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|Trump’s National Security Strategy: Positioning the US In the 21st Century Global Game|
2018-01-01 By Richard Weitz
The Trump administration’s National Security Strategy (NSS) has likely had a more impact than most previous versions of this document. Foreign observers are probably reading the text closely, especially the sections referencing their own country.
The strategy has four primary pillars:
(1) protecting the homeland by securing U.S. borders against malign state and non-state actors, pursuing terrorists and similar threats at their source, and increasing U.S. resilience against cyber and other dangers:
(2) making Americans prosperous by rebuilding U.S. infrastructure, facilitating research and innovation, promoting fair and reciprocal foreign partnerships, and embracing energy dominance:
(3) achieving peace through strength by renewing U.S. strategic advantages, regional balances of power, and applying the entire portfolio of U.S. military, economic, cyber, space, intelligence, and diplomatic capabilities; and
(4) advancing U.S. global interests and influence by inspiring others, catalyzing complementary private initiatives, and leading reformed international organizations that promote American values.
President Trump announcing the new national security strategy.
The new strategy shares similarities and differences with the approximately 16 previous versions of this document.
As in the past, there is an insistence on the imperative of U.S. global leadership, using all elements of power but especially military, at the head of an international network of like-minded democracies.
There are also several points of emphasis not found in past strategies.
For example, the Trump NSS stresses the need to cultivate U.S. energy power and protect an extended U.S. national innovation base—not just defense industries–from foreign predation.
Additionally, there is more focus than previous versions on challenging a rising China; the previously common language about Sino-U.S. ties having an unavoidable mixture of cooperation and conflict is largely absent from Trump’s strategy.
In this regard, the new NSS identifies many more types of international threats.
The administration’s national security team believes, “the global balance of power has shifted against U.S. interests,” as seen by the growth of potential adversaries’ military power, their economic rise at U.S. expense, and their development and application of new cyber information tools.
Trump’s team sees the general global environment as decidedly darker than the more hopeful texts released by previous administrations. For example, its NSS sees globalization, embraced by previous presidents as a generally positive force, as weakening barriers against international menaces such as illegal migration and Chinese economic aggression.
The conceptual framework of the Trump NSS is competitive.
The text’s goal is to reverse U.S. decline by renewing American strengths. In the words of President Trump, “We are declaring that America is in the game and that America is going to win.”
At the conceptual level, the text recommends that Washington join Moscow and Beijing in seeing global politics as “an arena of continuous competition” that transcends false binary distinctions between war and peace.
At the global level, the strategy calls for modernizing U.S. diplomatic, economic, cyber, space, intelligence, and military tools “to operate across these environments.”
The NSS offers several principles to guide the revitalization of each instrument, which will need to be supported by adequate financing.
Denying that “America first” meant “America alone,” Trump observed that, “Our strategy emphasizes strengthening alliances,” based on shared values and a fair distribution of “responsibility for our common security.”
At the regional level in Europe, the NSS sticks to fundamentals.
It begins with the observation that, “A strong and free Europe is of vital importance to the United States” for strategic as well as “our shared commitment to the principles of democracy, individual liberty, and the rule of law.”
Looking ahead, the administration will work with European allies and partners to improve energy security, fortify national and regional defenses, punish Russian aggression with costly sanctions, and disprove the Kremlin’s propaganda with truthful messages.
The NSS arguably employs the most critical tone regarding Russian behavior yet issued by the Trump administration.
The words “Russia” and “aggression” regularly appear together, including the first four times the text mentions the country. The fifth occasion makes an equivalent reference to “Russia’s violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
According to the authors, Moscow strives to subvert U.S. power through cyberattacks, political interference in foreign countries, flexing Russian military power, asserting spheres of influence, and weakening U.S. allies and alliances.
The text warns that, left unchecked, Russia’s regional ambitions, expanding military power, and “unstable frontier in Eurasia” could lead to Russian miscalculation and conflict.
Our colleague Stephen Blank has already noted how the 2017 NSS breaks new ground by warning of Russian challenges to U.S. interests in Latin America, including Mexico, through various disruptive economic and security policies.
