectrum of 

conflict to protect U.S. Government assets and 

U.S. critical infrastructure, and to protect the 

integrity of data and information. U.S. depart-

ments and agencies will recruit, train, and 

retain a workforce capable of operating across 

this spectrum of activity. 

I M P R O V E   I N T E G R AT I O N   A N D   AG I L I T Y:  

We will 


improve the integration of authorities and pro-

cedures across the U.S. Government so that 

cyber operations against adversaries can be 

conducted as required. We will work with the 

Congress to address the challenges that continue 

to hinder timely intelligence and information 

sharing, planning and operations, and the devel-

opment of necessary cyber tools. 



Intelligence 

America’s ability to identify and respond to geo-

strategic and regional shifts and their political, eco-

nomic, military, and security  implications requires 

that the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) gather, 

analyze, discern, and operationalize information. 

In this information-dominant era, the IC must con-

tinuously pursue strategic intelligence to antic-

ipate geostrategic shifts, as well as shorter-term 

intelligence so that the United States can respond 

to the actions and provocations of rivals. 

The ability of the United States to modernize 

our military forces to overmatch our adversar-

ies requires intelligence support. Intelligence is 

needed to understand and anticipate foreign doc-

trine and the intent of foreign leaders, prevent tac-

tical and operational surprise, and ensure that 

U.S. capabilities are not compromised before 

they are fielded. In addition, virtually all mod-

ern weapon systems depend upon data derived 

from scientifi c and technical intelligence. 

Th e IC, as well as the law enforcement community , 

offer unique abilities to defend against and miti-

gate threat actors operating below the threshold of 

open conflict. Both communities have exception-

ally strong liaison relationships throughout the 

world, allowing the United States to cooperate with 

allies and partners to protect against adversaries.



Priority  Actions 

IMPROVE UNDERSTANDING:

 To prevent the theft of 

sensitive and proprietary information and main-

tain supply chain integrity , the United States must 

increase our understanding of the economic pol-

icy priorities of our adversaries and improve 

our ability to detect and defeat their attempts to 

commit economic espionage. 



HARNESS ALL INFORMATION AT OUR DISPOSAL: 

The 


United States will, in concert with allies and part-

ners, use the information-rich open-source envi-

ronment to deny the ability of state and non-state 

actors to attack our citizens, conduct offensive 

intelligence activities, and degrade America’s 

democratic institutions. 



FUSE INFORMATION AND ANALYSIS:

 Th e United States 

will fuse our analysis of information derived from 

the diplomatic, information, military, and eco-

nomic domains to compete more effectively on 

the geopolitical stage.



33

Diplomacy and Statecraft

 

Competitive Diplomacy

Across the competitive landscape, America’s dip-

lomats are our forward-deployed political capa-

bility, advancing and defending America’s inter-

ests abroad. Diplomacy catalyzes the political, 

economic, and societal connections that create 

America’s enduring alignments and that build 

positive networks of rela-

tionships with partners. 

Diplomacy sustains dia-

logue and fosters areas of 

cooperation with compet-

itors. It reduces the risk of 

costly miscommunication. 

Diplomacy is indispens-

able to identify and imple-

m e nt  s olut ion s  t o c on-

f licts in unstable regions 

of the world short of mili-

tary involvement. It helps to 

galvanize allies for action 

and marshal the collective 

resources of like-minded 

n a t i o n s   a n d   o r g a n i z a -

tions to address shared problems. Authoritarian 

states are eager to replace the United States 

where the United States withdraws our diplo-

mats and closes our outposts. 

We must upgrade our diplomatic capabili-

ties to compete in the current environment and 

to embrace a competitive mindset. Effective 

diplomacy requires the efficient use of limited 

resources, a professional diplomatic corps, modern 

and safe facilities, and secure methods to commu-

nicate and engage with local populations. 

Priority  Actions 

PRESERVE A FORWARD DIPLOMATIC PRESENCE: 

Our 


diplomats must be able to build and sustain rela-

tionships where U.S. interests are at stake. Face-

to-face diplomacy cannot be replaced by tech-

nology. Relationships, developed over time, 

create trust and shared understanding that the 

United States calls upon when confronting secu-

rity threats, responding to crises, and encour-

aging others to share the 

bu rden for tack ling the 

world’s challenges. We must 

enable forward-deployed 

field work beyond the con-

fines of diplomatic facilities, 

including partnering with 

military colleagues in con-

flict-affected states.



ADVANCE AMERICAN INTERESTS: 

In the ongoing contests 

for power, our diplomats 

must build and lead coali-

tions that advance shared 

interests  a nd  a rticu late 

America’s vision in interna-

tional forums, in bilateral 

relationships, and at local levels within states. 

Our diplomats need additional flexibility to oper-

ate in complex conflict-affected areas.

CATALYZE OPPORTUNITIES: 

Diplomats must iden-

tify opportunities for commerce and coop-

eration, and facilitate the cultural, educa-

tional, and people-to-people exchanges that 

create the networks of current and future polit-

ical, civil society, and educational leaders who 

will extend a free and prosperous world. 

P I L L A R   I I I :   P R E S E R V E   P E A C E   T H R O U G H   S T R E N G T H

Diplomacy is indispensable to 

identify  and implement solutions 

to confl icts in unstable regions 

of the world short of military 

involvement. It helps to galvanize 

allies for action and marshal the 

collective resources of like-minded 

nations and organizations 

to address shared problems.


N A T I O N A L   S E C U R I T Y   S T R A T E G Y

34

Tools of Economic Diplomacy

Retaining our position as the world’s preemi-

nent economic actor strengthens our ability to 

use the tools of economic diplomacy for the good 

of Americans and others. Maintaining America’s 

central role in international financial forums 

enhances our security and prosperity by expand-

ing a community  of free market economies, defend-

ing against threats from state-led economies, and 

protecting the U.S. and international economy 

from abuse by illicit actors.

We want to create wealth for Americans and our 

allies and partners. Prosperous states are stron-

ger security partners who are able to share the 

burden of confronting com-

mon threats. Fair and recip-

rocal trade, investments, and 

exchanges of knowledge deepen 

our alliances and partnerships, 

which are necessary to succeed 

in today’s competitive geopoliti-

cal environment. Trade, export 

promotion, targeted use of for-

eign assistance, and modern-

ized development finance tools 

can promote stability, prosper-

ity, and political reform, and 

build new partnerships based 

on the principle of reciprocity.

Economic tools—including sanctions, anti-mon-

ey-laundering and anti-corruption measures, and 

enforcement actions—can be important parts of 

broader strategies to deter, coerce, and constrain 

adversaries. We will work with like-minded part-

ners to build support for tools of economic diplo-

macy against shared threats. Multilateral eco-

nomic pressure is often more effective because it 

limits the ability of targeted states to circumvent 

measures and conveys united resolve.



Priority  Actions

R E I N F O R C E   E C O N O M I C   T I E S   W I T H   A L L I E S   A N D 


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