January 28, 2019

Ensuring the Country's Security in the Postmodern World

Peculiarities of the New National Intelligence Strategy of the United States

 

US leadership continues to thoroughly update a set of basic documents relevant to the country's national security and defense. In general, this is, so to speak, a usual practice of every American administration. However, as we have noted in previous publications, during the  presidency of D. Trump, the content of such documents is fundamentally different if compared with those adopted by the previous US administration in 2013–2014.

This first of all concerns the revision of the adversaries and a clearer definition of the threats to the United States, as well as the USA's efforts to demonstrate firm intentions in defending its interests.

…D. Trump seeks to preserve the United States of America as the leading global power…

This is caused by the radical transformations observed in the world in the process of forming a new multipolar model of international relations. However, unlike the previous US President, B. Obama, who had actually agreed to such a model of world order, D. Trump seeks to preserve the United States of America as the leading global power.

 

These are the principles behind the new iteration of the National Intelligence Strategy of the United States, (published in January 2019), which defines the American Intelligence Community's tasks for the next four years. The document is fully in line with the new US National Security Strategy (adopted in December 2017) and markedly different from the previous Intelligence Strategy 2014.

…The updated National Intelligence Strategy focuses on changes in the global strategic situation…

Thus, at that time, the efforts of the US Intelligence Community were mainly aimed at countering international terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and defense of the American cyberspace. In its turn, the updated National Intelligence Strategy focuses on changes in the global strategic situation that create new security challenges for the United States of America. The main of which are:

  • weakening of the international order that was formed after the Second World War; diminishing of the role of Western democratic ideals; growing isolationist tendencies in the Western world;
  • shifts in the global economy; uncontrolled proliferation of new technologies, including space weapons, cybernetics, information, biotechnology and nanotechnology;
  • emergence of new sources of conflict, instability and radicalism as a result of the growing socio-economic inequalities of different countries, changes in cultural values due to the development of urbanization processes, climate change and mass migration;
  • undermining traditional institutions through increasing the opportunities for individuals or groups (political, ethnical, religious) to influence the processes taking place in the country.

 

…For the first time the National Intelligence Strategy of the USA names Russia and China as the main adversaries…

From the point of view of the US leadership, the adversaries can use all this for their own purposes, including against the United States of America. At this, for the first time the National Intelligence Strategy of the USA names the following as the main of such adversaries:

  • Russia, which seeks to strengthen its importance and influence in the international arena, contrary to US goals and priorities in many regions of the world;
  • China, which modernizes its military potential and wants to dominate the Asia-Pacific region. At the same time, according to the Strategy's authors, the United States retains opportunities for working together with the People's Republic of China on matters of mutual interest (in particular, the nuclear disarmament of North Korea).

Besides, the updated National Intelligence Strategy of the USA noted that there remained a number of “familiar” threats to national security and interests of the United States of America. Such as: active efforts of international terrorist organizations, uncontrolled proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (including nuclear, chemical and biological), possibility of its getting into terrorists and pariah countries, as well as the cybernetic space turning into a new domain of hostilities.

 

…The growing “chaos” in all spheres of international relations greatly complicates the work of the US Intelligence in ensuring the security and interests of the country…

According to the conclusions of the leadership of the US Intelligence Community, the situation in the world, which is characterized by the growing “chaos” in all spheres of international relations, greatly complicates the work of the US Intelligence in ensuring the security and interests of the country. In its turn, this requires the tasks of the Intelligence be clarified, the methods of its activities changed, and the whole intelligence system improved.

Elements of the US Intelligence Community
Elements of the US Intelligence Community

To address these challenges, they propose to focus on:

  • strengthening integration and deepening coordination of activities of all components of the US Intelligence Community;
  • innovative approaches in the sphere of intelligence activities;
  • qualitative training of personnel;
  • strengthening cooperation with partners and allies of the USA.

At the same time, there is a need to increase transparency while protecting national security information. In this context, the authors of the document pay special attention to the domestic situation in the United States, which is noticeably more complicated. Namely — there is a long uncertainty with the adoption of the federal budget, which, among other things, negatively affects financing the US Intelligence. Because of this, the Intelligence Community is forced to redistribute its resources in order to maintain efficiency and to continue the implementation of vital programs.

 

…The experience of the organization and activities of the US Intelligence Community is extremely interesting for similar structures in Ukraine, especially in today's geopolitical situation…

In general, if we analyze the content of the updated National Intelligence Strategy of the United States, we can conclude that Washington's positions are steady. That is, no matter how the system of international relations changes, the America’s leading role in the world should be preserved. That is exactly what the activity of the US Intelligence Community is aimed at. And the USA sees China and Russia as its main adversaries.

At the same time, the US leadership believes that it is necessary to improve the work of the whole system of the National Intelligence in order to bring it in line with the challenges of the new postmodern world. This first of all concerns the ability of the US Intelligence Community to operate in the current complex, hard-to-predict situation in the modern system of international relations.

The experience of the organization and activities of the US Intelligence Community is extremely interesting for similar structures in Ukraine, especially in today's geopolitical situation. Therefore, the relevant authorities of the national security system of Ukraine, responsible for national security and intelligence, should thoroughly study the USA's experience. My monograph “Historical, Legal and Political Aspects of the State's Intelligence Activity” tells about possible ways of improving this matter, bringing the entire system of ensuring national security in line with modern requirements and gives recommendations for building the Intelligence Community of Ukraine.