Another difference with previous versions in that the current NSS, besides repeating longstanding concerns about Russian and Chinese anti-access/area-denial capabilities, bemoans how the two countries are impeding U.S. access to “critical commercial zones during peacetime,” such as Eurasia.
The NSS stresses the need to resist Russian sub-conventional (also known as “hybrid” or “grey-zone”) aggression, which is problematic since it often falls “below the threshold of open military conflict” that would provide a clear-cut trigger for U.S. military counter intervention, such as the provisions for activating NATO’s Article 5 collective defense clause.
Another difficulty for Western planners is that the lack of internal checks and balances in “repressive, closed states” like Russia, in comparison with the Western democracies, allow their governments to more rapidly mobilize and combine their military, economic, and informational resources “to accrue strategic gains over time—making it harder for the United States and others to respond.”
Despite these complications, the NSS adumbrate various principles to cope with the Russian challenge.
More detailed plans will likely be offered in the National Defense Strategy and the Nuclear Posture Review.
The NSS does say that the administration will “keep the door open to greater collaboration with Russia in areas of common interests,” should Moscow change course and respect “the sovereignty and democratic development of neighboring states.”
Yet. Moscow needs to change its behavior first since the NSS says that the Trump administration has lost faith in “the assumption [attributed to previous administrations] that engagement with rivals and their inclusion in international institutions and global commerce would turn them into benign actors and trustworthy partners.”
Moreover, the United States needs to restore its instruments of power to ensure that it can negotiate with Russia and other countries from a position of strength.
As Trump put it, “weakness is the surest path to conflict, and unrivaled power is the most certain means of defense.”
Editor’s Note: There is a clear shift from assuming a multiple-sum hidden hand of globalization creating a greater global good, to one where competition and cooperation are forged on a case by case basis. And that is at the heart of the shift associated with the Trump national security strategy,
|Andrew McCabe, F.B.I.s Embattled Deputy, Is Expected to Retire|
Mr. McCabes plans to leave early next year should take some of the pressure off the new director, who has been criticized by President Trump for not replacing top leadership fast enough.
|For many Americans, the Trump-Putin bromance is personal – ABC Online|
|Amber Alert issued for 2 children after woman found dead in Round Rock, Texas|
Last Updated Jan 1, 2018 6:54 PM EST
ROUND ROCK, Texas — Authorities have issued an Amber Alert as police search for two missing children in relation to a suspicious death in Round Rock, Texas, CBS affiliate KEYE-TV reports. Police responded to a welfare check on Sunday and found a deceased woman inside the residence.
The missing children were identified as 14-year-old Lilianais Victoria Cake Griffith and 7-year-old Luluvioletta Bandera-magret. Griffith is 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs 100 pounds. She has brown eyes and wears a right nose stud with braces. Bandera-magret is 4 feet 5 inches tall and weighs 75 pounds. She has curly brown hair and brown eyes.
“Both are associated with a person of interest in the suspicious death investigation,” Round Rock police said in a statement.
Terry Allen Miles, 44, is a person of interest in the woman’s death, police said, and may be connected to the abduction. Police said he was last heard from in Round Rock on Saturday. Miles is 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighs 200 pounds. He has hazel eyes, wears glasses and has a beard. It’s not clear what the relationship between Miles and the children is.
Police believe Miles may be heading to Louisiana. They said Miles drives a gray 2017 Hyundai Accent with Texas license plate JGH-9845. They said there’s a white sticker on the upper-right hand corner of the vehicle. There is also a white sticker on the upper right hand corner of the rear window. Police provided CBS affiliate KHOU-TV with an image of Miles’ vehicle.
James Reid, a resident who lives nearby, said he believes Miles lived with the woman who was found dead.
“Usually you hear it, and it’s somewhere else, and I’m glad that wasn’t me, and I was nowhere near it, but this happened next door. I was just glad none of my kids or my wife was here,” Reid told KEYE-TV. “If they were here, they were in the house. Most of the time they were gone.”
Reid said he hopes the girls are safe. “I don’t want them to get hurt. Like I said, I got kids, and I wouldn’t want that to happen to mine.”
Round Rock police are encouraging the public to call (512) 218-5516 if they have any information in the case.
Round Rock Police/KHOU
© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.
|Four dead in Jersey Shore New Year’s shooting|
A 16-year-old gunman killed four family members in a brutal New Year’s Eve slaying at their central New Jersey home, officials said.
