The Atlantic

A National-Security Strategy Devoid of Values

H.R. McMaster previewed the administration’s new plan on Tuesday, which offers a striking contrast to the visions of other recent presidents.
Source: Yuri Gripas / Reuters

The Trump administration unveils a National Security Strategy next week, but National-Security Adviser H.R. McMaster provided an advance glimpse of the plan on Tuesday.

A helpful way to understand where this still-new administration is leading is to compare McMaster’s bullet-pointed speech to the final Strategy documents released by two previous administrations, in 2015 and 2006, and note what is changing. McMaster spoke at a Washington conference hosted by Policy Exchange, a U.K. think tank that I chaired from 2014 until earlier this year. Granted, his short speech inevitably abridged the long-form document. Yet even allowing for that, the differences can be seen.

The Obama administration’s 2015 document addressed in some detail epidemics and climate change. The Bush administration committed the United States to supporting human dignity, opening societies, and supporting the building of democracy. The

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