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In his first National Security Strategy, President Trump maps out a vision affirming that strong and sovereign states with diverse cultures are the best hope for a peaceful world.

The president made clear that U.S. national security prioritizes the best interests of the United States and that the U.S. remains a force for good in the world.

“Our America First foreign policy celebrates America’s influence in the world as a positive force that can help set the conditions for peace, prosperity, and the development of successful societies,” the president said December 18 as he outlined the security strategy.

The strategy also reiterates that the U.S. is committed to working with like-minded countries around the world to promote free market economies and secure greater political stability and peace. America will pursue “free, fair and reciprocal economic relationships,” the president said.

Four “pillars”

President Trump’s National Security Strategy centers on four “pillars,” or main areas:

  1. Protecting the U.S. from threats.
  2. Promoting American prosperity.
  3. Preserving “peace through strength.”
  4. Advancing American influence.

The document, required by Congress, is intended to explain the administration’s security strategy to the American people, allies and the rest of the world.

The blueprint shows the president views economic prosperity as the foundation of U.S. national strength.

“America will strengthen its capabilities across numerous domains — including space and cyber — and revitalize capabilities that have been neglected,” the president said in the document.

The Trump administration also will use all the tools of statecraft in a new era of strategic competition — diplomatic, information, economic and military — to protect U.S. interests.

The U.S. will maintain its defense commitments and expect allies to do the same, the administration reiterated in the document.

“Principled realism”

The president said the strategy addresses key challenges that affect the U.S.’s standing in the world, including:

  • “Revisionist powers” that the administration says use technology, propaganda and coercion to shape a world antithetical to U.S. interests and values.
  • Rogue regimes that spread terror, threaten their neighbors and pursue weapons of mass destruction.
  • Transnational criminal organizations that “foment hatred to incite violence against innocents in the name of a wicked ideology.”

The president also reiterated that the U.S. will continue to work with countries across the world to counter subversion or aggression and cooperate with allies and partners to counter threats posed by North Korea and Iran. A U.S. priority also is defeating ISIS and al-Qaida.

The new strategy articulates the president’s concept of “principled realism,” which the administration says affirms that strong and sovereign states are the best hope for a peaceful world, and clearly defines U.S. national interests.

On trade, the administration’s priorities include modernizing existing agreements; adopting new ones that are based on free, fair and reciprocal trade; and contesting unfair trade practices. “We will protect our national security innovation base from those who steal our intellectual property and unfairly exploit the innovation of free societies,” according to the strategy.