At West Point, a Preview of Obama’s National Security Strategy

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Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 3:51 pm

Speaking to the graduating class of 2010 at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, President Obama laid out the broad themes of the National Security Strategy he’ll unveil next week. It’s an assertive multilateralism with “American innovation” — that is, a vigorous, healthy and balanced American economy — at the core of the international order. And it’s a rejection of the proposition that American power is either restricted by international cooperation or generally on the decline.

U.S. success internationally is found “by steering those currents in the direction of liberty and justice, so nations thrive by meeting their responsibilities and face consequences when they don’t,” Obama told the cadets, newly commissioned second lieutenants in the U.S. Army. The measure of success is found in that cooperation’s ability to “lessen conflicts around the world.” And in guiding the international order toward it, the approach the U.S. has to take on its own must involve a more equitable distribution of its military and civilian power.

Next week, Obama will release his National Security Strategy, fleshing out the themes here in greater detail and connecting them to the course his foreign policy is already on. Already, much of them have been on display in the Quadrennial Defense Review, Obama’s Oslo speech accepting the Nobel Peace Prize and a recent speech by Jim Jones, his national security adviser.

Some relevant excerpts from the West Point commencement address:

American innovation must be the foundation of American power — because at no time in human history has a nation of diminished economic vitality maintained its military and political primacy. And so that means that the civilians among us, as parents and community leaders, elected officials, business leaders, we have a role to play. We cannot leave it to those in uniform to defend this country — we have to make sure that America is building on its strengths.

As we build these economic sources of our strength, the second thing we must do is build and integrate the capabilities that can advance our interests, and the common interests of human beings around the world. America’s armed forces are adapting to changing times, but your efforts have to be complemented. We will need the renewed engagement of our diplomats, from grand capitals to dangerous outposts. We need development experts who can support Afghan agriculture and help Africans build the capacity to feed themselves. We need intelligence agencies that work seamlessly with their counterparts to unravel plots that run from the mountains of Pakistan to the streets of our cities. We need law enforcement that can strengthen judicial systems abroad, and protect us here at home. And we need first responders who can act swiftly in the event of earthquakes and storms and disease.

The burdens of this century cannot fall on our soldiers alone. It also cannot fall on American shoulders alone. Our adversaries would like to see America sap its strength by overextending our power. And in the past, we’ve always had the foresight to avoid acting alone. We were part of the most powerful wartime coalition in human history through World War II. We stitched together a community of free nations and institutions to endure and ultimately prevail during a Cold War.

Yes, we are clear-eyed about the shortfalls of our international system. But America has not succeeded by stepping out of the currents of cooperation — we have succeeded by steering those currents in the direction of liberty and justice, so nations thrive by meeting their responsibilities and face consequences when they don’t.

There’s also this assertive declaration that American power and American leadership are hardly in decline. Charles Krauthammer of The Washington Post has spent Obama’s presidency hysterically and unconvincingly trying to argue that Obama is a “declinist” in practice, so expect a forthcoming Krauthammer column to explain this away:

We believe, “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” And that truth has bound us together, a nation populated by people from around the globe, enduring hardship and achieving greatness as one people. And that belief is as true today as it was 200 years ago. It is a belief that has been claimed by people of every race and religion in every region of the world. Can anybody doubt that this belief will be any less true — any less powerful — two years, two decades, or even two centuries from now?

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At West Point, a Preview of Obama’s National Security Strategy – The Washington Independent | Military academy
Pingback posted May 22, 2010 @ 10:13 pm

[...] At West Point, a Preview of Obama's National Security StrategyThe Washington IndependentSpeaking to the graduating class of 2010 at the US Military Academy at West Point, President Obama laid out the broad … and more » [...]


Obama Wraps Himself in The Constitution | NEWS Gate
Pingback posted May 23, 2010 @ 2:00 pm

[...] a lot I like in the emerging contours of President Obama’s National Security Strategy. The purpose-driven multilateralism. The recalibration of civilian and military tools of national security. The warnings against both [...]


Carroll
Comment posted May 23, 2010 @ 2:33 pm

Charles Krauthammer is accurate and anything but hysterical. President Obama is a man of millions of words, including apologies, bowing and a “new world order”, but other nations see weakness, and they are acting accordingly.


HERCULE TRIATHLON SAVINIEN
Comment posted May 23, 2010 @ 5:31 pm

FAR EAST THE WEEK THAT WAS!

