The National SecurityStrategy (NSS) presents the President’s vision relating to the matters ofnational security and achieving an international order by developing political,economic and security strategies. The document highlights the security prioritiesthat affect the USA and the ways to realize them. The Presidents of the UnitedStates have released the NSS and the most recent one was released by PresidentDonald Trump in December 2017. The earlier NSS was presented by Barack Obama in2015 which presented the security concerns and strategies of that time. Both the documents havesome similarities while we can also find big differences.
The two Presidentspromise to destroy weapons of mass destruction, promote American prosperity,bring on a peaceful environment globally, fight terrorism and advance theinfluence of USA through the rest of the world. Obama’s NSS presents acollaborative approach of working together to achieve the needs while Trumpadopts the approach of “America first” in his vision. We will try to analyze thetwo documents and bring out the differences while touching on the similaritiesthat exist. Fighting terrorism hasalways been a priority on the agenda of USA. Obama in his NSS acknowledges thepresence of terrorism that has developed in areas of instability and weakgovernments. The threats are not limited to any geographical location, thoughit spans everywhere including Middle East, African and South Asia.
- Thesis Statement
- Structure and Outline
- Voice and Grammar
The NSS alsostated that America was working with its allies to bring an end to globalterrorism. President Trump takes the same approach and vows to destroy anyterrorist group and their support network by taking direct action against them.Though both the presidents vow to fight terrorism, Obama was more generalizedin his definition of terrorism not limiting it to any particular religion. Obama’sNSS did not encourage any link between terrorism and Islam. Also, it statesthat America and its allies are not at war with Islam. Obama did not even onceuse the term Islam to relate to terrorism.
In comparison Trump clearly linksIslam with terrorism by mentioning radical Islamist terror groups to describethe subject. He also uses the term Islam or its derivative many timesthroughout the document explaining his opinions. Another word that Obamarefrained from using and Trump included is “jihadists.” Obama never mentionedthe word and used references such as “violent extremist” to talk about thesituation. The national strategiesof two presidents also show a change which has been brought about by thepolitical interventions of the U.S.
In Obama’sNSS, the major threats recognized by him consist mostly of the terrorist groupswho are diffused groups of former militant networks like ISIL and Al-Qaeda. Healso talks about the nuclear deal with Iran which was developed to restrict thenuclear weapon initiatives. The deal allowed the ease of some of the economicrestrictions of Iran which hampered its development in exchange for curbing itsnuclear power. Obama thought that the deal was successful in achieving itsgoal.
Trump also identifies the terrorist groups as threat but also recognizestwo regional powers as threat to USA in his NSS. President Trump believes thatthe nuclear deal with Iran was not in America’s best interest and Iran has notbeen able to abide by the restrictions. He identifies Iran as a dictatorshipand as an important security threat to America. Trump also puts North Korea inthe list of threats calling it a “rogue regime” to stress the seriousness ofthe matter.
Both Iran and North Korea were not in the NSS of Obama. A big difference betweenthe NSS of 2015 and NSS of 2017 is the policy on immigrants and bordersecurity. Trump takes great effort to highlight the ills of illegal immigrationand how it hurts American workers and their interest. He promises to fightillegal immigration by building a wall, increased vetting, creating multi-leveldefense at borders and enhancing control on illegal movement, which might a bea good move that has been implemented by other countries.
Obama did notidentify illegal immigration as a national threat and made no mention ofimmigration policy or border control.