Enduring Interests, Changing World

The 2015 national security strategy released Feb. 6 is based on the same four “enduring interests” as the 2010 defense strategy—security, prosperity, values, and international order, said White House National Security Advisor Susan Rice. However, she acknowledged that “in many respects, 2015 is a whole new ballgame.” Speaking at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., Rice addressed the “complexities” facing America today, including the fallout of the Arab uprisings, Russian aggression in Ukraine, Ebola, cyber threats, and a “more diffuse terrorist threat.” Rice said al Qaeda “has been decimated,” diffusing the risk of another 9/11-type attack. However, the rise of other terrorist organizations such as ISIS and “home-grown violent extremists” actually increases the risk of “the type of attacks that we’ve seen in Boston and Ottowa, Sydney and Paris,” she said. And while the US will continue to focus on the Middle East and Europe, it must also turn its attention to “regions that will shape the century ahead, starting with the Asia-Pacific,” said Rice. The “United States is proudly shouldering the responsibilities of global leadership” and is “pursuing an ambitious, yet achievable agenda, worthy of a great power,” added Rice. (Read the 2015 national security strategy; Caution, large-sized file.) (Rice transcript.)