Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster, President Trump’s National Security Advisor, recently gave a speech to the Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi, California. His remarks, reported at defense.gov, drew parallels between the situations faced by President Reagan in the 1980s and President Trump today.
McMaster summarized Reagan’s challenges and achievements:
Confidence in the United States and the nation’s influence abroad were at a low point, McMaster said. “The Soviet Union appeared to be on the rise and America, it seemed, was in decline,” he said. “President Reagan ushered in a dramatic rethinking of America’s role in the world and a dramatic renewal of American confidence. America would not only triumph in the Cold War and beyond but reach a new height of influence and prosperity.”
“Today as we approach the unveiling of the Trump administration’s national security strategy, we are at a similar crossroads,” McMaster said.
McMaster went on to identify Russia and China as two major powers “advanc[ing] their own interests at the expense of the United States and its allies.” He also highlighted the threat of Iranian and North Korean involvement in terror and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
He suggested that handling these threats will require a rethinking of America’s strategy:
Using all instruments of national power is at the heart of the strategy. “President Reagan understood that diplomacy and military force were both important and equally vital tools for national power,” McMaster said. “President Trump is aligning diplomatic, economic, military, informational, intelligence and law enforcement efforts since the first days.”
In differentiating the Trump administration’s approach from that of other recent administrations, McMaster specifically cited U.S. strategy towards South Asia, saying that the U.S. “would no longer confuse activity with progress.” The U.S. will refocus its efforts on denying terrorists safe havens.
featured image courtesy of defense.gov