This strategy calls for a comprehensive range of national actions, and a broad conception of what constitutes our national security. Above all, it is about renewing our leadership by calling upon what is best about America—our innovation and capacity; our openness and moral imagination.
Success will require approaches that can be sustained and achieve results. One of the reasons that this nation succeeded in the second half of the 20th century was its capacity to pursue policies and build institutions that endured across multiple Administrations, while also preserving the flexibility to endure setbacks and to make necessary adjustments. In some instances, the United States has been able to carry forward this example in the years since the Cold War. But there are also many open questions, unfinished reforms, and deep divisions—at home and abroad—that constrain our ability to advance our interests and renew our leadership.
To effectively craft and implement a sustainable, results-oriented national security strategy, there must be effective cooperation between the branches of government. This Administration believes that we are strong when we act in line with our laws, as the Constitution itself demands. This Administration is also committed to active consultation with Congress, and welcomes robust and effective oversight of its national security policies. We welcome Congress as a full partner in forging durable solutions to tough challenges, looking beyond the headlines to take a long view of America’s interests. And we encourage Congress to pursue oversight in line with the reforms that have been enacted through legislation, particularly in the years since 9/11.
The executive branch must do its part by developing integrated plans and approaches that leverage the capabilities across its departments and agencies to deal with the issues we confront. Collaboration across the government—and with our partners at the state, local, and tribal levels of government, in industry, and abroad—must guide our actions.
This kind of effective cooperation will depend upon broad and bipartisan cooperation. Throughout the Cold War, even as there were intense disagreements about certain courses of action, there remained a belief that America’s political leaders shared common goals, even if they differed about how to reach them. In today’s political environment, due to the actions of both parties that sense of common purpose is at times lacking in our national security dialogue. This division places the United States at a strategic disadvantage. It sets back our ability to deal with difficult challenges and injects a sense of anxiety and polarization into our politics that can affect our policies and our posture around the world. It must be replaced by a renewed sense of civility and a commitment to embrace our common purpose as Americans.
Americans are by nature a confident and optimistic people. We would not have achieved our position of leadership in the world without the extraordinary strength of our founding documents and the capability and courage of generations of Americans who gave life to those values—through their service, through their sacrifices, through their aspirations, and through their pursuit of a more perfect union. We see those same qualities today, particularly in our young men and women in uniform who have served tour after tour of duty to defend our nation in harm’s way, and their civilian counterparts.