Transform America's National Security Institutions to Meet
the Challenges and Opportunities of the Twenty-First Century
"Terrorists attacked a symbol of American prosperity.
They did not touch its source. America is successful because
of the hard work, creativity, and enterprise of our people."
Washington, D.C. (Joint Session of Congress)
September 20, 2001
The major institutions of American national security were designed
in a different era to meet different requirements. All of them
must be transformed.
It is time to reaffirm the essential role of American military
strength.We must build and maintain our defenses beyond challenge.
Our militarys highest priority is to defend the United States.
To do so effectively, our military must:
- assure our allies and friends;
- dissuade future military competition;
- deter threats against U.S. interests, allies, and friends;
- decisively defeat any adversary if deterrence fails.
The unparalleled strength of the United States armed forces, and
their forward presence, have maintained the peace in some of the
worlds most strategically vital regions. However, the threats
and enemies we must confront have changed, and so must our forces.
A military structured to deter massive Cold War-era armies must
be transformed to focus more on how an adversary might fight rather
than where and when a war might occur. We will channel our energies
to overcome a host of operational challenges.
The presence of American forces overseas is one of the most profound
symbols of the U.S. commitments to allies and friends. Through
our willingness to use force in our own defense and in defense
of others, the United States demonstrates its resolve to maintain
a balance of power that favors freedom. To contend with uncertainty
and to meet the many security challenges we face, the United States
will require bases and stations within and beyond Western Europe
and Northeast Asia, as well as temporary access arrangements for
the long-distance deployment of U.S. forces.
Before the war in Afghanistan, that area was low on the list of
major planning contingencies. Yet, in a very short time, we had
to operate across the length and breadth of that remote nation,
using every branch of the armed forces.We must prepare for more
such deployments by developing assets such as advanced remote sensing,
long-range precision strike capabilities, and transformed maneuver
and expeditionary forces. This broad portfolio of military capabilities
must also include the ability to defend the homeland, conduct information
operations, ensure U.S. access to distant theaters, and protect
critical U.S. infrastructure and assets in outer space.
Innovation within the armed forces will rest on experimentation
with new approaches to warfare, strengthening joint operations,
exploiting U.S. intelligence advantages, and taking full advantage
of science and technology.We must also transform the way the Department
of Defense is run, especially in financial management and recruitment
and retention. Finally, while maintaining near-term readiness and
the ability to fight the war on terrorism, the goal must be to
provide the President with a wider range of military options to
discourage aggression or any form of coercion against the United
States, our allies, and our friends.
We know from history that deterrence can fail; and we know from
experience that some enemies cannot be deterred. The United States
must and will maintain the capability to defeat any attempt by
an enemywhether a state or non-state actorto impose
its will on the United States, our allies, or our friends.We will
maintain the forces sufficient to support our obligations, and
to defend freedom. Our forces will be strong enough to dissuade
potential adversaries from pursuing a military build-up in hopes
of surpassing, or equaling, the power of the United States.
Intelligenceand how we use itis our first line of
defense against terrorists and the threat posed by hostile states.
Designed around the priority of gathering enormous information
about a massive, fixed objectthe Soviet blocthe intelligence
community is coping with the challenge of following a far more
complex and elusive set of targets.
We must transform our intelligence capabilities and build new
ones to keep pace with the nature of these threats. Intelligence
must be appropriately integrated with our defense and law enforcement
systems and coordinated with our allies and friends.We need to
protect the capabilities we have so that we do not arm our enemies
with the knowledge of how best to surprise us. Those who would
harm us also seek the benefit of surprise to limit our prevention
and response options and to maximize injury.
We must strengthen intelligence warning and analysis to provide
integrated threat assessments for national and homeland security.
Since the threats inspired by foreign governments and groups may
be conducted inside the United States, we must also ensure the
proper fusion of information between intelligence and law enforcement.
Initiatives in this area will include:
- strengthening the authority of the Director of Central Intelligence
to lead the development and actions of the Nations foreign
- establishing a new framework for intelligence warning that
provides seamless and integrated warning across the spectrum
of threats facing the nation and our allies;
- continuing to develop new methods of collecting information
to sustain our intelligence advantage;
- investing in future capabilities while working to protect them
through a more vigorous effort to prevent the compromise of intelligence
- collecting intelligence against the terrorist danger across
the government with allsource analysis.
As the United States Government relies on the armed forces to
defend Americas interests, it must rely on diplomacy to interact
with other nations. We will ensure that the Department of State
receives funding sufficient to ensure the success of American diplomacy.
The State Department takes the lead in managing our bilateral relationships
with other governments. And in this new era, its people and institutions
must be able to interact equally adroitly with non-governmental
organizations and international institutions. Officials trained
mainly in international politics must also extend their reach to
understand complex issues of domestic governance around the world,
including public health, education, law enforcement, the judiciary,
and public diplomacy.
Our diplomats serve at the front line of complex negotiations,
civil wars, and other humanitarian catastrophes. As humanitarian
relief requirements are better understood, we must also be able
to help build police forces, court systems, and legal codes, local
and provincial government institutions, and electoral systems.
Effective international cooperation is needed to accomplish these
goals, backed by American readiness to play our part.
Just as our diplomatic institutions must adapt so that we can
reach out to others, we also need a different and more comprehensive
approach to public information efforts that can help people around
the world learn about and understand America. The war on terrorism
is not a clash of civilizations. It does, however, reveal the clash
inside a civilization, a battle for the future of the Muslim world.
This is a struggle of ideas and this is an area where America must
We will take the actions necessary to ensure that our efforts
to meet our global security commitments and protect Americans are
not impaired by the potential for investigations, inquiry, or prosecution
by the International Criminal Court (ICC), whose jurisdiction does
not extend to Americans and which we do not accept.We will work
together with other nations to avoid complications in our military
operations and cooperation, through such mechanisms as multilateral
and bilateral agreements that will protect U.S. nationals from
the ICC.We will implement fully the American Servicemembers Protection
Act, whose provisions are intended to ensure and enhance the protection
of U.S. personnel and officials.
We will make hard choices in the coming year and beyond to ensure
the right level and allocation of government spending on national
security. The United States Government must strengthen its defenses
to win this war. At home, our most important priority is to protect
the homeland for the American people.
Today, the distinction between domestic and foreign affairs is
diminishing. In a globalized world, events beyond Americas
borders have a greater impact inside them. Our society must be
open to people, ideas, and goods from across the globe. The characteristics
we most cherishour freedom, our cities, our systems of movement,
and modern lifeare vulnerable to terrorism. This vulnerability
will persist long after we bring to justice those responsible for
the September 11 attacks. As time passes, individuals may gain
access to means of destruction that until now could be wielded
only by armies, fleets, and squadrons. This is a new condition
of life.We will adjust to it and thrivein spite of it.
In exercising our leadership, we will respect the values, judgment,
and interests of our friends and partners. Still, we will be prepared
to act apart when our interests and unique responsibilities require.When
we disagree on particulars, we will explain forthrightly the grounds
for our concerns and strive to forge viable alternatives.We will
not allow such disagreements to obscure our determination to secure
together, with our allies and our friends, our shared fundamental
interests and values.
Ultimately, the foundation of American strength is at home. It
is in the skills of our people, the dynamism of our economy, and
the resilience of our institutions. A diverse, modern society has
inherent, ambitious, entrepreneurial energy. Our strength comes
from what we do with that energy. That is where our national security
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