America is at war. This is a wartime national security strategy required by the grave challenge we face – the rise of terrorism fueled by an aggressive ideology of hatred and murder, fully revealed to the American people on September 11, 2001. This strategy reflects our most solemn obligation: to protect the security of the American people.
America also has an unprecedented opportunity to lay the foundations for future peace. The ideals that have inspired our history – freedom, democracy, and human dignity – are increasingly inspiring individuals and nations throughout the world. And because free nations tend toward peace, the advance of liberty will make America more secure.
These inseparable priorities – fighting and winning the war on terror and promoting freedom as the alternative to tyranny and despair – have now guided American policy for more than 4 years.
We have kept on the offensive against terrorist networks, leaving our enemy weakened, but not yet defeated.
We have joined with the Afghan people to bring down the Taliban regime – the protectors of the al-Qaida network – and aided a new, democratic government to rise in its place.
We have focused the attention of the world on the proliferation of dangerous weapons – although great challenges in this area remain.
We have stood for the spread of democracy in the broader Middle East – meeting challenges yet seeing progress few would have predicted or expected.
We have cultivated stable and cooperative relations with all the major powers of the world.
We have dramatically expanded our efforts to encourage economic development and the hope it brings – and focused these efforts on the promotion of reform and achievement of results.
We led an international coalition to topple the dictator of Iraq, who had brutalized his own people, terrorized his region, defied the international community, and sought and used weapons of mass destruction.
And we are fighting alongside Iraqis to secure a united, stable, and democratic Iraq – a new ally in the war on terror in the heart of the Middle East.
We have seen great accomplishments, confronted new challenges, and refined our approach as conditions changed. We have also found that the defense of freedom brings us loss and sorrow, because freedom has determined enemies. We have always known that the war on terror would require great sacrifice – and in this war, we have said farewell to some very good men and women. The terrorists have used dramatic acts of murder – from the streets of Fallujah to the
subways of London — in an attempt to undermine our will. The struggle against this enemy — an enemy that targets the innocent without conscience or hesitation — has been difficult. And our work is far from over.
America now faces a choice between the path of fear and the path of confidence. The path of fear — isolationism and protectionism, retreat and retrenchment — appeals to those who find our challenges too great and fail to see our opportunities. Yet history teaches that every time American leaders have taken this path, the challenges have only increased and the missed opportunities have left future generations less secure.
This Administration has chosen the path of confidence. We choose leadership over isolationism, and the pursuit of free and fair trade and open markets over protectionism. We choose to deal with challenges now rather than leaving them for future generations. We fight our enemies abroad instead of waiting for them to arrive in our country. We seek to shape the world, not merely be shaped by it; to influence events for the better instead of being at their mercy.
The path we have chosen is consistent with the great tradition of American foreign policy. Like the policies of Harry Truman and Ronald Reagan, our approach is idealistic about our national goals, and realistic about the means to achieve them.
To follow this path, we must maintain and expand our national strength so we can deal with threats and challenges before they can damage our people or our interests. We must maintain a military without peer — yet our strength is not founded on force of arms alone. It also rests on economic prosperity and a vibrant democracy. And it rests on strong alliances, friendships, and international institutions, which enable us to promote freedom, prosperity, and peace in common purpose with others.
Our national security strategy is founded upon two pillars:
The first pillar is promoting freedom, justice, and human dignity working to end tyranny, to promote effective democracies, and to extend prosperity through free and fair trade and wise development policies. Free governments are accountable to their people, govern their territory effectively, and pursue economic and political policies that benefit their citizens. Free governments do not oppress their people or attack other free nations. Peace and international stability are most reliably built on a foundation of freedom.
The second pillar of our strategy is confronting the challenges of our time by leading a growing community of democracies. Many of the problems we face — from the threat of pandemic disease, to proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, to terrorism, to human trafficking, to natural disasters — reach across borders. Effective multinational efforts are essential to solve these problems. Yet history has shown that only when we do our part will others do theirs. America must continue to lead.
