National Security Strategy 1998

 

• Spread of dangerous technologies: Weapons of mass destruction pose the greatest potential threat to global stability and security. Proliferation of advanced weapons and technologies threatens to provide rogue states, terrorists and international crime organizations the means to inflict terrible damage on the United States, its allies and U.S. citizens and troops abroad. We must continue to deter and be prepared to counter the use or threatened use of WMD, reduce the threat posed by existing arsenals of such weaponry and halt the smuggling of nuclear materials. We must identify the technical information, technologies and materials that cannot be allowed to fall into the hands of those seeking to develop and produce WMD. And we must stop the proliferation of non-safeguarded dual-use technologies that place these destructive capabilities in the hands of parties hostile to U.S. and global security interests.
• Foreign intelligence collection: The threat from foreign intelligence services is more diverse, complex and difficult to counter than ever before. This threat is a mix of traditional and nontraditional intelligence adversaries that have targeted American military, diplomatic, technological and commercial secrets. Some foreign intelligence services are rapidly adopting new technologies and innovative methods to obtain such secrets, including attempts to use the global information infrastructure to gain access to sensitive information via penetration of computer systems and networks. These new methods compound the already serious threat posed by traditional human, technical and signals intelligence activities.
• Failed states: We can expect that, despite international prevention efforts, some states will be unable to provide basic governance, services and opportunities for their populations, potentially generating internal conflict, humanitarian crises or regional instability. As governments lose their ability to provide for the welfare of their citizens, mass migration, civil unrest, famine, mass killings, environmental disasters and aggression against neighboring states or ethnic groups can threaten U.S. interests and citizens.
 
The Need for Integrated Approaches
Success in countering these varied threats requires an integrated approach that brings to bear all the capabilities and assets needed to achieve our security objectives—particularly in this era when domestic and foreign policies are increasingly blurred.
To effectively shape the international environment and respond to the full spectrum of potential threats and crises, diplomacy, military force, our other foreign policy tools and our domestic preparedness efforts must be closely coordinated. We must retain a strong foreign assistance program and an effective diplomatic corps if we are to maintain American leadership. We must maintain superior military forces at the level of readiness necessary to effectively deter aggression, conduct a wide range of peacetime activities and smaller-scale contingencies, and, preferably in concert with regional friends and allies, win two overlapping major theater wars. The success of all our foreign policy tools is critically dependent on timely and effective intelligence collection and analysis capabilities.
International cooperation will be vital for building security in the next century because many of the threats we face cannot be addressed by a single nation. Globalization of transportation and communications has allowed international terrorists and criminals to operate without geographic constraints, while individual governments and their law enforcement agencies remain limited by national boundaries. Unlike terrorists and criminals, governments must respect the sovereignty of other nations. Accordingly, a central thrust of our strategy is to enhance relationships with key nations around the world to combat transnational threats to common interests. We seek to address these threats by increasing intelligence and law enforcement cooperation, denying terrorists safe havens, preventing arms traders from fueling regional conflicts and subverting international embargoes, and cracking down on drug trafficking, money laundering and international crime.
Building effective coalitions of like-minded nations is not enough. We are continuing to strengthen and integrate our own diplomatic, military, intelligence and law enforcement capabilities so we can act on our own when we must as well as more effectively lead the international community in responding to these threats.
Potential enemies, whether nations, terrorist groups or criminal organizations, are increasingly likely to attack U.S. territory and the American people in unconventional ways. Adversaries will be tempted to disrupt our critical infrastructures, impede continuity of government operations, use weapons of mass destruction against civilians in our cities, attack us when we gather at special events and prey on our citizens overseas. The United States must act to deter or prevent such attacks and, if attacks occurs despite those efforts, must be prepared to limit the damage they cause and respond decisively against the perpetrators. We will spare no effort to bring attackers to justice, ever adhering to our policy toward terrorists that “You can run, but you cannot hide,” and where appropriate to defend ourselves by striking at terrorist bases and states that support terrorist acts.
At home, we must have effective capabilities for thwarting and responding to terrorist acts, countering international crime and foreign intelligence collection, and protecting critical national infrastructures. Our efforts to counter these threats cannot be limited exclusively to any one agency within the U.S. Government. The threats and their consequences cross agency lines, requiring close cooperation among Federal agencies, state and local governments, the industries that own and operate critical national infrastructures, non-governmental organizations and others in the private sector.
 
Shaping the International Environment
The United States has a range of tools at its disposal with which to shape the international environment in ways favorable to U.S. interests and global security. Shaping activities enhance U.S. security by promoting regional security and preventing or reducing the wide range of diverse threats outlined above. These measures adapt and strengthen alliances and friendships, maintain U.S. influence in key regions and encourage adherence to international norms. When signs of potential conflict emerge, or potential threats appear, we undertake initiatives to prevent or reduce these threats. Our shaping efforts also aim to discourage arms races, halt the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, reduce tensions in critical regions and combat the spread of international criminal organizations.
Many of our international shaping activities, often undertaken with the cooperation of our allies and friends, also help to prevent threats from arising that place at risk American lives and property at home. Examples include countering terrorism, drug and firearms trafficking, illegal immigration, the spread of WMD and other threats. Increasingly, shaping the security environment involves a wide range of Federal agencies, some of which in the past have not been thought of as having such an international role.

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