National Security Strategy: New at Reason

There is always reason to hope, but the evidence suggests President Trump's first National Security Statement isn't likely to steer the United States away from its modern history of ill-advised military adventures, Bonnie Kristian writes.

President Trump's first year in office has seen little in the way of foreign affairs innovation, unless we count his escalation of the status quo of his recent predecessors. The president's policy strength is asking good questions rather than providing good answers. It's a safe assumption this NSS will not repudiate the Trump team's record so far.

Until that expectation is fulfilled, let's speculate a little about what the NSS is likely to be, and how it could still be made better. The plan has four broad themes, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster explained at the Ronald Reagan National Defense Forum in California this past weekend: "protecting our homeland, advancing American prosperity, preserving peace through strength … and finally enhancing American influence."

McMaster declined to outline what those bromides mean, other than suggesting a continuation of what military historian Ret. Col. Andrew Bacevich has aptly labeled a "pattern of promiscuous intervention." In the last decade and a half, U.S. troops and taxpayers have paid a high price for that pattern.

View this article.