WASHINGTON --- The 2006 national security strategy update begins with the recognition that America is at war, the White House national security advisor says.
National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley, speaking March 16 at the U.S. Institute of Peace, said some important aspects of the previous strategy, released in 2002, remain unchanged. Now as before, America makes no distinction between terrorists and countries that harbor them, Hadley said, and it remains U.S. policy to confront threats before they fully materialize.
Hadley also said the doctrine of pre-emption remains sound and must remain an integral part of U.S. strategy.
He drew attention to five broad themes encapsulated in the strategy.
First, America must be strong and secure, he said.
In addition, U.S. counterterrorism strategy also must defeat the “hateful ideology” of extremists “by promoting … the promise of freedom and democracy. … The president's strategy recognizes that the global War on Terror is both a battle of arms and a battle of ideas," Hadley said.
Third, Hadley said, the United States must hold out effective democracy as the best way for governments to secure the freedom, prosperity and security of their citizens.
Fourth, security and effective democracy can enable the pursuit of a smart economic and social development strategy, he said.
Finally, Hadley said, a community of effective democracies is the best entity to address the regional and global challenges of our time.
Hadley illustrated some successes to date of the current strategy.
In Afghanistan in 2001, he said, a cruel regime "oppressed its people, brutalized women and gave safe haven to the terrorists who attacked America." Today, 25 million people enjoy freedom, women can work if they choose and children are back in school.
In Iraq in 2003, the people suffered under a brutal tyrant. Since then, Hadley said, Iraqis have gone through liberation, sovereignty and free elections. Iraqis have a constitution and now an elected government, he said.
Hadley also pointed to the Proliferation Security Initiative, through which the United States has brought together a group of governments "committed to acting together to keep dangerous weapons from rogue states and terrorist groups," Hadley said.
Another success, Hadley said, is the Asia Pacific Partnership on Development and Climate. This voluntary group working to enhance energy security, reduce poverty and cut pollution by hastening development of clean technologies led multinational efforts to respond to the devastating tsunami of 2004 and filled a critical gap until more traditional relief organizations could begin operations.
Click here for a full transcript of Hadley’s remarks, on the State Dept. website (HTML format)
The 2006 national security strategy and an accompanying fact sheet are available at on the White House Web site.