Carronade The Yankee Sailor Carronade

The Sea is a choosy mistress. She takes the men that come to her and weighs them and measures them. The ones she adores, she keeps; the ones she hates, she destroys. The rest she casts back to land. I count myself among the adored, for I am Her willing Captive.

I've relocated to a new Yankee Sailor.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Draft National Security Strategy Released

The White House has released a draft update to the NSS, and here are the highlights, from the NYT:

  • It identifies Iran as the country likely to present the single greatest future challenge to the United States. The strategy document declares that American-led diplomacy to halt Iran's program to enrich nuclear fuel "must succeed if confrontation is to be avoided," a near final draft of the document says. But it carefully avoids spelling out what steps the United States might take if diplomacy fails, and it makes no such direct threat of confrontation with North Korea, which boasts that it has already developed nuclear weapons.
  • In a reflection of new challenges, the document also covers territory that the first strategy sidestepped, warning China, for example, against "old ways of thinking and acting" in its competition for energy resources. China's leaders, it says, are "expanding trade, but acting as if they can somehow 'lock up' energy supplies around the world or seek to direct markets rather than opening them up — as if they can follow a mercantilism borrowed from a discredited era."
  • In a reflection of growing tensions between Washington and Moscow, the administration also expresses deep worry that Russia is falling off the path to democracy that Mr. Bush spent much of his first term celebrating. "Recent trends regrettably point toward a diminishing commitment to democratic freedoms and institutions," the document reads. In a much tougher tone than the 2002 document, it emphasizes that the future of the relationship with Russia "will depend on the policies, foreign and domestic, that Russia adopts."
  • But chief among the sections that remain unchanged is the most controversial section of the 2002 strategy: the elevation of pre-emptive strikes to a central part of United States strategy. "The world is better off if tyrants know that they pursue W.M.D. at their own peril," the strategy says. It acknowledges misjudgments about Iraq's weapons program that preceded the invasion three years ago, but it is clearly unwilling to give ground on that decision. The report notes that "there will always be some uncertainty about the status of hidden programs since proliferators are often brutal regimes that go to great lengths to conceal their activities."
  • Sections of the new document discuss at greater length the need to strengthen alliances, with specific references to supporting NATO and reforming the United Nations.