Implementing this agenda will not be easy. To succeed, we must balance and integrate all elements of American power and update our national security capacity for the 21st century. We must maintain our military’s conventional superiority, while enhancing its capacity to defeat asymmetric threats. Our diplomacy and development capabilities must be modernized, and our civilian expeditionary capacity strengthened, to support the full breadth of our priorities. Our intelligence and homeland security efforts must be integrated with our national security policies, and those of our allies and partners. And our ability to synchronize our actions while communicating effectively with foreign publics must be enhanced to sustain global support.
However, America’s greatest asset remains our people. In an era that will be shaped by the ability to seize the opportunities of a world that has grown more interconnected, it is the American people who will make the difference—the troops and civilians serving within our government; businesses, foundations, and educational institutions that operate around the globe; and citizens who possess the dynamism, drive, and diversity to thrive in a world that has grown smaller. Because for all of its dangers, globalization is in part a product of American leadership and the ingenuity of the American people. We are uniquely suited to seize its promise.
Our story is not without imperfections. Yet at each juncture that history has called upon us to rise to the occasion, we have advanced our own security, while contributing to the cause of human progress. To continue to do so, our national security strategy must be informed by our people, enhanced by the contributions of the Congress, and strengthened by the unity of the American people. If we draw on that spirit anew, we can build a world of greater peace, prosperity, and human dignity.