The suspect, whose identity hasn’t been released, used an assault rifle to kill his parents — Steven, 44, and Linda Kologi, 42 — as well as his 18-year-old sister, Brittany, and a 70-year-old family friend inside the family’s Long Branch home late Sunday, according to Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni.
His brother and grandfather both survived the attack uninjured, he added.
The teen was arrested without incident, the prosecutor said, but it’s unclear if he was armed at the time.
“Thankfully it was uneventful,” Gramiccioni told reporters Monday morning, just hours after the shooting. “It didn’t require any force.”
Police have recovered the weapon they believe was used, which Gramiccioni described as a semi-automatic rifle.
It wasn’t clear if there were other weapons inside the home, Gramiccioni said.
“That’s not what I’m hearing at this time,” he said.
The 16-year-old gunman will be charged as an adult later Monday with four counts of murder as well as one count of possession of a weapon for unlawful purposes.
Police described the 70-year-old victim, Mary Schultz, as a family friend.
Long Branch is located on the Jersey Shore and has a population of roughly 30,000.
This is a developing story and will be updated
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Deputy national security adviser Dina Powell, a driving force behind the Trump administration’s Middle East policy, plans to leave the White House as part of an anticipated wave of departures following President Trump’s first year in office, according to four senior administration officials. Unlike some top …
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|Pakistan liar and cheat, says Trump as US calls off all aid | Donald Trump blasts Pakistan | US withdraws aid to Pakistan | US-Pak relations|
Washington: US president Donald Trump began the New Year on Monday with a blistering attack on Pakistan, saying it will get no more aid from his country as it was giving “safe haven to terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan”.
“The US has foolishly given Pakistan more than $33 billion in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies and deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools,” Trump tweeted in his strongest denunciation of Islamabad.
“They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!” he added.
There was no immediate official reaction in Islamabad.
Trump’s announcement follows an increasingly tense back-and-forth between Washington and Islamabad after the US president unveiled his administration’s National Security Strategy.
He had then reminded Pakistan about its obligation towards helping the US because it got “massive payments” from Washington every year.
“We have made it clear to Pakistan that while we desire continued partnership, we must see decisive action against terrorist groups operating on their territory,” Trump had said. “They have to help.”
Pakistan is also accused by Afghanistan and India of harboring terrorists ranged against the two countries. Islamabad routinely denies such charges.
|The Latest: Trump says Pakistan playing US for ‘fools’|
PALM BEACH, Fla. – The Latest on President Donald Trump, who has been at his winter home in Palm Beach, Fla. (all times local):
President Donald Trump began the New Year by sending an angry, early morning tweet criticizing Pakistan.
Trump tweeted: “The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!”
It was not immediately clear why Trump opted to tweet on Pakistan. The U.S. has long accused Istanbul of allowing militants to operate relatively freely in Pakistan’s border regions to carry out operations in neighboring Afghanistan.
Bidding farewell to 2017 with a lavish party at his private club, President Donald Trump predicted 2018 will be a “tremendous year.”
Trump said Sunday that the stock market will continue to rise and that companies are going to continue to come into the U.S., at “a rapid clip.” He also cited several accomplishments, including the tax overhaul, opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling, and repealing the individual mandate from the national health care law.
“It will be a fantastic 2018,” a tuxedoed Trump said, as he entered the gilded ballroom at Mar-a-Lago, accompanied by first lady Melania Trump and son Barron.
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|Sheriff’s deputy killed, others wounded in Colorado shootout|
A Colorado sheriff’s deputy was killed and several more were wounded in a shootout while responding to a report of a domestic disturbance, the sheriff’s office said Sunday.
Five deputies in all were shot in suburban Denver, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said on Twitter Sunday morning.
Citing the Douglas County Coroner, the sheriff’s office identified the suspect as Matthew Riehl, 37. Riehl was killed in the shootout.
“Officers were called to a residence on a disturbance, once they were there, they were met with gunfire from the suspect,” Sheriff Tony Spurlock said at a news conference Sunday afternoon. “Four officers were injured and one officer was killed in the line of duty.”
