I. Overview of America's International Strategy
"Our Nation's cause has always been larger than our Nation's defense.
We fight, as we always fight, for a just peace—a peace that favors liberty.
We will defend the peace against the threats from terrorists and tyrants.
We will preserve the peace by building good relations among the great powers.
And we will extend the peace by encouraging free and open societies on every
West Point, New York
June 1, 2002
The United States possesses unprecedented—
and unequaled—strength and influence in the
world. Sustained by faith in the principles of
liberty, and the value of a free society, this position
comes with unparalleled responsibilities, obligations,
and opportunity. The great strength of this
nation must be used to promote a balance of
power that favors freedom.
For most of the twentieth century, the world
was divided by a great struggle over ideas: destructive
totalitarian visions versus freedom and equality.
That great struggle is over. The militant visions
of class, nation, and race which promised utopia
and delivered misery have been defeated and
discredited. America is now threatened less by
conquering states than we are by failing ones.
We are menaced less by fleets and armies than by
catastrophic technologies in the hands of the
embittered few.We must defeat these threats to
our Nation, allies, and friends.
This is also a time of opportunity for America.
We will work to translate this moment of influence
into decades of peace, prosperity, and liberty.
The U.S. national security strategy will be based
on a distinctly American internationalism that
reflects the union of our values and our national
interests. The aim of this strategy is to help make
the world not just safer but better. Our goals on
the path to progress are clear: political and
economic freedom, peaceful relations with other
states, and respect for human dignity.
And this path is not America’s alone. It is open
To achieve these goals, the United States will:
- 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
- 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; and
- transform America’s national security
institutions to meet the challenges and
opportunities of the twenty-first century.
Table of Contents