The United States of America released its National Security Strategy document in December 2017. This document outlines the key considerations which will influence American perception of security and emphasis on areas where the American govt will focus its interest in the next decade. This is a key policy document of the Trump administration.

Four pillars of America’s National Security Strategy

  • Protect American people, the homeland and American way of life.

In a world where narrow religious considerations and closed cultures are becoming a norm, the Americans perceive a threat to their way of life.

A life based on liberal principles and respect for human rights. The US will strengthen its control over borders and increase controls in the immigration system. It will also look at measures to protect from cyber threats to promote data security.

  • Promote American prosperity.

Economic revival in all sectors will be a priority for the trump administration. The US plans to focus on and increase research and technology. Globally, US plans to improve trade imbalances.

  • Preserve Peace Through Strength.

This tenet indicates that the US will increase American military might. The US believes that to deter war it should achieve military superiority. This belief is a contradiction in itself. Investing in military might will escalate an arms race across the globe.

Only time will tell whether it will act as a deterrent or a trigger. The US also plans to engage extensively in space and cyberspace research.

  • Advance American influence.

America wants to share values like liberty, democracy, and rule of law. It strongly believes that sharing similar values will only strengthen and prosper America.

While the policy emphasizes that Americans don’t seek to impose an American way of life, it will still attempt to influence the world to give up barbarism, dictatorship, and increase respect for human rights.

The new US security strategy marks a change in approach to maintaining world peace. It diverts from the premise of last two decades that engagement with hostile nations is best done through dialog and negotiations.

It emphasizes on preserving peace through strength.

Key considerations that influenced American Security Strategy

The US considers that the world has become an increasingly competitive place. Competition has increased in the fields of military, information technology, and economic development. The US will actively compete with all countries in these fields.

The US has identified three types of threats to its security.

  • Military and economic threats from China and Russia are increasing. They are the biggest concerns for the current administration, as they attempt to “erode America’s security”.
  • Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Islamist Republic of Iran are both regional and international threats. They seek to threaten US allies and destabilize the world. Rival nations cause a divide among allies through false propaganda.
  • Americans also face harm from transnational jihadist groups and multinational criminal organizations. They use barbaric practices to control regions and individuals.

The main challenge is the threat these diverse groups present to basic human rights.

These groups seek to oppress society and thus challenge American concepts of liberty and individual rights.

Peace through strength

The US further states that its security strategy of last two decades worked on a false premise, which is that dialogue and negotiation will lead to world peace.It assumed that active engagement and inclusion of world players in global economic activity would lead to trust building and increased friendship. However, this did not work as presumed. Rival groups sought to exploit relations to cause trouble and friction with threats to both US and world security.

America wants its military security to endure and remain strongest in the world. This kind of policy statement indicates that the US will increase its military expenditure.

This bodes well for the American armaments industry. Investments in defense technology will go up. The world will watch these developments with caution. In the past decade, we have witnessed a rapid militarization of the world. Both Korea and Iran’s nuclear capabilities have increased. An armed America will only invite an armed world.

Information is Power

The US perceives that its power lies in the field of data technology. It plans to increase the power to harness its data. The US sees data as a key to gaining worldwide superiority. We can expect to see a boom in Silicon Valley investments and higher allocations to research in data centers, data analysis, and similar areas. Will outsourcing of data technology increase?

Or will the US focus on developing local data powerhouses? America can expect a race in the field of data technology as well, where Russia has already claimed a lead.

America believes that competition by itself does not lead to conflict. America can prevent conflict only when it competes successfully.


The American security policy is very ambitious and aggressive. It resembles Trump’s aggressive style of administration. The approach that it has taken is assertive. It aims to take the US to the top of the global power game. The US played the role of global gendarme in the past. The present document confirms once again that the US wants to prove that it is a superior world power. While the world in the past could not match up to its might, the world today has more equals than the past decades.

In its attempt to lead the way and be more assertive, US may just isolate itself. US and Israel were isolated at the UNSC meeting for the resolution on Jerusalem’s political status. A resolution which reiterated Jerusalem as Corpus Separatum sought that the US rescind its decision to shift its embassy. However, US claimed sovereignty of decision-making and vetoed the resolution. This is a setback to the Middle East peace process. As per the new security policy, the US intentions are to impose a military-backed peace. A peace protected by armed might. That will only lead to a fragile peace, as peace comes only with the very values that the US seeks to share with the world, those of liberty, sovereignty, and democracy.