December 25, 2017

Stake on Military Strength — the Main Idea of the USA's New National Security Strategy

December 18, 2017, US President D. Trump promulgated the new National Security Strategy of the United States of America, which has actually become the main outcome of his first year in office. The document is fully in line with D. Trump's “America First” concept and the principle of security realism and clearly determines Washington's key priorities, including: increasing American influence in the world, supporting peace, protecting internal security and promoting prosperity of the USA.

At the same time, for the first time directly are named the main “competitors” (in fact the opponents of the United States which “challenge American power, influence and interests”, “attempting to erode American security and prosperity”, and “seek to shift balance of power in their favor”).

First of all, among such opponents of the USA is Russia, which creates the greatest threats to American interests. The reason for this is Moscow's use of provocative methods to reduce the USA's influence in Europe, undermine transatlantic unity and weaken European institutions and governments. Besides, the Document emphasizes Russia's aggressive policy towards its neighbors, including the military invasions of Ukraine and Georgia, as well as the forward deployment of offensive capabilities and nuclear arsenals near the borders of neighboring countries.

Despite the US leadership's declaration and practical implementation of the plans to build a strategic partnership with China, the latter was also included in the list of America's main rivals. However, this attitude to the PRC is explained solely by the general differences between the parties of a geopolitical nature and trade-economic and regional contradictions between them. Along with this, Russia and the PRC are traditionally accused of suppressing the rights and freedoms in their countries, maintaining excessive state control over national economies, increasing military spending, developing new, including nuclear, weapons, and destabilizing cyberspace.

The list of the most critical threats to the national security and interests of the United States includes North Korea's actions for the development of missile and nuclear weapons and the possibility of obtaining such armaments by Iran, the activities of international terrorist organizations (first of all “Al-Qaeda” and “Islamic State”) targeting against the United States and migrants' illegal getting into American territory.

US President D. Trump presents the 2017 National Security Strategy, December 18, 2017, Washington, D.C.
US President D. Trump presents the 2017 National Security Strategy, December 18, 2017, Washington, D.C.

Commenting on these issues, D. Trump acknowledged wrongness of the United States (in fact — of the previous American administration) hopes to prevent the threats and security challenges to the country through attempts to dialogue with the opponents and their involvement in international institutions and world trade. Proceeding from this, D. Trump advocated the need to protect the security and implementation of US interests solely from a “position of strength”.

As part of such an approach, the Strategy provides for strengthening the USA's positions and influence in the world, as well as achieving decisive advantages in the military sphere (including nuclear potential), space, cyberspace and intelligence. In particular, the United States will continue to actively cooperate with NATO in strengthening the European defence on Eastern direction, development of air and missile defense capabilities, and the fight against terrorism and countering cyber attacks.

To achieve its goals, the United States will increase its economic potential on the basis of its own resources and high technologies and deepening trade and economic relations with partner countries. The USA will pay special attention to its energy sector in order to secure American dominance in the global energy market.

“…China and Russia challenge American power, influence and interests, attempting to erode American security and prosperity”. US National Security Strategy

“…China and Russia challenge American power, influence and interests, attempting to erode American security and prosperity”.

US National Security Strategy

In general, the content of the new US National Security Strategy and D. Trump's comments on it allow to conclude about the decisiveness of Washington's intentions to maintain America's role as the main leader in the unipolar system of the world order. At this, this goal becomes more important for the USA than maintaining partnership with the PRC, let alone establishing relations with Russia. Based on similar priorities, the United States and the Alliance will intensify pressure on Russia to prevent its reestablishment as a major world power, and will make efforts to curb the process of China's strengthening as America's geopolitical rival in the world.

The consequence of this will objectively be further aggravation of the confrontation between the United States and Russia, as well as increasing contradictions between America and China at the global and regional levels. For example, Russia and the People's Republic of China have already expressed concern about the position of the United States, which officially recognized them as rivals. At this, the Chinese Foreign Ministry described it as “a victory for hard-liners in the administration of D. Trump” and “Washington's reluctance to accept the reality of China's rise”. In turn, in the State Duma of Russia, the US National Security Strategy was regarded as aimed at “the revival of American hegemony in the world”. Actually, this creates the basis for the cooperation of the People's Republic of China and Russia on an anti-American basis.

Besides, the US policy towards North Korea will become tougher, up to Washington's using military force against the DPRK not to let it have nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles capable of reaching American territory. Washington's withdrawal from the “nuclear” deal with Tehran, according to which the UN Security Council lifted sanctions against Iran in exchange for its refusal to create nuclear weapons, should not be ruled out.

 

In general, the above-mentioned processes can be a catalyst for increasing tension in the world and directly around Ukraine. At the same time, given Washington's firm positions on containing Russia, one should expect the continuation and even strengthening of the comprehensive support of our state by the United States.

 

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