GEORGE W . BUSH
THE WHITE HOUSE March 16, 2006
National Security Strategy iii
ABLE OF CONTENTS
Overview of America’s National Security Strategy 1
Champion Aspirations for Human Dignity 2
Strengthen Alliances to Defeat Global Terrorism and Work to Prevent Attacks
Ignite a New Era of Global Economic Growth through Free Markets and Free Trade 25
Expand the Circle of Development by Opening Societies and Building the Infrastructure of Democracy 31
Develop Agendas for Cooperative Action with the Other Main Centers of Global Power 35
Transform America’s National Security Institutions to Meet the Challenges and
Opportunities of the 21st Century 43
Engage the Opportunities and Confront the Challenges of Globalization 47
I. Overview of America’s National Security Strategy I
National Security Strategy 1 t is the policy of the United States to seek and support democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world. In the world today, the fundamental character of regimes matters as much as the distribution of power among them. The goal of our statecraft is to help create a world of democratic, well-governed states that can meet the needs of their citizens and conduct themselves responsibly in the international system. This is the best way to provide enduring security for the American people.
Achieving this goal is the work of generations. The United States is in the early years of a long struggle, similar to what our country faced in the early years of the Cold War. The 20th century witnessed the triumph of freedom over the threats of fascism and communism. Yet a new totalitarian ideology now threatens, an ideology grounded not in secular philosophy but in the perversion of a proud religion. Its content may be different from the ideologies of the last century, but its means are similar: intolerance, murder, terror, enslavement, and repression.
Like those who came before us, we must lay the foundations and build the institutions that our country needs to meet the challenges we face. The chapters that follow will focus on several essential tasks. The United States must:
Champion aspirations for human dignity;
Strengthen alliances to defeat global terrorism and work to prevent attacks against us and our friends;
Work with others to defuse regional conflicts;
Prevent our enemies from threatening us, our allies, and our friends with weapons of mass destruction (WMD);
Ignite a new era of global economic growth through free markets and free trade;
Expand the circle of development by opening societies and building the infrastructure of democracy;
Develop agendas for cooperative action with other main centers of global power;
Transform America’s national security institutions to meet the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century; and
Engage the opportunities and confront the challenges of globalization.
The United States must defend liberty and justice because these principles are right and true for all people everywhere. These nonnegotiable demands of human dignity are protected most securely in democracies. The United States Government will work to advance human dignity in word and deed, speaking out for freedom and against violations of human rights and allocating appropriate resources to advance these ideals.
Successes and Challenges since 2002
Since 2002, the world has seen extraordinary progress in the expansion of freedom, democracy, and human dignity:
The peoples of Afghanistan and Iraq have replaced tyrannies with democracies.
In Afghanistan, the tyranny of the Taliban has been replaced by a freely-elected government; Afghans have written and ratified a constitution guaranteeing rights and freedoms unprecedented in their history; and an elected legislature gives the people a regular voice in their government.
In Iraq, a tyrant has been toppled; over 8 million Iraqis voted in the nation’s first free and fair election; a freely negotiated constitution was passed by a referendum in which almost 10 million Iraqis participated; and, for the first time in their history, nearly 12 million Iraqis have elected a permanent government under a popularly determined constitution.
The people of Lebanon have rejected the heavy hand of foreign rule. The people of Egypt have experienced more open but still flawed elections. Saudi Arabia has taken some preliminary steps to give its citizens more of a voice in their government. Jordan has made progress in opening its political process. Kuwait and Morocco are pursuing agendas of political reform.
The “color revolutions” in Georgia, Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan have brought new hope for freedom across the Eurasian landmass.
Democracy has made further advances in Africa, Latin America, and Asia, with peaceful transfers of power; growth in independent judiciaries and the rule of law; improved election practices; and expanding political and economic rights.
The human desire for freedom is universal, but the growth of freedom is not inevitable. Without support from free nations, freedom’s spread could be hampered by the challenges we face:
National Security Strategy 3 any governments are at fragile stages of political development and need to consolidate democratic institutions – and leaders that have won democratic elections need to uphold the principles of democracy;
Some governments have regressed, eroding the democratic freedoms their peoples enjoy;
Some governments have not delivered the benefits of effective democracy and prosperity to their citizens, leaving them susceptible to or taken over by demagogues peddling an anti-free market authoritarianism;
Some regimes seek to separate economic liberty from political liberty, pursuing prosperity while denying their people basic rights and freedoms; and
Tyranny persists in its harshest form in a number of nations. C. The Way Ahead
The United States has long championed freedom because doing so reflects our values and advances our interests. It reflects our values because we believe the desire for freedom lives in every human heart and the imperative of human dignity transcends all nations and cultures.
