ANALYSIS: National Security Strategy Emphasizes Strength in Numbers
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The Biden administration’s national security strategy — released Oct. 12 — emphasized a different kind of “strength in numbers.”
Unlike the National Defense Strategy which focuses on the end-strength of Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors, Marines and all their high-tech platforms, the NSS spells out the importance of allies and alliances to strengthen the nation’s defenses against a range of threats.
“Working with partners and allies…” is one of the most common expressions of the new strategy.
President Joe Biden’s introduction to the strategy indicates that his administration has ‘reinvigorated’ its multilateral alliances, a clear reference to the Trump administration’s criticism of NATO, the withdrawal from trade agreements and the focus on bilateral relations.
“We deepened our fundamental alliances in Europe and the Indo-Pacific. NATO is stronger and more united than it has ever been, as we look to welcome two capable new allies in Finland and Sweden,” Biden said.
He name-checked the agreement with the UK to help Australia build nuclear-powered submarines and continue cooperation in other military technologies known as AUKUS as well as other organizations in which the United States has a common cause: the European Union, the Indo-Pacific “Quad”, the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework and the Partnership of the Americas for Economic Prosperity.
“These partnerships amplify our ability to respond to common challenges and tackle issues that directly impact the lives of billions of people,” he said.
The administration is “lucid” about the threat posed by the People’s Republic of China as it attempts to remake the world order, he said.
Furthermore, “Russia’s brutal and unprovoked war against its neighbor Ukraine has shattered the peace in Europe and impacted stability everywhere, and its reckless nuclear threats endanger the global non-proliferation regime. “, he wrote.
Autocrats are working overtime to undermine democracy and export a model of governance marked by repression at home and coercion abroad, he added.
Russia and China are the only two nations to have their own chapters in the strategy document.
One of the administration’s three lines of effort will be to “build the strongest possible coalition of nations to strengthen our collective influence to shape the global strategic environment and resolve common challenges.”
In Asia, he pledged to “deepen cooperation” with alliances such as the Quad – the United States, India, Japan and Australia – and AUKUS, as well as the “Five Eyes Nations: United States, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom and New Zealand”. Zeeland.
On military technology, the administration pledged to “remove barriers to deeper cooperation” among like-minded allies in areas such as cyber and space, missile defense, ‘trusted artificial intelligence and quantum systems,’ while deploying new capabilities to the battlefield in a timely manner.
The United States is often criticized, even by its closest allies, for its export control restrictions and its overclassification that prevents cooperation with military technology programs.
For example, the AUKUS deal – according to experts – will only work if the United States is willing to share some of its best-kept nuclear technology secrets with its two allies and cut out bureaucracy.
At the same time, the administration has pledged to ensure that certain restrictions remain in place to prevent the export of technology to competitors.
“We are therefore modernizing and strengthening our export control and investment screening mechanisms, and also pursuing new targeted approaches, such as outbound investment screening, to prevent strategic competitors from exploiting the investments and expertise of in a way that threatens our national security,” he said.
The strategy calls for “integrated deterrence” to thwart China’s ambitions.
The PRC is the only contender with both the intent to reshape the international order and, increasingly, the economic, diplomatic, military and technological might to do so, he said.
One of the five pillars of this integrated deterrence strategy is “investments in interoperability and joint capability development, cooperative posture planning, and coordinated diplomatic and economic approaches” with allies and partners.
In the Western Hemisphere, the new US-EU Trade and Technology Council will form working groups to foster transatlantic coordination on semiconductor and critical mineral supply chains, trusted artificial intelligence , misinformation, misuse of technology threatening security and human rights, he added. .
The council also forms task forces to develop technology standards, address supply chain issues — including semiconductors — and control exports, according to a State Department fact sheet.
The document calls for greater international cooperation on common issues such as climate change and in areas such as the Arctic and space.
“Working with allies and partners…We will improve the resilience of U.S. space systems that we rely on for critical national and homeland security functions,” he said.
In the United States, the twist of growing technological prowess, investment in emerging technologies, and growing numbers of science, technology, and engineering students is often seen through a lens comparing the PRC to the United States.
The new National Security Strategy outlines how multilateral tech alliances can be more than the sum of their parts and give democracies an advantage — if the United States can create common sense export controls and build trust with its like-minded partners.
Topics: Homeland Security, International