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1

National Security 

Strategy

of the United States of America

D E C E M B E R   2 0 1 7



  

I

My fellow Americans:

Th e American people elected me to make America great again. I promised that my Administration would 

put the safety , interests, and well-being of our citizens fi rst. I pledged that we would revitalize the American 

economy, rebuild our military, defend our borders, protect our sovereignty, and advance our values. 

During my first year in office, you have witnessed my America First foreign policy in action. We are 

prioritizing the interests of our citizens and protecting our sovereign rights as a nation. America is 

leading again on the world stage. We are not hiding from the challenges we face. We are confronting 

them head-on and pursuing opportunities to promote the security  and prosperity  of all Americans. 

Th e United States faces an extraordinarily dangerous world, fi lled with a wide range of threats that have 

intensified in recent years. When I came into office, rogue regimes were developing nuclear weapons 

and missiles to threaten the entire planet. Radical Islamist terror groups were fl ourishing. Terrorists had 

taken control of vast swaths of the Middle East. Rival powers were aggressively undermining American 

interests around the globe. At home, porous borders and unenforced immigration laws had created a host 

of vulnerabilities. Criminal cartels were bringing drugs and danger into our communities. Unfair trade 

practices had weakened our economy and exported our jobs overseas. Unfair burden-sharing with our allies 

and inadequate investment in our own defense had invited danger from those who wish us harm. Too many 

Americans had lost trust in our government, faith in our future, and confidence in our values.

Nearly one year later, although serious challenges remain, we are charting a new and very diff erent course.

We are rallying the world against the rogue regime in North Korea and confronting the danger posed 

by the dictatorship in Iran, which those determined to pursue a flawed nuclear deal had neglected. We 

have renewed our friendships in the Middle East and partnered with regional leaders to help drive out 

terrorists and extremists, cut off their financing, and discredit their wicked ideology. We crushed 

Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorists on the battlefields of Syria and Iraq, and will continue 

pursuing them until they are destroyed. America’s allies are now contributing more to our common 

defense, strengthening even our strongest alliances. We have also continued to make clear that the United 

States will no longer tolerate economic aggression or unfair trading practices.

At home, we have restored confidence in America’s purpose. We have recommitted ourselves to 

our founding principles and to the values that have made our families, communities, and society so 

successful. Jobs are coming back and our economy is growing. We are making historic investments in 

the United States military. We are enforcing our borders, building trade relationships based on fairness 

and reciprocity, and defending America’s sovereignty without apology.

T H E  W H I T E  HOUSE

W A S H I N G T O N ,   D C



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

II

The whole world is lifted by America’s renewal and the reemergence of American leadership. After one 



year, the world knows that America is prosperous, America is secure, and America is strong. We will bring 

about the bett er future we seek for our people and the world, by confronting the challenges and dangers 

posed by those who seek to destabilize the world and threaten America’s people and interests. 

My Administration’s National Security Strategy lays out a strategic vision for protecting the American 

people and preserving our way of life, promoting our prosperity, preserving peace through strength, 

and advancing American influence in the world. We will pursue this beautiful vision—a world

of strong, sovereign, and independent nations, each with its own cultures and dreams, thriving side-

by-side in prosperity, freedom, and peace—throughout the upcoming year. 

In pursuit of that future, we will look at the world with clear eyes and fresh thinking. We will promote 

a balance of power that favors the United States, our allies, and our partners. We will never lose sight of 

our values and their capacity to inspire, uplift, and renew. 

Most of all, we will serve the American people and uphold their right to a government that prioritizes 

their security, their prosperity, and their interests. This National Security Strategy puts America First.

President Donald J. Trump

Th e White House

December 2017



  

V

Table of Contents

Introduction

 ..........................................................................................................................

1

P I L L A R   I :



 Protect the American People, the Homeland, 

and the American Way of Life



 ..................................................................................

7

Secure U.S. Borders and Territory



 ................................................................................................................................................

8

 



Defend Against Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) ....................................................................................................8 

Combat Biothreats and Pandemics ..........................................................................................................................................9

 

Strengthen Border Control and Immigration Policy ...........................................................................................................9

 

Pursue Th reats to Th eir Source



 ....................................................................................................................................................

10 


Defeat Jihadist Terrorists ..........................................................................................................................................................10

Dismantle Transnational Criminal Organizations ............................................................................................................11

 

Keep America Safe in the Cyber Era



 ........................................................................................................................................

12

Promote American Resilience



 .......................................................................................................................................................

14

 



P I L L A R   I I :

 Promote American Prosperity



 ..........................................................

17

Rejuvenate the Domestic Economy



 ...........................................................................................................................................

18

Promote Free, Fair, and Reciprocal Economic Relationships



 ................................................................................

19

Lead in Research, Technology, Invention, and Innovation



 .....................................................................................

20

Promote and Protect the U.S. National Security  Innovation Base



 ......................................................................

21

Embrace Energy Dominance



 ........................................................................................................................................................