Sheriff’s deputy killed, others wounded in Colorado ambush 2:01
“There were well over 100 rounds fired in this engagement, 100 rounds from the suspect,” he said.
In addition to the deputies, two civilians were also shot by the suspect, Spurlock said, but did not have life-threatening injuries.
The officer who was killed was identified as Deputy Zackari Parrish, a 29-year-old father of two, Spurlock said.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Zackari,” he said, adding that it was “very difficult today to see Zack for the last time.”
The four injured officers were all in stable condition, he said. They were identified as Deputy Michael Doyle, 28; Deputy Taylor Davis, 30; Deputy Jeffrey Pelle, 32; and Castle Rock Police Department Officer Tom O’Donnell, 41.
Jeff Pelle is the son of Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle.
“Earlier this morning, our son, Douglas County sheriff’s deputy, Jeff Pelle, was shot during the Copper Canyon shooting. Jeff underwent surgery as a result of his injuries, and is recovering,” Sheriff Pelle said in a statement posted on Twitter by the sheriff’s office public information officer.
“We are currently with our son and his wife. He is in good spirits considering the gravity and severity of what occurred earlier this morning,” he added.
Spurlock said officers responded at the residence on a call of a “verbal disturbance” at around 5:15 a.m. local time (7:15 a.m. ET).
Spurlock described the shooting as “more of an ambush style of attack.”
“He knew we were coming,” he said.
He said the disturbance was not a female-male domestic violence type of incident and the suspect was “making a ton of noise.” Two men lived in the apartment complex, he said. The roommate was not injured and was cooperating with authorities, he added.
Earlier, the sheriff’s office said via its Twitter account that a major highway south of the city was shut down Sunday. Residents in the area were asked to shelter in place, and avoid windows and exterior walls.
|Trump welcomes new year with lavish party at private club – NBC News|
PALM BEACH, Fla. — Bidding farewell to 2017 with a lavish party at his private club, President Donald Trump said 2018 will be a “tremendous year.”
Trump predicted Sunday that the stock market will continue to rise and that companies are going to continue to come into the U.S. at “a rapid clip.”
He also cited several accomplishments, including the tax overhaul, opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling, and repealing the individual mandate from the national health care law.
|Troy Murders: 2 Arrested in NY Quadruple Homicide|
(TROY, N.Y.) — Two men were arrested Saturday on murder charges in the deaths of two women and two children who were found dead in their upstate New York apartment.
Justin Mann and James White were arrested in their hometown, Schenectady, and pleaded not guilty in Troy City Court.
According to the Times Union , Troy Police Chief John Tedesco said one of the defendants knew one of the victims. He declined to elaborate.
Troy Police Department/AP
Justin C. Mann
Troy Police Department/AP
Information given in court said the killings took place at about 9 p.m., Dec. 21. It wasn’t until Tuesday, five days later, that a property manager found 36-year-old Shanta Myers; her children, 11-year-old Jeremiah Myers and 5-year-old Shanise Myers; and 22-year-old Brandi Mells in a basement apartment along the Hudson River, just north of Albany. Meyers and Mells became engaged earlier this year, Mells’ cousin, Sharonda Bennett, told the newspaper.
Tedesco and District Attorney Joel Abelove, who appeared at a press conference, declined to answer questions about a possible motive and the method of the killings.
They also would not say how the defendants know each other, but said that both have records and Mann is on parole.
More than two dozen people were in court Saturday, some wearing Troy Boys & Girls club sweatshirts.
Mann appeared to break down as he was led out of court. A man and a woman in the courtroom became visibly distraught.
The suspects were sent to the Rensselaer County Jail to await their next court appearance, on Thursday. Neither man said anything as the charges were read.
Tedesco said no more arrests are expected.
“I don’t have to tell you what a good feeling it is to have these two in custody,” he said. “It’s a great relief.”
“The rapid apprehension and arrest of two suspects in connection with this tragic crime is welcome news for our community and the victims’ families impacted by this senseless tragedy,” Troy Mayor Patrick Madden, a Democrat, said in a statement.
“My heart remains with both the Myers and Mells families,” said Madden, who expressed hope that “with the support of the Troy community, they can begin to heal.”
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|Pamela Anderson and Trump – Google Search|