Immediately before the publication of the full 68-page document, President D. Trump delivered a speech in which the main provisions of the updated Strategy were presented. The head of state briefly reviewed the points and pointed out the existing situation, listing the main threats, tasks and ways to develop security. It is curious that the presidential speech was given minimal attention to the notorious "Russian threat". This question was mentioned only once.
In one of the threats to the United States in the new Strategy are indicated the so-called. revisionist powers to which the People's Republic of China and the Russian Federation are ranked. According to D. Trump, these states use available technologies, propaganda and means of pressure, with the help of which they intend to rebuild the world to the detriment of US interests.
In the full text of the NSS, the topic of Russian, as well as Chinese, actions that threaten the interests of Washington, was disclosed in detail. Russia and the PRC are somehow mentioned in all the main sections of the document. Let us consider which particular theses on Russia were included in the new American strategy.
The first mention of Russia is found in the introduction of the document, in section A of Competitive World (“Competing World”). The authors of the Strategy indicate that China and Russia are challenging American power, influence and national interests, seeking to endanger the security and prosperity of the United States. These countries intend to make the economic sphere less free and fair, to build up their armed forces. Control over information and data allows them to repress their society and increase their influence. Next, the NSS considers threats in the form of North Korea and Iran, and then proceeds to the topic of terrorist organizations.
The next mention of Russia is present at the beginning of the chapter ("Pillar" - Pillar I) Protect the American people, the Homeland, and the American Way of Life, in the section of Secure US Borders and Territory ("Security of US Borders and Territories"). Its separate subsection is devoted to arms mass destruction, and in this context Russia is mentioned.
The authors of the Strategy write that ballistic missiles, the number of which is constantly increasing, are the main threat. In particular, it is with their help that the DPRK can attack the United States. In addition to nuclear warheads, Pyongyang develops chemical and biological, which can also be used against America. Further, the authors mention that Russia and China are developing modern weapons, which pose a threat to the critical elements of US governance. Specific types of threats, however, are not called.
Immediately after this, the NSS provides a way to solve the existing problem. Thus, in order to combat the Korean and Iranian threats, it is proposed to continue the construction of a layered missile defense. It is noted that the new missile defense system will be able to hit enemy missiles even before they start. At the same time, the authors point out that a strengthened system of American defense should not threaten Russia or China, causing damage to the current state of affairs at a strategic level.
Further, our country is mentioned in the Promote American Resilience section (“Promote American Sustainability”) and in this case serves as a threat and a negative example. Speaking about the sustainability of a democratic regime and the importance of freedom of speech, freedom of the media, etc., the authors of NSS mention Russia. They write that Moscow uses its “information tools” to undermine the legitimacy of democracies. These funds are directed to various media, political processes, financial structures, etc. US public and private organizations are invited to rally and work together to protect their freedoms.
The second chapter of the Strategy, called Promote American Prosperit (Promoting American Prosperity), is dedicated to economic security. The six-page description of actions in the field of economics goes without mentioning Russia or the notorious Russian threat. Describing the third “pillar” of security, the authors of NSS once again return to the Russian theme. This chapter is called Preserve Peace Through Strength, and therefore foreign countries must be mentioned in it.
The national security strategy mentions that the entire world история It was a test of the strength of countries, and the present time is no exception. Now the main challenges to US security are the “revisionist powers” of China and Russia, rogue countries in the face of the DPRK and Iran, as well as terrorist and transnational criminal organizations. The authors write that these players, despite the fundamental difference in their essence, are competitors of the United States in different fields. They seek to use the available tools to offset regional balances in their favor. All this NSS calls the fundamental difference between “repressive systems” and “free societies”.
According to the Strategy, Russia and China want to rebuild the world, which is contrary to the plans and values of the United States. Beijing seeks to oust the United States from the Asia-Pacific region, for which it uses its growing economic power. Russia, in turn, intends to restore its status as a great power and take control of the regions near its borders. At the same time, the USA is showing interest in cooperation with these countries and is ready for mutually beneficial work with them.
Further, considering the situation, the authors write that the Russian Federation seeks to weaken US influence in the world, ruining their relations with the allies. NATO and the European Union are viewed by Russia as threats. Moscow is investing in the development of its armed forces, including strategic nuclear systems. The latest in the National Security Strategy referred to as the most serious threat to the security of the United States. In addition, anxiety is caused by actions in cyberspace. With the help of funds of this kind, Russia interferes in the internal processes of states around the world. According to the drafters of the Strategy, Russian ambitions, combined with a growing military potential, can destabilize the situation in Eurasia. This leads to the risk of an open conflict provoked by Russian mistakes.
The section of the third chapter, entitled Renew America's Competitive Advantages (“Renew American Competitive Advantages”), again touches on the topic of relations with Russia. Considering the latest events in the international arena, the authors of the Strategy recall that the PRC and Russia began to demonstrate an increase in their influence at the regional and global levels. The military potential of these countries allows us to prevent the US armed forces from solving their tasks in different regions. It also makes it difficult to work in critical areas for the economy. In other words, Russia and China are challenging American geopolitical advantages and want to change the world order in their favor.
Next, Russia is again mentioned as a direct competitor to the United States. This time it is noted that American strategists are inclined to perceive the situation in a simplified form: either “war” or “peace”, whereas in fact there is constant competition in the international arena. Opponents of the United States, taking certain steps, do not fight with them in the American sense of the term. The authors of NSS believe that in order to advance their interests, Washington needs to adopt similar "rules of the game."