Championing freedom advances our interests because the survival of liberty at home increasingly depends on the success of liberty abroad. Governments that honor their citizens’ dignity and desire for freedom tend to uphold responsible conduct toward other nations, while governments that brutalize their people also threaten the peace and stability of other nations. Because democracies are the most responsible members of the international system, promoting democracy is the most effective long-term measure for strengthening international stability; reducing regional conflicts; countering terrorism and terror-supporting extremism; and extending peace and prosperity.
To protect our Nation and honor our values, the United States seeks to extend freedom across the globe by leading an international effort to end tyranny and to promote effective democracy.
1. Explaining the Goal: Ending Tyranny
Tyranny is the combination of brutality, poverty, instability, corruption, and suffering, forged under the rule of despots and despotic systems. People living in nations such as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Iran, Syria, Cuba, Belarus, Burma, and Zimbabwe know firsthand the meaning of tyranny; it is the bleak reality they endure every day. And the nations they border know the consequences of tyranny as well, for the misrule of tyrants at home leads to instability abroad. All tyrannies threaten the world’s interest in freedom’s expansion, and some tyrannies, in their pursuit of WMD or sponsorship of terrorism, threaten our immediate security interests as well.
4 National Security Strategy yranny is not inevitable, and recent history reveals the arc of the tyrant’s fate. The 20th century has been called the “Democracy Century,” as tyrannies fell one by one and democracies rose in their stead. At mid-century about two dozen of the world’s governments were democratic; 50 years later this number was over 120. The democratic revolution has embraced all cultures and all continents.
Though tyranny has few advocates, it needs more adversaries. In today’s world, no tyrant’s rule can survive without the support or at least the tolerance of other nations. To end tyranny we must summon the collective outrage of the free world against the oppression, abuse, and impoverishment that tyrannical regimes inflict on their people – and summon their collective action against the dangers tyrants pose to the security of the world.
An end to tyranny will not mark an end to all global ills. Disputes, disease, disorder, poverty, and injustice will outlast tyranny, confronting democracies long after the last tyrant has fallen. Yet tyranny must not be tolerated – it is a crime of man, not a fact of nature.
2. Explaining the Goal: Promoting Effective Democracies
As tyrannies give way, we must help newly free nations build effective democracies: states that are respectful of human dignity, accountable to their citizens, and responsible towards their neighbors. Effective democracies:
Honor and uphold basic human rights, including freedom of religion, conscience, speech, assembly, association, and press;
Are responsive to their citizens, submitting to the will of the people, especially when people vote to change their government;
Exercise effective sovereignty and maintain order within their own borders, protect independent and impartial systems of justice, punish crime, embrace the rule of law, and resist corruption; and
Limit the reach of government, protecting the institutions of civil society, including the family, religious communities, voluntary associations, private property, independent business, and a market economy.
In effective democracies, freedom is indivisible. Political, religious, and economic liberty advance together and reinforce each other. Some regimes have opened their economies while trying to restrict political or religious freedoms. This will not work. Over time, as people gain control over their economic lives, they will insist on more control over their political and personal lives as well. Yet political progress can be jeopardized if economic progress does not keep pace. We will harness the tools of economic assistance, development aid, trade, and good governance to help ensure that new democracies are not burdened with economic stagnation or endemic corruption.
National Security Strategy 5
lections are the most visible sign of a free society and can play a critical role in advancing effective democracy. But elections alone are not enough – they must be reinforced by other values, rights, and institutions to bring about lasting freedom. Our goal is human liberty protected by democratic institutions.
Participation in elections by individuals or parties must include their commitment to the equality of all citizens; minority rights; civil liberties; voluntary and peaceful transfer of power; and the peaceful resolution of differences. Effective democracy also requires institutions that can protect individual liberty and ensure that the government is responsive and accountable to its citizens. There must be an independent media to inform the public and facilitate the free exchange of ideas. There must be political associations and political parties that can freely compete. Rule of law must be reinforced by an independent judiciary, a professional legal establishment, and an honest and competent police force.
These principles are tested by the victory of Hamas candidates in the recent elections in the Palestinian territories. The Palestinian people voted in a process that was free, fair, and inclusive.
The Palestinian people having made their choice at the polls, the burden now shifts to those whom they have elected to take the steps necessary to advance peace, prosperity, and statehood for the Palestinian people. Hamas has been designated as a terrorist organization by the United States and European Union (EU) because it has embraced terrorism and deliberately killed innocent civilians. The international community has made clear that there is a fundamental contradiction between armed group and militia activities and the building of a democratic state. The international community has also made clear that a two-state solution to the conflict requires all participants in the democratic process to renounce violence and terror, accept Israel’s right to exist, and disarm as outlined in the Roadmap. These requirements are clear, firm, and of long standing. The opportunity for peace and statehood – a consistent goal of this Administration – is open if Hamas will abandon its terrorist roots and change its relationship with Israel.
