Read My Lips

U.S. National Security: New Challenges

What is the U.S. National Security Council’s new strategy for combatting the challenges of today’s world?

Signed, Sealed, Delivered by the U.S. President

Takeaways


The U.S. National Security Council published its new strategy on September 17, 2002. Its members are the U.S. President, Vice President, Secretary of State, Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of Defense and the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. Our Read My Lips features select passages — as well as some insights from the document’s main author, U.S. National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice.

Why is U.S. military supremacy important for global peace?

“If the United States commits to maintaining sufficient military strength, you can dissuade military competition — and can then begin to channel any competitive instincts of great powers into other areas.”
(Condoleezza Rice, U.S. National Security Advisor, September 2002)

What is the self-acclaimed goal of the National Security Council's recommendations?

“The United States is simply ensuring a balance of power that favors freedom.”
(Condoleezza Rice, U.S. National Security Advisor, September 2002)

What makes the United States so determined?

“We see power and values as married completely.”
(Condoleezza Rice, U.S. National Security Advisor, September 2002)

How important is the 'value' part?

“In the 21st century, only nations that share a commitment to protecting basic human rights and guaranteeing political and economic freedom will be able to unleash the potential of their people — and assure their future prosperity.”
(U.S. National Security Council, September 2002)

Who is the enemy?

“America is now threatened less by conquering states than we are by failing ones.”
(U.S. National Security Council, September 2002)

In what way does the United States face a new strategic challenge?

“In the Cold War, weapons of mass destruction were considered weapons of last resort. Today, our enemies see weapons of mass destruction as weapons of choice.”
(U.S. National Security Council, September 2002)

What is so scary terror attacks?

“Networks of individuals can bring great chaos and suffering to our shores for less than it costs to purchase a single tank.”
(U.S. National Security Council, September 2002)

How are you planning to put an end to such attacks?

“As a matter of common sense and self-defense, America will act against emerging threats before they are fully formed.”
(U.S. National Security Council, September 2002)

How does the United States propose to make the global anti-terrorism coalition work?

“Effective coalition leadership requires clear priorities, an appreciation of others' interests — and consistent consultations among partners with a spirit of humility.”
(U.S. National Security Council, September 2002)

But what if the coalition-building does not work out?

“If the UN Security Council cannot come to terms with strong action, the United States — with whomever else would like to join us — will have to take care of the problem.”
(Condoleezza Rice, U.S. National Security Advisor, September 2002)

Can the United States afford to be optimistic about the future of rogue states?

“History has not been kind to those nations which ignored or flouted the rights and aspirations of their people.”
(U.S. National Security Council, September 2002)

Finally, has Dr. Rice always been in such a hurry?

“Rogue states, including Iraq, are living on borrowed time — so there need be no sense of panic about them.”
(Condoleezza Rice, then-U.S. National Security Advisor for George W. Bush’s presidential campaign, January 2000)

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