The next section of the third chapter, Diplomacy and Statecraft, as its name implies, is devoted to diplomacy and statehood. China and Russia are mentioned in its subsection Information Statecraft (“Statehood in the Information Sphere”). According to the NSS, US security risks will increase due to the integration of various data sources, artificial intelligence systems, machine learning, etc. Gaps in the US security systems and various services will allow the enemy to access the necessary information.
For example, China simultaneously uses artificial intelligence and loyal citizens. Terrorist groups, applying modern technology, are promoting and recruiting new members. In addition, such funds are used to coordinate actions and support those who threaten US security. Russia launches information operations of its cyber divisions whose purpose is to disseminate the necessary opinions in the world. Secret operations and funds controlled by the media, false personal accounts on various services, and even “trolls” that receive funding from the state are used.
“Basis IV” called Advance American Influence (“Expand American Influence”) is again not without mention and discussion of Russia. The Encourage Aspiring Partners section (“Encouraging New Partners”) discusses ways to attract new allies, and describes possible problems in this area. Naturally, not without references to Russia and China.
Considering the current state of affairs, the authors of the Strategy come to the conclusion that the United States should enter into a kind of competition for the good attitude of new partners. China and Russia, considering the changes in the world, are seeking to expand their influence to counter the United States. To this end, China is investing billions of dollars in new projects abroad. Russia, in turn, uses its energy resources and the construction of various facilities as a means of influencing the economy, which allows it to maintain relations with Europe and Central Asia. The United States also uses similar methods, but they do it differently. Washington's state projects not only imply an expansion of economic cooperation, but also provide for cooperation in the sphere of politics and security, which is not always beneficial for the other side.
The fourth chapter of The Strategy in a Regional Context (“Strategy in a regional context”) again affects relations with foreign countries, including Russia. It is indicated that the observed changes in the balance of power in the regions could threaten US interests. Markets, commodities, communication lines and human resources are distributed between key regions and also move between them. The Russian Federation and the PRC want to project their power around the world, but interact, primarily, with their neighbors. Iran and the DPRK pose a threat to nearby states. The proliferation of powerful weapons and the growth of ties between the regions make the containment of threats more and more difficult. The National Security Strategy notes that this may be an additional challenge for the United States.
A study of the situation in the European Region is expectedly leading to a new mention of Russia. According to the National Security Strategy, the threat of communism is a thing of the past, but new problems have become topical. Russia is taking “subversive measures” aimed at weakening the relations of Europe and the United States within the framework of NATO and other organizations. With invasions into Georgia and Ukraine, Moscow declared its readiness to violate the sovereignty of the countries of the region. In addition, she continues to threaten neighbors using conventional and nuclear forces.
To save the desired situation in Europe several steps are suggested. The proposed NSS political solution is as follows. The US should strengthen cooperation with its European partners and prevent possible gaps. The United States and Europe must work together to resist Russian attempts to undermine relations, and also to fight threats in the form of Iran and North Korea. The authors of the Strategy demand to continue promoting the interests of the country at various international platforms.
NSS also considers the situation in different hemispheres of the planet. When studying the Western Hemisphere, problems with China and Russia reappear. China, as the authors of the document write, is building up influence in the region with the help of investments and loans for potential allies. Russia continues to tackle such tasks with the help of the “disastrous policies of the Cold War times”. So, she maintains relations with a radical ally in Cuba, who "continues to suppress her citizens." Both Russia and China support the dictatorial regime in Venezuela, and are also trying to establish new military ties with other countries in the region. Democratic states are interested in protecting their sovereignty from such threats.
As we see, our country occupies an important place in the new National Security Strategy of the United States, although it is not considered as the only or main threat. With no less concern, the drafters talk about the policies of the People’s Republic of China. T.N. rogue countries - the DPRK and Iran - are also called threats, although less dangerous. Together with this, a certain place in the National Secure Strategy is occupied by the fight against international criminal and terrorist organizations.
The new US Strategy, both with and without attitudes towards Russia, shows the main goals and objectives of Washington. In the recent past, the United States has been the undisputed world leader in all major areas. Over time, the situation began to change, and the US influence declined, while the role of other large countries, China and Russia, has grown. Such events, as it became clear several years ago, do not suit official Washington, and it intends to take certain measures. The NSS, published last Monday, shows how and by what means the United States wants to maintain the current situation or change it in its favor, regaining its leadership.
It is not difficult to notice that the opinions expressed about the current situation and its development, as well as the proposed methods to achieve the desired results are not something new or surprising. All the main theses enshrined in the National Security Strategy, to some extent expressed by officials at different levels. Now, all these fabrications and proposals were formalized and approved by the President of the United States. Thus, already known thoughts became the official guide to action.
The current state of affairs in the world is far from fully satisfied with Russia and China. Both countries claiming a leading role in the world are taking all possible measures and are making efforts in various fields. They are attracting new allies to their side, gradually turning the world into a multipolar one. This development is expected - the United States does not like it, and they also intend to fight for the most favorable situation for themselves. These are the plans that are described in detail by the new US National Security Strategy. What will be the actual actions and consequences of the appearance of this document - time will tell.
Speech by D. Trump:
The full text of the National Security Strategy: