Although in today's age of transparency having a classified national security strategy is probably not feasible but I would suggest that the staffers who are going to write the national security strategy go back and start with a review of President Reagan's top secret national security strategy (NSDD 32) at this link: http://www.fas.org/irp/
Obviously it was focused heavily on the Soviet Union so most will say it is of little relevance but I would submit there are some useful ideas in the short 8 page document.
DefenseNews.com December 11, 2013 Next US Strategy Carries Heavy Expectations By PAUL McLEARY and JOHN T. BENNETT
WASHINGTON ‹ The new national security strategy document that the White House plans to release in 2014 is shaping up to be key to laying out the administration¹s thinking on everything from diplomatic engagement to counterterrorism to training and advising allies, a host of national security experts say.But how it should do that is a matter of debate.The broad outline of what the document will contain has been expressed in speeches by President Barack Obama and administration officials over the past several years: a push for nuclear disarmament, a rebalance of diplomatic and military attention to the Asia-Pacific region, helping build economic stability in emerging regions, and a continuing focus on the global counterterrorism mission.The administration¹s first national security strategy was released in 2010, a little more than a year after Obama entered the White House and as the US was still engaged in Iraq, preparing to surge more troops into Afghanistan, and still firmly in the grips of a crippling global economic crisis.Four years on, with the economy stronger, Osama bin Laden dead, as much as $1 trillion in government spending to be slashed over the next decade, and American troops out of Iraq and heading for the exits in Afghanistan, the landscape has changed.Most notably, there has been a shift from the Defense Department to the State Department taking the lead as the face of American foreign policy, with the jet set diplomacy of Secretary of State John Kerry dominating the headlines as he brokers deals with Syria, Iran and Libya, while preparing to set his sights on the Israel-Palestine peace process.As for specific recommendations for how the administration can use the document to help shape the way it uses both diplomatic and military power until the end of Obama¹s presidency in 2016, Rachel Kleinfeld, of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Truman Foundation, said the strategy must address the Arab Spring and subsequent political changes in the Middle East and North Africa. ³The Arab revolutions show an urgent need to weigh more heavily in our security calculus the risk factors that could create a sudden state collapse in allies and strategic states,² Kleinfeld said. ³That means greater weight to acute corruption and population unrest in our security strategy ‹ and developing the tools to help allies alter gradually rather than fail catastrophically.²What¹s more, with the Afghanistan war winding down and al-Qaida more globally dispersed than when the wars began, the US needs ³a new strategy to fight terrorism,² Kleinfeld said.The issue here is the contentious debate over the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), which many on Capitol Hill want rewritten to clip some of the broad powers that it has granted the White House to use the military. ³This document will have to catch up to the shift from stability operations to a more limited train, advise and assist mission, and hopefully fill in the blanks on what the civilian agencies provide in that realm,² said Kathleen Hicks, who served as principal deputy defense undersecretary for policy from 2012 to 2013, and is now with the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.When it comes to the global counterterrorism mission, ³I don¹t think we really have a strategy right now for that,² Hicks added. ³At the tactical and operational levels, there¹s a lot of good work going on, but I don¹t think we¹ve articulated the problem at a strategic level. This is an opportunity for that.²One former government official said the AUMF will have to be addressed in the document, predicting that ³I would expect to see a legal framework that¹s very much tied to al-Qaida and what this means in terms of how the US conducts itself going forward.²Related to the AUMF issue are the lingering questions over the targeted killing program the Obama administration has employed, largely by using armed drones.Lawrence Korb, a former Pentagon official now with the Center for American Progress, expects the strategy will include ³something about the use of drones and covert action.² Korb also said he thinks the strategy will stress that ³diplomatic solutions should always be our first option.²Diplomacy also plays a major role in writing such a sweeping, high-profile document. Aides and senior officials spend months changing words and entire sections, worried a friend or potential foe will react poorly.
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