US President Donald Trump outlines his administration's National Security Strategy. Picture: AFP/Saul Loeb
US President Donald Trump outlines his administration's National Security Strategy. Picture: AFP/Saul Loeb

Trump names America’s biggest threats

DONALD Trump has identified China and Russia as America's greatest rivals as he laid out his "America first" national security strategy.

In his speech, the US President pitted China and Russia against the US in what he said was a dangerous and hyper-competitive age.

"Whether we like it or not, we are engaged in a new era of competition," Mr Trump said.

"We accept that vigorous military, economic and political contests are now playing out all around the world.

"We also face rival powers, Russia and China, that seek to challenge American influence, values and wealth."

US President Donald Trump stuck to the script for much of the speech. Picture: AFP/Saul Loeb
US President Donald Trump stuck to the script for much of the speech. Picture: AFP/Saul Loeb

The official national security strategy, released this morning, says that the two nations are "revisionist powers" that use technology, propaganda and coercion to shape a world opposed to US interests and values.

"They are determined to make economies less free and less fair, to grow their militaries, and to control information and data to repress their societies and expand their influence," the strategy said.

"China, Russia and other state and nonstate actors recognise that the United States often views the world in binary terms, with states being either 'at peace' or 'at war', when it is actually an arena of continuous competition."

Mr Trump did not, however, make any mention of Russia's meddling in last year's US election in his speech.

Donald Trump takes a sip of water while speaking about his national security strategy. Picture: AFP/Mandel Ngan
Donald Trump takes a sip of water while speaking about his national security strategy. Picture: AFP/Mandel Ngan

While identifying the risks these nations posed, he also promoted building a "great partnership" with them while protecting US interests.

"While we seek such opportunities of co-operation, we will stand up for ourselves and we will stand up for our country like we have never stood up before," Mr Trump said.

"Our rivals are tough and tenacious and committed to the long term, but so are we.

"To succeed, we must integrate every dimension of our national strength and we must compete with every instrument of our national power.

"America is in the game and America is going to win."

US President Donald Trump arrives on stage to speak on his national security strategy. Picture: AFP/Mandel Ngan
US President Donald Trump arrives on stage to speak on his national security strategy. Picture: AFP/Mandel Ngan

Mr Trump outlined four "pillars" of his strategy:

• Protecting the homeland, the American people and American way of life, which calls for stronger borders and fighting Islamic terrorism.

Promoting American prosperity, which argues that a strong economy makes America secure.

Preserving peace through strength, which calls for the "massive" build-up of the US military and a "multi-layered" missile defence shield.

Advancing American influence, which aims to restore America's place as a world leader.

The speech was a kind of greatest-hits summation of his "Make America Great Again" agenda, pushing the need for the Mexico border wall, tax cuts, economic growth and a stronger military.

"We recognise that weakness is the surest path to conflict and unrivalled power is the most certain means of defence," the President said.

He stressed that the American people were now driving the agenda, saying they had "become the rulers of their nation again".

Mr Trump also spent a large part of the speech ripping into past presidents and politicians for a litany of failures.

"For many years, our citizens watched as Washington politicians presided over one disappointment after another," Mr Trump said.

"Our leaders engaged in nation-building abroad while they failed to build up and replenish our nation at home.

"They undercut and short-changed our men and women in uniform with inadequate resources, unstable funding and unclear missions.

"They failed to insist that our often very wealthy allies pay their fair share for defence, putting a massive and unfair burden on the US taxpayer and our great US military.

"They neglected a nuclear menace in North Korea, made a disastrous, weak and incomprehensibly bad deal with Iran and allowed terrorists such as ISIS (Islamic State) to gain control of vast parts of territory all across the Middle East."

Donald Trump walks off stage after delivering his speech. Picture: Mark Wilson/Getty Images/AFP
Donald Trump walks off stage after delivering his speech. Picture: Mark Wilson/Getty Images/AFP

Mr Trump said confidence had returned under his leadership and America's place in the world had been restored.

"I am proud to report that the entire world has heard the news and has already seen the signs: America's coming back and America is coming back strong," he said.

He said "almost 100 per cent" of Islamic State's land in Syria and Iraq had been reclaimed and that the US had helped impose the "toughest ever" sanctions on North Korea.

"This situation should have been taken care of long before I came into office when it was much easier to handle but it will be taken care of. We have no choice," he said of the rogue nation.

AUSTRALIA'S ROLE IN US SECURITY

Australia is mentioned three times in Mr Trump's national security strategy, identifying us as important in ensuring stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

"Australia has fought alongside us in every significant conflict since World War I, and continues to reinforce economic and security arrangements that support our shared interests and safeguard democratic values across the region," the document stated.

The US identified its interest in increasing co-operation with Australia.

"Working with Australia and New Zealand, we will shore up fragile partner states in the Pacific Islands region to reduce their vulnerability to economic fluctuations and natural disasters," the report said.



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