22

P I L L A R   I I I :



 Preserve Peace through Strength

 ..............................................

25

Renew America’s Competitive Advantages



 ........................................................................................................................

26

Renew Capabilities



 ...............................................................................................................................................................................

28

Military ......................................................................................................................................................................................... 28



Defense Industrial Base ............................................................................................................................................................ 29

Nuclear Forces ............................................................................................................................................................................. 30

Space ...............................................................................................................................................................................................31

Cyberspace ....................................................................................................................................................................................31

Intelligence ................................................................................................................................................................................... 32

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

VI

Diplomacy and Statecraft



 ................................................................................................................................................................

33

Competitive Diplomacy ............................................................................................................................................................ 33



Tools of Economic Diplomacy................................................................................................................................................. 34

Information Statecraft  .............................................................................................................................................................. 34

P I L L A R  I V:

 Advance American Influence

 ............................................................

37

Encourage Aspiring Partners



 .......................................................................................................................................................

38

Achieve Bett er Outcomes in Multilateral Forums



 .........................................................................................................

40

Champion American Values



 ..........................................................................................................................................................

41

The Strategy in a Regional Context



 ................................................................

45

Indo-Pacifi c



 .................................................................................................................................................................................................

45

Europe



 .............................................................................................................................................................................................................

47

Middle East



 .................................................................................................................................................................................................

48

South and Central Asia



 ......................................................................................................................................................................

50

Western Hemisphere



 ...........................................................................................................................................................................

51

Africa



 ..............................................................................................................................................................................................................

52

Conclusion



 ............................................................................................................................

55


  

1

Introduction

An America that is safe, prosperous, and free at home is an America with the 

strength, confi dence, and will to lead abroad. It is an America that can pre-

serve peace, uphold liberty , and create enduring advantages for the American 

people. Putt ing America fi rst is the duty  of our government and the foun-

dation for U.S. leadership in the world.

A strong America is in the vital interests of not only the American people, but 

also those around the world who want to partner with the United States in 

pursuit of shared interests, values, and aspirations.

Th is National Security  Strategy puts America fi rst. 

A

n America First National Security 



Strategy is based on American prin-

ciples, a clear-eyed assessment of U.S. 

interests, and a determination to tackle the chal-

lenges that we face. It is a strategy of principled 

realism that is guided by outcomes, not ideology. 

It is based upon the view that peace, security , and 

prosperity depend on strong, sovereign nations 

that respect their citizens at home and cooper-

ate to advance peace abroad. And it is grounded 

in the realization that American principles are 

a lasting force for good in the world.

“We the People” is America’s source of strength. 

Th e United States was born of a desire for life, lib-

erty, and the pursuit of happiness—and a convic-

tion that unaccountable political power is tyr-

anny. For these reasons, our Founders crafted and 

ratified the Constitution, establishing the repub-

lican form of government we enjoy today. The 

Constitution grants our national government not 

only specified powers necessary to protect our 

God-given rights and liberties but also safeguards 

them by limiting the government’s size and scope, 

separating Federal powers, and protecting the 

rights of individuals through the rule of law. All 

political power is ultimately delegated from, and 

accountable to, the people. 

We protect American sovereignty by defending 

these institutions, traditions, and principles that 

have allowed us to live in freedom, to build the nation 

that we love. And we prize our national heritage, for 

the rare and fragile institutions of republican gov-

ernment can only endure if they are sustained by a 

culture that cherishes those institutions.

Liberty  and independence have given us the fl our-

ishing society Americans enjoy today—a vibrant 

and confident Nation, welcoming of disagree-

ment and differences, but united by the bonds 

of history, culture, beliefs, and principles that 

define who we are. 

We are proud of our roots and honor the wisdom of 

the past. We are committ ed to protecting the rights 

and dignity  of every citizen. And we are a nation of 

laws, because the rule of law is the shield that pro-

tects the individual from government corruption 



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

2

and abuse of power, allows families to live with-



out fear, and permits markets to thrive.

Our founding principles have made the United 

States of America among the greatest forces for 

good in history. But we are also aware that we 

must protect and build upon our accomplish-

ments, always conscious of the fact that the inter-

ests of the American people constitute our true 

North Star. 

America’s achievements and standing in the world 

were neither inevitable nor accidental. On many 

occasions, Americans have had to compete with 

adversarial forces to preserve and advance our 

security, prosperity, and the principles we hold 

dear. At home, we fought the Civil War to end slav-

ery and preserve our Union in the long strug-

gle to extend equal rights for all Americans. In 

the course of the bloodiest century in human his-

tory, millions of Americans fought, and hun-

dreds of thousands lost their lives, to defend lib-

erty  in two World Wars and the Cold War. America, 

with our  allies and partners, defeated fascism, 

imperialism, and Soviet communism and elimi-

nated any doubts about the power and durability 

of republican democracy when it is sustained by 

a free, proud, and unified people. 

