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News > New security strategy touts partnership efforts
New security strategy touts partnership efforts

Posted 6/21/2010   Updated 6/21/2010 Email story   Print story


by Air Force Lt. Col. Ellen Krenke
National Guard Bureau

6/21/2010 - WASHINGTON -- Military-to-military contacts are a "critical component" of global engagement and support our nation's security, according to the new National Security Strategy presented to Congress May 27.

"Our ability to sustain these alliances, and to build coalitions of support toward common objectives, depends in part on the capabilities of America's Armed Forces," the strategy states.

The National Guard's State Partnership Program facilitates many of these military-to-military activities. Currently, there are 62 partnerships around the world with the most recent being added in Africa.

"We have to have the vision to engage those countries that can, or may be, influenced by those looking to exert control over them," Air Force Gen. Craig R. McKinley, chief of the National Guard Bureau told SPP workshop participants earlier this year. "Through state partnerships we can reach out and assist those nations in averting that influence."

President Barack Obama's national security advisor James L. Jones Jr. said during a news conference here at the Foreign Press Center on May 27 that engaging with allies is key to the strategy.

He added that Obama has stressed that no one nation can solve the problems of the world.

"We will pursue comprehensive engagement around the world," Jones said. "We will strengthen old alliances, we will build new partnerships with emerging centers of influence in every region, and we will push for institutions that are more capable of responding to the challenges of our time."

To prevent attacks on the homeland, the strategy calls for the combined efforts of intelligence, law enforcement and homeland security capabilities.

"We will continue to integrate and leverage state and major urban area fusion centers that have the capability to share classified information; establish a nationwide framework for reporting suspicious activity; and implement an integrated approach to our counterterrorism information systems," the strategy states.

This approach, according to the strategy will "ensure that the analysts, agents, and officers who protect us have access to all relevant intelligence throughout the government."

The strategy also suggests that information sharing is improving across local, state and federal channels.

Coordination is also improving with the help of foreign partners "to identify, track, limit access to funding, and prevent terrorist travel," the strategy states.

To keep Americans safe and secure at home, the U.S. government wants to reduce vulnerabilities in critical infrastructure and at our borders, ports and airports and to enhance transportation and space and cyber security.

"Building on this foundation, we recognize that the global systems that carry people, goods, and data around the globe also facilitate the movement of dangerous people, goods, and data," the strategy states.

The U.S. government is also building on its capability to prepare for disasters.

"To improve our preparedness, we are integrating domestic all hazards planning at all levels of government and building key capabilities to respond to emergencies," the strategy states adding that communication systems must be improved for first responders.

The strategy also calls for more "realistic" exercises that will continually test and improve disaster plans.

Finally, Obama said in his foreword, the strategy is based on American beliefs and values.

"Our long-term security will come not from our ability to instill fear in other peoples, but through our capacity to speak to their hopes," he said.
"And that work will best be done through the power of the decency and dignity of the American people -- our troops and diplomats, but also our private sector, nongovernmental organizations and citizens. All of us have a role to play."

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