McMaster previews new national security strategy ahead of next week's official release

President Donald Trump will officially debut the strategy next week.

The strategy, McMaster said, will prioritize four “vital national interests,” the lenses through which the administration views national security challenges. Those four areas include protecting the homeland and American people, advancing American prosperity, preserving peace through strength, and advancing American influence.

“Geopolitics are back, and back with a vengeance, after this holiday from history we took in the so-called post-Cold War period,” McMaster said.

McMaster described China’s economic aggression as a threat that is “challenging the rules-based economic order that helped lift hundreds of millions of people out of poverty,” and suggested the way to deal with these two threats was “competitive engagement.”

“We have to compete effectively across new domains,” he said. “I think in many ways we evacuated a lot of competitive space in recent years and created a lot of opportunities for those revisionist powers,” McMaster said.

This strategy of “competitive engagement” reflects the idea of American prosperity being a national security interest. “The U.S. and U.K. cannot serve as serve as a force for peace and stability in the world if we are not economically and fiscally secure,” McMaster said, suggesting re-negotiations of trade deals will be a major facet of the national security strategy.

McMaster outlined a few key phrases that could be used to sum up the new national security strategy, including “competitive engagement,” “strengthen alliances through, in part, reciprocity,” “catalyze reforms that are necessary,” “ensure the U.S. is confident,” and “preserve this world order that has lifted so many out of poverty and maintained this world order for 70 years.”

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