The elected Hamas representatives also have an opportunity and a responsibility to uphold the principles of democratic government, including protection of minority rights and basic freedoms and a commitment to a recurring, free, and fair electoral process. By respecting these principles, the new Palestinian leaders can demonstrate their own commitment to freedom and help bring a lasting democracy to the Palestinian territories. But any elected government that refuses to honor these principles cannot be considered fully democratic, however it may have taken office.
3. How We Will Advance Freedom: Principled in Goals and Pragmatic in Means
We have a responsibility to promote human freedom. Yet freedom cannot be imposed; it must be chosen. The form that freedom and democracy take in any land will reflect the history, culture, and habits unique to its people.
6 National Security Strategy he United States will stand with and support advocates of freedom in every land. Though our principles are consistent, our tactics will vary. They will reflect, in part, where each government is on the path from tyranny to democracy. In some cases, we will take vocal and visible steps on behalf of immediate change. In other cases, we will lend more quiet support to lay the foundation for future reforms. As we consider which approaches to take, we will be guided by what will most effectively advance freedom’s cause while we balance other interests that are also vital to the security and well-being of the American people.
In the cause of ending tyranny and promoting effective democracy, we will employ the full array of political, economic, diplomatic, and other tools at our disposal, including:
Speaking out against abuses of human rights;
Supporting publicly democratic reformers in repressive nations, including by holding high-level meetings with them at the White House, Department of State, and U. S. Embassies;
Using foreign assistance to support the development of free and fair elections, rule of
law, civil society, human rights, women’s rights, free media, and religious freedom;
Tailoring assistance and training of military forces to support civilian control of the military and military respect for human rights in a democratic society;
Applying sanctions that designed to target those who rule oppressive regimes while sparing the people;
Encouraging other nations not to support oppressive regimes;
Partnering with other democratic nations to promote freedom, democracy, and human rights in specific countries and regions;
Strengthening and building new initiatives such as the Broader Middle East and North Africa Initiative’s Foundation for the Future, the Community of Democracies, and the United Nations Democracy Fund;
Forming creative partnerships with nongovernmental organizations and other civil society voices to support and reinforce their work;
Working with existing international institutions such as the United Nations and regional organizations such as the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the African Union (AU), and the Organization of American States (OAS) to help implement their democratic commitments, and helping establish democracy charters in regions that lack them;
National Security Strategy 7 upporting condemnation in multilateral institutions of egregious violations of human rights and freedoms;
Encouraging foreign direct investment in and foreign assistance to countries where there is a commitment to the rule of law, fighting corruption, and democratic accountability; and
Concluding free trade agreements (FTAs) that encourage countries to enhance the rule of law, fight corruption, and further democratic accountability.
These tools must be used vigorously to protect the freedoms that face particular peril around the world: religious freedom, women’s rights, and freedom for men, women, and children caught in the cruel network of human trafficking.
Against a terrorist enemy that is defined by religious intolerance, we defend the First Freedom: the right of people to believe and worship according to the dictates of their own conscience, free from the coercion of the state, the coercion of the majority, or the coercion of a minority that wants to dictate what others must believe.
No nation can be free if half its population is oppressed and denied fundamental rights. We affirm the inherent dignity and worth of women, and support vigorously their full participation in all aspects of society.
Trafficking in persons is a form of modern-day slavery, and we strive for its total
abolition. Future generations will not excuse those who turn a blind eye to it.
Our commitment to the promotion of freedom is a commitment to walk alongside governments and their people as they make the difficult transition to effective democracies. We will not abandon them before the transition is secure because immature democracies can be prone to conflict and vulnerable to exploitation by terrorists. We will not let the challenges of democratic transitions frighten us into clinging to the illusory stability of the authoritarian.
America’s closest alliances and friendships are with countries with whom we share common values and principles. The more countries demonstrate that they treat their own citizens with respect and are committed to democratic principles, the closer and stronger their relationship with America is likely to be.
The United States will lead and calls on other nations to join us in a common international effort. All free nations have a responsibility to stand together for freedom because all free nations share an interest in freedom’s advance.