President Obama Names 8 'Strategic Risks' to US Security

The White House revealed its first national security strategy since 2010.

It’s the first update to the policy since 2010, addressing a dramatically different international landscape than when Obama first took office.

The document puts emphasis on American leadership. The word, or a derivation of it, appears more than 90 times in the 29-page strategy paper -– references seen at least in part aimed at countering critics who have accused the administration of diminishing U.S. leadership globally.

At the same time, Obama lays out the case for a cautious approach to U.S. interventions in hot spots around the world, warning against a rush to “over reach” and knee-jerk calls for “military power.”

“The challenges we face require strategic patience and persistence,” Obama writes.

The passage drew criticism from some Republicans who have long argued for a more aggressive U.S. posture.

As for national security at home, Obama made clear he sees eight “strategic risks” to American interests:

  • Catastrophic attack on the U.S. homeland or critical infrastructure
  • Threats or attacks against U.S. citizens abroad and our allies
  • Global economic crisis or widespread economic slowdown
  • Proliferation and/or use of weapons of mass destruction
  • Severe global infectious disease outbreaks
  • Climate change
  • Major energy market disruptions
  • Significant security consequences associated with weak or failing states (including mass atrocities, regional spillover, and transnational organized crime)