Assessing America’s national security strategy

On October 12, the White House released the much-awaited National Security Strategy or NSS 2022, which is a document that outlines the US administration’s approach to US response to global crises, how it plans to deal with allies in different regions of the world and its foreign policy foundations regarding both Russia and China and its perception of its role in a changing world, among other things.

The 48-page document is an interesting read although critics say such a paper is usually issued at the start of a presidency and no more than two years later. In addition, the document comes a few weeks before the voters of the United States face the crucial mid-term elections that could give Joe Biden a lame duck president for the rest of his first term.

In addition, the document was released as the United States and Europe got embroiled in the most serious crisis since the fall of the Soviet Union.

Critics also say that the NSS was written after the fact; meaning that the authors had the choice to look at how the world has changed since Joe Biden took office and were able to make corrections that can be aligned with current policy.

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Why the White House took so long to deliver it is an open question. But now that the NSS has been made public, it can be examined and hopefully understand what this Democratic administration is trying to achieve in terms of its foreign policy.

One of the most interesting readings is the section about Russia. The NSS says that for the last ten years Moscow has wanted to change the international order. But if the analysts and strategists knew this was going on, why couldn’t they have predicted Russia’s operation in Ukraine?

What the NHS misses greatly is how the war in Ukraine has changed the discourse, dynamics and basis of foreign policy around the world. The NSS talks about the US-European alliance, which is now under unprecedented pressure as a result of a severe energy crisis, rampant inflation and financing a war that seems to never end.

Facing new challenges

The transatlantic alliance is facing new challenges as voters and European politicians are skeptical about this expensive partnership. The reality is that America has chosen to isolate itself from the rest of the world, focusing more on its southern hemisphere and the challenges it poses to the United States in terms of illegal immigration and drugs.

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He can wash his hands of Europe just as some Trump representatives suggest; saying that if they bring the House of Representatives in November they will not be signing blank checks to Ukraine.

The NSS also talks about preserving the current international order, which is America’s position as the world’s only superpower. He also talks about protecting the UN Charter. On both counts the US track record is dismal. Let’s not talk about the invasion of Iraq or the humiliating withdrawal from Afghanistan. Under America watch the world various violations of the UN Charter.

The NSS has positive parts in boosting international cooperation on climate change, energy security, arms control and non-proliferation, food insecurity and pandemics but if the latest US response to a technical decision by OPEC+ to lower oil production is any indication. , then one can see how impulsive US reactions can deviate from written foreign policy commitments.

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The part on the Middle East is of interest to us. He talks about eschewing grand designs in favor of more practical steps that can advance US interests and help regional partners lay the groundwork for stability, prosperity and better opportunities for the people of the Middle East and the American people. .

He also talks about laying out a new framework for US policy in the region based on America’s unrivaled comparative advantage in building partnerships, alliances and alliances to strengthen deterrence, while using diplomacy to de-escalate tensions, risks reduce new conflicts, and settle. long-term basis for stability.

I know for sure that some of the US allies may try hard to understand how its actions can be reconciled with its objectives. The NSS proposes a framework of five principles — all linked to collective defense and regional cooperation. The countries of the region are already working in this way without the need for external assistance.

Osama Al Sharif is a journalist and political commentator based in Amman.

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