FACT SHEET: The Biden-Harris Administration’s National Security Strategy
President Biden’s National Security Strategy outlines how the United States will advance our vital interests and pursue a free, open, prosperous, and secure world. We will leverage all elements of our national power to outcompete our strategic competitors; tackle shared challenges; and shape the rules of the road.
The Strategy is rooted in our national interests: to protect the security of the American people, to expand economic opportunity, and to realize and defend the democratic values at the heart of the American way of life. In pursuit of these objectives, we will:
- Invest in the underlying sources and tools of American power and influence;
- Build the strongest possible coalition of nations to enhance our collective influence to shape the global strategic environment and to solve shared challenges; and
- Modernize and strengthen our military so it is equipped for the era of strategic competition.
COOPERATION IN THE AGE OF COMPETITION
In the early years of this decisive decade, the terms of geopolitical competition will be set while the window of opportunity to deal with shared challenges will narrow. We cannot compete successfully to shape the international order unless we have an affirmative plan to tackle shared challenges, and we cannot do that unless we recognize how heightened competition affects cooperation and act accordingly.
Strategic Competition. The most pressing strategic challenge we face as we pursue a free, open, prosperous, and secure world are from powers that layer authoritarian governance with a revisionist foreign policy.
- We will effectively compete with the People’s Republic of China, which is the only competitor with both the intent and, increasingly, the capability to reshape the international order, while constraining a dangerous Russia.
- Strategic competition is global, but we will avoid the temptation to view the world solely through a competitive lens, and engage countries on their own terms.
Shared Challenges. While this competition is underway, people all over the world are struggling to cope with the effects of shared challenges that cross borders—whether it is climate change, food insecurity, communicable diseases, or inflation. These shared challenges are not marginal issues that are secondary to geopolitics. They are at the very core of national and international security and must be treated as such.
- We are building the strongest and broadest coalition of nations to enhance our collective capacity to solve these challenges and deliver for the American people and those around the world.
- To preserve and increase international cooperation in an age of competition, we will pursue a dual-track approach. On one track, we will work with any country, including our competitors, willing to constructively address shared challenges within the rules-based international order and while working to strengthen international institutions. On the other track, we will deepen cooperation with democracies at the core of our coalition, creating a latticework of strong, resilient, and mutually reinforcing relationships that prove democracies can deliver for their people and the world.
INVESTING AT HOME
The Biden-Harris Administration has broken down the dividing line between domestic and foreign policy because our strength at home and abroad are inextricably linked. The challenges of our age, from strategic competition to climate change, require us to make investments that sharpen our competitive edge and bolster our resilience.
- Our democracy is at the core of who we are and is a continuous work in progress. Our system of government enshrines the rule of law and strives to protect the equality and dignity of all individuals. As we strive to live up to our ideals, to reckon with and remedy our shortcomings, we will inspire others around the world to do the same.
- We are complementing the innovative power of the private sector with a modern industrial strategy that makes strategic public investments in our workforce, strategic sectors, and supply chains, especially in critical and emerging technologies.
- A powerful U.S. military helps advance and safeguard vital U.S. national interests by backstopping diplomacy, confronting aggression, deterring conflict, projecting strength, and protecting the American people and their economic interests. We are modernizing our military, pursuing advanced technologies, and investing in our defense workforce to best position America to defend our homeland, our allies, partners, and interests overseas, and our values across the globe.
OUR ENDURING LEADERSHIP
The United States will continue to lead with strength and purpose, leveraging our national advantages and the power of our alliances and partnerships. We have a tradition of transforming both domestic and foreign challenges into opportunities to spur reform and rejuvenation at home. The idea that we should compete with major autocratic powers to shape the international order enjoys broad support that is bipartisan at home and deepening abroad.
- Our alliances and partnerships around the world are our most important strategic asset that we will deepen and modernize for the benefit of our national security.
- We place a premium on growing the connective tissue on technology, trade and security between our democratic allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific and Europe because we recognize that they are mutually reinforcing and the fates of the two regions are intertwined.
- We are charting new economic arrangements to deepen economic engagements with our partners and shaping the rules of the road to level the playing field and enable American workers and businesses—and those of partners and allies around the world—to thrive.
- As we deepen our partnerships around the world, we will look for more democracy, not less, to shape the future. We recognize that while autocracy is at its core brittle, democracy’s inherent capacity to transparently course-correct enables resilience and progress.
The United States is a global power with global interests; we are stronger in each region because of our engagement in the others. We are pursuing an affirmative agenda to advance peace and security and to promote prosperity in every region.
- As an Indo-Pacific power, the United States has a vital interest in realizing a region that is open, interconnected, prosperous, secure, and resilient. We are ambitious because we know that we and our allies and partners hold a common vision for the region’s future.
- With a relationship rooted in shared democratic values, common interests, and historic ties, the transatlantic relationship is a vital platform on which many other elements of our foreign policy are built. To effectively pursue a common global agenda, we are broadening and deepening the transatlantic bond.
- The Western Hemisphere directly impacts the United States more than any other region so we will continue to revive and deepen those partnerships to advance economic resilience, democratic stability, and citizen security.
- A more integrated Middle East that empowers our allies and partners will advance regional peace and prosperity, while reducing the resource demands the region makes on the United States over the long term.
- In Africa, the dynamism, innovation, and demographic growth of the region render it central to addressing complex global problems.