Obama's New National Security Goals Include Diplomacy and Support From Abroad

May 26, 2010 - 9:52 AM
The Obama administration's new outline of national security goals says the U.S. must galvanize support abroad to tackle global troubles, and it says the U.S. should maintain its military advantage over the rest of the world while prizing other kinds of power, such as diplomacy and development.
Obama Boxer

President Barack Obama speaks at a fundraiser for Sen. Barbara Boxer in San Francisco on Tuesday, May 25, 2010. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Washington (AP) - The Obama administration's new outline of national security goals says the U.S. must galvanize support abroad to tackle global troubles, a contrast to former President George W. Bush's emphasis on going it alone and striking preemptively if necessary.
 
A summary of the national security document, obtained by The Associated Press, says the United States should maintain its military advantage over the rest of the world while prizing other kinds of power.
 
The National Security Strategy will be the first produced under President Barack Obama, laying out his goals. The document, like those from other presidents, is purposely vague.
 
The AP obtained the summary ahead of document's planned release by the White House this week.
 
The strategy was expected to walk away from a position held by Bush that the United States could or should undertake pre-emptive wars. Bush's 2002 National Security Strategy posited that doctrine, and the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq made good on it.
 
The document says the highest priority for national security is the safety of Americans, and that strategies for a more peaceful world begin at home.
 
The strategy points to diplomacy, development and other methods of influence, while making clear the United States intends to maintain its military strength. The U.S. has the world's most powerful military, with unsurpassed reach and resources currently stretched by two wars and other challenges.
 
The new security document describes goals of national renewal and global leadership. U.S. security goals should reflect universal values held by the United States since its founding, the document says.
 
The Obama document reflects his views that U.S. influence should be used in partnership with allies and others, a repudiation of what was often described as Bush's go-it-alone philosophy.
 
Obama touched on that theme during a commencement address Saturday that was a partial preview of the security document.
 
The U.S. must shape a world order as reliant on the force of diplomacy as on the might of its military to lead, Obama said then.
 
Addressing nearly 1,000 graduating cadets at the U.S. Military Academy, many of whom will likely head to war in Iraq and Afghanistan under his command, 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."