Assessing America’s national security strategy

On October 12, the White House released the long-awaited National Security Strategy, or NSS 2022, a document that lays out the administration’s approach to US response to global crises, how it plans to deal with allies in different regions of the world, and the foundations of its foreign policy. regarding both Russia and China, and how it views its role in a changing world, among others.

The 48-page document makes interesting reading, although critics say such a document is usually released early in a presidency and no more than two years later. What’s more, the document comes 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.

In addition, the release of the document came as the United States and Europe found themselves in the most serious crisis since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Critics also say that the NSS was written after the fact. meaning that the authors have had the luxury of seeing how the world has evolved since Joe Biden’s tenure and have been able to make adjustments that might fit current politics.

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Why the White House took so long to introduce it is an open question. But now that the NSA has been released, 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 readings is the section about Russia. The NSS says that Moscow wants to change the international order in the last decade. But if analysts and strategists knew this was happening, why couldn’t they have predicted Russia’s action in Ukraine?

What the NSA misses big time is how the war in Ukraine has changed the discourse, dynamics, and foundations of foreign policy around the world. The NSA talks about the US-European alliance, which is now under unprecedented strain as a result of a severe energy crisis, rampant inflation and seemingly endless war financing.

Facing new challenges

The transatlantic alliance is facing new challenges as European voters and politicians question this precious partnership. The reality is that America has the opportunity to isolate itself from the rest of the world by focusing more on its southern hemisphere and the challenges it presents to the United States, such as illegal immigration and drugs.

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It can afford to wash its hands of Europe just as some Trump proxies are suggesting. saying they won’t sign blank checks to Ukraine if they pass the House in November.

The NSS also talks about maintaining the existing international order, which is called America’s status as the world’s only superpower. There is also talk about the protection of the UN Charter. In both cases, the US experience is dismal. Not to mention the invasion of Iraq or the humiliating withdrawal from Afghanistan. Under America’s control, the world has recorded a number of violations of the UN Charter.

The NSS has positive aspects in promoting international cooperation on climate change, energy security, arms control and non-proliferation, food insecurity and epidemics, but if the recent US reaction to OPEC+’s technical decision to cut oil production is any indication. , then one can see how impulsive US responses can deviate from written foreign policy commitments.

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We are interested in the Middle East. It calls for eschewing grand projects in favor of more practical steps that can advance US interests and help regional partners lay the groundwork for greater stability, prosperity and opportunity for the Middle East and the American people.

It also calls for a new U.S. policy framework in the region that builds on the U.S.’s unparalleled comparative advantage by building partnerships, coalitions, and alliances to strengthen deterrence while using diplomacy to defuse tensions, reduce risks of new conflicts, and define : long-term basis of stability.

I know for a fact that some US allies may struggle to understand how to reconcile its actions with its goals. The NSS proposes a framework of five principles, all related to common defense and regional cooperation. Countries in the region are already working in that direction without the need for foreign aid.

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

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