Brent Scowcroft Center Assistant Director Alex Ward writes for the National Interest on President Obama’s second and final National Security Strategy and what it means for the United States to be a superpartner instead of a superpower:
President Obama’s second and final National Security Strategy was released on Friday, setting the course for the administration’s last two years. Where it lacked in prescribing remedies for the world’s ills, it was strong in describing the current state of the global order. In essence, the strategy document outlined a world where power is diffusing from states to individuals and other non-state actors; where change is outpacing the ability to plan comprehensively; and where transitions in leadership within regions and among them is always altering.
But then the analysis breaks down into the usual, old-school ways of strategic thinking, looking for ways to improve our “security,” “prosperity,” “values,” and “international order.” While these are important, this is not the way twenty-first century America should be thinking about twenty-first century problems. And since the NSS aims to define “how” we lead instead of “if” we should lead, there’s an urgent need to chart a new course to deal with the new world as effectively and efficiently as possible.