Donald Trump frames Russia and China as ‘competitors’ in new America First security strategy

Donald Trump has outlined a new Cold War-style approach to US foreign policy by framing Russia and China as competitors and stressing the importance of nuclear weapons. 

The US president’s first national security strategy, published on Monday, chastised previous administrations for their “complacency” since the Soviet Union’s fall. 

It said American nuclear weapons were “the foundation of our strategy to preserve peace and stability” and called for new “significant investment”. 

The strategy document said Russia and China were trying to “challenge American power, influence and interests” and “erode American security and prosperity”. 

And it warned against “engagement” with rivals, saying the belief they could be turned into “benign actors and trustworthy partners" had been proved wrong. 

Climate change was also dropped as a national security concern – a change from Barack Obama’s presidency. 

Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, left, and Donald TrumpCredit:
AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Mr Trump said: "With the strategy I’m announcing today, we’re declaring that America is in the game and America is going to win."

The 56-page document – an attempt to gather Mr Trump’s campaign promises and policy beliefs into a coherent strategy – has been a year in the making. 

It is the first time the strategy, which every president is bound by law to produce, has been published within the first 12 months  of a new administration. 

At times, lines in the strategy clashed with Mr Trump’s own behaviour in office, leaving it unclear how closely the strategy will be followed. 

The strategy read: “Following the remarkable victory of free nations in the Cold War, America emerged as the lone superpower with enormous advantages and momentum in the world. 

“Success, however, bred complacency. A belief emerged, among many, that American power would be unchallenged and self– sustaining. 

Trump takes a drink of water with both hands as he speaks at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington

“The United States began to drift. We experienced a crisis of confidence and surrendered our advantages in key areas. 

“As we took our political, economic, and military advantages for granted, other actors steadily implemented their long-term plans to challenge America and to advance agendas opposed to the United States, our allies, and our partners.”

On rival countries, it read: “China and Russia challenge American power, influence, and interests, attempting to erode American security and prosperity. They are determined to make economies less free and less fair, to grow their militaries, and to control information and data to repress their societies and expand their influence.”

One section read: "Nuclear weapons have served a vital purpose in America’s National Security Strategy for the past 70 years. They are the foundation of our strategy to preserve peace and stability by deterring aggression against the United States, our allies, and our partners."

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