World naval developments Dec 2017

By Norman Friedman*
In mid-December the Administration issued its first National Security Strategy, titled America First but widely described as principled realism. Such annual documents are required under the 1986 Goldwater-Nichols Act. Typically they list goals without much effort to prioritize, and they are often disdained as poor reflections of actual policy. The title and the description place the new policy in the long history of U.S. security strategy, which reflects the struggle to reconcile national interest and ideology – the promotion of human rights and democracy as a primary factor in policy. With the defeat of the Soviet Union during the Cold War, the United States is the only truly ideological power in the world.

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