Trump's Nat'l Security Strategy emphasizes countering Iran, N. Korea

(MENAFN- Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) WASHINGTON, Dec 18 (KUNA) -- Eleven months after entering the White House, President Donald Trump on Monday released his 2017 National Security Strategy.

Through this strategy the US administration is "rallying the world against the rogue regime in North Korea and confronting the danger posed by the dictatorship in Iran, which those determined to pursue a flawed nuclear deal had neglected.

"We have renewed our friendships in the Middle East and partnered with regional leaders to help drive out terrorists and extremists, cut off their financing and discredit their wicked ideology," Trump said in the introduction to the strategy, which was released by the White House.

Trump was scheduled to speak on the report later in the afternoon.

"We crushed Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorists on the battlefields of Syria and Iraq, and will continue pursuing them until they are destroyed," he said, referring to the so-called Islamic State.

"America's allies are now contributing more to our common defense, strengthening even our strongest alliances," he said. "We have also continued to make clear that the United States will no longer tolerate economic aggression or unfair trading practices." The White House said the strategy identifies four vital national interests as "protect the homeland, the American people and American way of life; promote American prosperity; preserve peace through strength; and advance American influence." The strategy addresses key challenges and trends that affect US standing in the world, the White House said.

It includes "revisionist powers, such as China and Russia, that use technology, propaganda and coercion to shape a world antithetical to our interests and values; regional dictators that spread terror, threaten their neighbors and pursue weapons of mass destruction.

"Jihadist terrorists that foment hatred to incite violence against innocents in the name of a wicked ideology; and transnational criminal organizations that spill drugs and violence into our communities." In the section of the strategy on the Middle East, the document says the US "will strengthen partnerships, and form new ones, to help advance security through stability.

"Whenever possible, we will encourage gradual reforms," the strategy says.

"We will support efforts to counter violent ideologies and increase respect for the dignity of individuals. We remain committed to helping our partners achieve a stable and prosperous region, including through a strong and integrated Gulf Cooperation Council." "We will strengthen our long-term strategic partnership with Iraq as an independent state," it says. "We will seek a settlement to the Syrian civil war that sets the conditions for refugees to return home and rebuild their lives in safety." "We will work with partners to deny the Iranian regime all paths to a nuclear weapon and neutralize Iranian malign influence," it says.

"We remain committed to helping facilitate a comprehensive peace agreement that is acceptable to both Israelis and Palestinians," it says.

"The United States will support the reforms under way that begin to address core inequities that jihadist terrorists exploit," the strategy said.

"We will encourage states in the region, including Egypt and Saudi Arabia, to continue modernizing their economies. We will play a role in catalyzing positive developments by engaging economically, supporting reformers and championing the benefits of open markets and societies." "We will retain the necessary American military presence in the region to protect the United States and our allies from terrorist attacks and preserve a favorable regional balance of power," the strategy says.

"We will assist regional partners in strengthening their institutions and capabilities, including in law enforcement, to conduct counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency efforts." "We will help partners procure inter-operable missile defense and other capabilities to better defend against active missile threats," it says.

"We will work with partners to neutralize Iran's malign activities in the region." (end) rm.ibi


Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)

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