national security strategy

Immigration in the National Security Strategy

Perhaps the most unusual feature of the Trump administration’s new National Security Strategy (NSS) is its heavy focus on domestic issues. Though the document covers issues from infrastructure to the manufacturing base, this is perhaps most apparent in the document’s strong focus on immigration. While previous NSS documents have briefly addressed the question of illegal immigration, this document is perhaps unique in its assertion that legal immigration is also a national security concern.

All We Want for Christmas

If you read the blog regularly, you might have noticed a pattern recently: Cato’s foreign policy scholars weighing in to see if Santa might be able to improve U.S. foreign policy for us. After all, American leaders seem perpetually unwilling to do so, and the Trump administration’s new National Security Strategy doesn’t seem to offer much more hope for a more realistic, sensible approach to foreign policy either.

Do More, Spend More

Defense News today features a story that unintentionally provides an window into what is wrong with the Washington Foreign Policy Establishment (WFPE)— a group of supposedly smart people that has repeatedly failed to come up with a credible plan that may enable the United States to shed some of the burdens of global governance.

Obama’s National Security Strategy: Long on Rhetoric, Short on Change

The key theme that the Obama administration wants us to take away from the National Security Strategy (PDF) is “burden sharing.” The United States, the document explains, can no longer afford to be the world’s sole policeman. We need capable and willing partners to preserve global peace and prosperity.

These are valid concerns. Unfortunately, the Obama administration lacks a vision for addressing them.

Thoughts on the NSS

National Security Strategies are domestic political documents that serve two main purposes: they allow administrations to wax philosophic about America’s place in history and they provide an opportunity to mention the various foreign-policy interest groups to let them know you care.  This NSS does a good job of fulfilling these rhetorical and domestic political demands of the document.  (The lead drafter of President Obama’s NSS is a speechwriter with a background in fic

John Brennan on Countering Terrorism

Earlier today, I attended a lecture at CSIS by John Brennan, a leading counterterrorism and homeland security adviser to President Obama. His speech highlighted some of the key elements of the administration’s counterterrorism strategy, in advance of tomorrow’s release of the National Security Strategy (NSS).

The Pentagon Shouldn’t Get a Pass

Today’s Politico includes an op ed that I co-authored with Heather Hurlburt of the National Security Network. It was the first time that the two of us collaborated, and I was very pleased with the end result. Most of the clever turns of phrase are Heather’s including the title, “The Wrong Manhood Test.” And I’m grateful to Harrison Moar and Charles Zakaib for helping me on Monday to sift through the gargantuan defense budget, and pull out the relevant facts.

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