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May 27, 2010

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.




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Obama played ropadope better than anyone except the Champ. I think Obama has shown in many ways that he is not like Bush when it comes to dealing with national security even if the words are similar. According to me Obama's National Security Strategy: Not So Different From Bush's. The new Strategy was referred to by United Nations ambassador Susan Rice as a "dramatic departure" from its predecessor.

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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

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