National Security Strategy: What's Different
Posted by Heather Hurlburt
I've now been asked by a number of reporters whether the new Obama National Security Strategy "isn't basically the same as the Bush Administration's." Let's be clear: the right pushes this to try to take credit for anything it can; for those of us on the left it's a tempting organizing meme for "we thought we were getting more." So when I had the chance to ask senior White House folks questions about the strategy, that is what I asked. Here's the answer -- which I thought was a pretty good one:
- Strategy's emphasis on tending the sources of our strength.
- Strategy's emphasis on promoting our values by living them at home.
- Strategy reduces reliance on military to solve our problems.
- Strategy narrows definition of enemy.
- Strategy of engagement "recognizes the world as it is and focuses on shaping it, not resisting it."
- Strategy embeds war on Al Qaeda in a wider strategic vision. First sentence of 2006 strategy: "we are at war."
- Strategy incorporates issues such as climate change whose importance Bush Admin rejected.