[Human Wave of Change]

So, just what were the lessons that were learned from the week that was Korea and Japan, the Japanese are so unhappy about the presence of Israeli-American Empire [The Empire] troops of Foothold Occupation Cuba Far East on Japan they surrounded an air base with a human chain of protesters a human wave of change in the making as the spirit of the Samurai is once again awaking and walking in the brave hearts and indomitable human spirit of the people of Japan, standing against continued oppression of [The Empire], as the simmering dispute increases over the Marine base on the Japanese Island of Okinawa, and the crime wave created by the Marines on the Island, deadlines have been dumped, flexible is out of the question and you can’t take any legal action or any other to change the status quo, and anyone who is looking for any real progress, can see each side has a very different agenda, the Japanese not only want to take back their government they actually want to take back the soil they live upon. [The Empire] seeks to continue its Foothold Cuba Far East, upon the Island of Okinawa/Cuba East, blaming the failure of negotiations on Okinawa itself, and its elected officials for not lobbying harder in support of Okinawa/Cuba East after Trillions of not only Empire Dollars but Japanese Yen have been spend to assure the Status Quo of Foothold Cuba Far East , with [The Empire] creating an under-current grassroots opposition which has now surfaced not only to the continued Occupation, but to the central government of Japan, for its failure to take action in support of the people of Japan.

[The Tug of War]

But, [The Empire] is there not as troops of occupation but to defend the country of Japan, the question is from what? It is there to contine Foothold Hold Japan, as Japan seeks to be and is within the Sphere of Influence of the [PRC] Peoples Republic of China, a member of the International Spheres of Influence the [BRIC] Brazil, The Russian Federation, India and the [PRC], and nothing happens in the [PRC] Sphere of Influence that the [PRC] that any outside force should even begin to address without first requesting talks with the [PRC]. [The Empire] yet in denial of the Spheres of Influence, that now exist in the [21st] Century, refuse to see the [PRK] The Peoples Republic of Korea is a Nuclear Power, the entrance into the Nuclear Club can no longer be restricted by [The Empire], the old think that [Foothold Far East Cuba] Empire Troops would be able to support the Trip-Wire Troops in the [ROK] Republic of Korea, if any war were to break out upon the Korea Peninsula is a dream, a Nuclear Strike would not only wipe out that force upon the Island of Okinawa but kill hundreds of thousands of Japanese, and that is the only reason such troops are Foothold Cuba Far East, to draw the Japanese People into a war that would other wise not be in their best interests. And, the Japanese people are well aware of the tug of war that Japan is caught between, that of tearing itself loose from being Foothold Cuba Far East and entering the [21st] Century free of that Foothold and as a member of the [BRIC] Spheres of Influence Community. The people of Japan are seeking to remove themselves from [The Empire] web of Wars of Economic Stimulus, of being a pawn [The Empire] Grand Chess game.

[Korea and Japan the Week That Was]

The door to the Nuclear Club of Nations can no longer be held close and never could be maintained by [The Empire], The life span of agreements are only as long as they maintain the interests of both parties, and all agreements are reviewable, and breakable. The [21st] Century is not the [20th] Century, the wheel of fate has in fact turned, it is the era of Spheres of Influence, the end of [The Empire] the Israeli-American Empire, Unique Unbreakable Special Relationships, don’t exist in reality, all things change with time and the [21st] Century is in a period of flux, within the winds of change, as [The Empire] calls for Sanctions, Wars of Economic Stimulus, Footholds, Trip-Wires, and confrontation, the Spheres of Influence are working within common areas of interests, creating economic stimulus thru trade based upon low lever negotiations first then ratification and limited life span agreements of common interests where each side can bring back to the table for re-negotiation in a non-confrontational manner, ending offensive wars of Economic Stimulus, creating Armed Forces of Defensive nature around a Nuclear Sphere of Influence Controlled Response. The Week has proven just how Weak [The Empire] is in the [21st] Century, and how strong the Spheres of Influence are becoming, the interest of the Far East are now addressed thru the [PRC] Peoples Republic of China Sphere of Influence, Korea and Japan the Week that was.

HERCULE TRIATHLON SAVINIEN


From Texas to Chicago « Just Above Sunset
Pingback posted May 24, 2010 @ 4:09 am

[...] the Washington Independent, Spencer Ackerman has more on the Obama speech, and this summary of Obama’s new [...]


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