Obama’s new national security strategy emphasizes global cooperation, in contrast to Bush

By Anne Gearan, AP
Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Obama’s new security goals prize nonmilitary moves

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration’s new national security strategy, in a formal break with the go-it-alone legacy of President George W. Bush, calls for the U.S. to use its massive military power in concert with friends and allies.

A summary of the U.S. National Security Strategy, obtained on Wednesday by The Associated Press, also makes the safety of Americans the highest security priority and calls for the U.S. to bolster its power through diplomatic and development efforts.

The full document, the first written by the Obama administration, enshrines policies that President Barack Obama has advocated since his election campaign. It will be the foundation for a National Military Strategy document, due soon.

The new strategy is expected to repudiate, at least implicitly, the 2002 National Security Strategy adopted by former President George W. Bush. That document created a doctrine of U.S. unilateral action and pre-emptive wars.

Obama’s strategy, like those of other presidents, is broadly worded and purposely vague. But its overarching principles will lay the groundwork for later policies and initiatives, just as the Bush administration’s 2002 strategy helped set the stage for the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

The AP obtained the summary ahead of document’s planned release by the White House this week.

The strategy makes it clear the United States intends to maintain the world’s most powerful military, with unsurpassed reach and capability despite being stretched by two wars and other challenges.

The new security document says U.S. security goals should reflect universal values held by the United States since its founding.

Obama touched on many of the themes in the new strategy during a commencement address Saturday.

The U.S. must shape a world order relying as much on the persuasiveness of its diplomacy as the might of its military, Obama said.

Addressing nearly 1,000 graduating cadets at the U.S. Military Academy, Obama said all hands are required to solve the world’s newest threats: terrorism, the spread of nuclear weapons, climate change and feeding and caring for a growing population.

Obama said the men and women who wear America’s uniform cannot bear that responsibility by themselves. “The rest of us must do our part,” he said.

“The burdens of this century cannot fall on our soldiers alone. It also cannot fall on American shoulders alone.”

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