The United States consolidated its military 

victories with political and economic triumphs 

built on market economies and fair trade, dem-

ocratic principles, and shared security partner-

ships. American political, business, and military 

leaders worked together with their counterparts 

in Europe and Asia to shape the post-war order 

through the United Nations, the Marshall Plan, the 

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and 

other institutions designed to advance our shared 

interests of security , freedom, and peace. We recog-

nize the invaluable advantages that our strong rela-

tionships with allies and partners deliver. 

Following the remarkable victory of free nations in 

the Cold War, America emerged as the lone super-

power with enormous advantages and momen-

tum in the world. Success, however, bred com-

placency. A belief emerged, among many, that 

American power would be unchallenged and self–

sustaining. The United States began to drift. We 

experienced a crisis of confidence and surren-

dered our advantages in key areas. As we took 

our political, economic, and military advan-

tages for granted, other actors steadily imple-

mented their long-term plans to challenge America 

and to advance agendas opposed to the United 

States, our allies, and our partners. 

We stood by while countries exploited the interna-

tional institutions we helped to build. Th ey subsi-

dized their industries, forced technology transfers, 

and distorted markets. These and other actions 

challenged America’s economic security . At home, 

excessive regulations and high taxes stifl ed growth 

and weakened free enterprise—history’s great-

est antidote to poverty. Each time government 

encroached on the productive activities of private 

commerce, it threatened not only our prosperity 

but also the spirit of creation and innovation that 

has been key to our national greatness.

A Competitive World

The United States will respond to the growing 

political, economic, and military competitions we 

face around the world. 

China and Russia challenge American power, infl u-

ence, and interests, att empting to erode American 

security and prosperity. They are determined to 

make economies less free and less fair, to grow 

their militaries, and to control information and 

data to repress their societies and expand their 

influence. At the same time, the dictatorships of 

the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the 

Islamic Republic of Iran are determined to desta-

bilize regions, threaten Americans and our allies, 

and brutalize their own people. Transnational 


3

I N T R O D U C T I O N

threat groups, from jihadist terrorists to transna-

tional criminal organizations, are actively trying 

to harm Americans. While these challenges dif-

fer in nature and magnitude, they are fundamen-

tally contests between those who value human 

dignity and freedom and those who oppress 

individuals and enforce uniformity.

These competitions require the United States 

to rethink the policies of the past two decades—poli-

cies based on the assumption that engagement with 

rivals and their inclusion in international insti-

tutions and global commerce would turn them 

into benign actors and trustworthy partners. For 

the most part, this premise turned out to be false. 

Rival actors use propaganda and other means to try 

to discredit democracy. Th ey advance anti-Western 

views and spread false information to create divi-

sions among ourselves, our allies, and our partners. 

In addition, jihadist terrorists such as ISIS and 

al-Qa’ida continue to spread a barbaric ideology 

that calls for the violent destruction of governments 

and innocents they consider to be apostates. Th ese 

jihadist terrorists attempt to force those under 

their influence to submit to Sharia law.

America’s military remains the strongest in the 

world. However, U.S. advantages are shrinking 

as rival states modernize and build up their con-

ventional and nuclear forces. Many actors can 

now field a broad arsenal of advanced missiles, 

including variants that can reach the American 

homeland. Access to technology empowers and 

emboldens otherwise weak states. North Korea—a 

country that starves its own people—has spent 

hundreds of millions of dollars on nuclear, chem-

ical, and biological weapons that could threaten 

our homeland. In addition, many actors have 

become skilled at operating below the thresh-

old of military conflict—challenging the United 

States, our allies, and our partners with hostile 

actions cloaked in deniability . Our task is to ensure 

that American military superiority endures, and 

in combination with other elements of national 

power, is ready to protect Americans against 

sophisticated challenges to national security. 

The contest over information accelerates these 

political, economic, and military competitions. 

Data, like energy, will shape U.S. economic prosper-

ity and our future strategic position in the world. 

The ability to harness the power of data is fun-

damental to the continuing growth of America’s 

economy, prevailing against hostile ideologies

and building and deploying the most effective 

military in the world. 

We learned the diffi  cult lesson that when America 

does not lead, malign actors fi ll the void to the dis-

advantage of the United States. When America 

does lead, however, from a position of strength 

and confi dence and in accordance with our inter-

ests and values, all benefi t. 

Competition does not always mean hostility, nor 

does it inevitably lead to conflict—although none 

should doubt our commitment to defend our inter-

ests. An America that successfully competes is the 

best way to prevent confl ict. Just as American weak-

ness invites challenge, American strength and con-

fidence deters war and promotes peace. 

An America First 

National Security  Strategy 

The competitions and rivalries facing the United 

States are not passing trends or momentary prob-

lems. They are intertwined, long-term challenges 

that demand our sustained national att ention and 

commitment. 

America possesses unmatched political, eco-

nomic, military, and technological advantages. 

But to maintain these advantages, build upon our 

strengths, and unleash the talents of the American 

people, we must protect four vital national inter-

ests in this competitive world.


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

4

First, our fundamental responsibility is to 



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