Assessing America’s national security strategy

On October 12, the White House released the much-anticipated National Security Strategy, or NSS 2022, which outlines the US administration’s approach to global crises, how it plans to deal with allies in different regions of the world, and its foreign policy bases on both Russia and China, and it How to view its role in a changing world.

The 48-page document makes for interesting reading, but critics say such a document is usually released at the start of a presidency, not two years later. Moreover, the document comes just weeks before US voters head to crucial midterm elections that could make Joe Biden a lame-duck president for the rest of his first term.

Additionally, the document was released as the United States and Europe find themselves in the most serious crisis since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Critics also say that the NSS was written after the fact; The authors had the luxury of looking at how the world has evolved since Joe Biden took office and were able to make corrections that would accommodate current policy.

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

One of the most intriguing reads is the section on Russia. The NSS says Moscow wants to change the international order over the past decade. But if analysts and strategists knew this was going to happen, why couldn’t they predict Russia’s operation in Ukraine?

What the NSS misses big time is how the war in Ukraine has changed the discourse, dynamics, and foundations of foreign policy around the world. The NSS talks about the US-Europe alliance, which is now under unprecedented pressure as a result of an acute energy crisis, hyperinflation.

Facing new challenges

The transatlantic alliance faces new challenges as European voters and politicians cast doubt on this costly partnership. The reality is that America has the option of isolating itself from the rest of the world, focusing more on its Southern Hemisphere and the challenges that such illegal immigration and drugs pose to the United States.

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It could afford to wash its hands of Europe, as some Trump surrogates suggest; Saying they won’t sign blank checks to Ukraine if they go to the House of Representatives in November.

The NSS also talks about protecting America’s position as the world’s sole superpower, or the existing international order. They also talk about protecting the UN Charter. The US’s record on both counts is pretty bad. Let’s not talk about the invasion of Iraq or the humiliating withdrawal from Afghanistan. Several violations of the UN Charter to the world under America’s watch.

The NSS has positive stakes in enhancing international cooperation on climate change, energy security, arms control and non-proliferation, food insecurity and pandemics, but the latest US response to a technical decision by OPEC+ to cut oil production is indicative. One can see how far the US’s impulsive reactions can deviate from written foreign policy commitments.

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The Middle East segment is of interest to us. It calls for eschewing grandiose in favor of more pragmatic steps that can advance US interests and help regional partners lay the groundwork for greater stability, prosperity and opportunity for the people of the Middle East and the American people.

It further talks about setting a new framework for US policy in the region based on America’s unparalleled comparative advantage in building partnerships, coalitions and alliances to strengthen deterrence, while using diplomacy to de-escalate tensions, de-escalate the risk of new conflicts, and create. A long-term foundation for stability.

I am sure that some US allies are trying hard to understand how to reconcile its actions with its goals. The NSS proposes a framework of five principles – all related to common security and regional cooperation. Countries in the region are already working along these lines without the need for outside help.

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


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