U.S. President Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster placed Russia and China in the same category as Iran, North Korea, and global jihadist organizations like the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) when describing the top homeland security threats facing the United States at the Reagan National Defense Forum over the weekend.
In describing the national security challenges Trump has inherited from previous administrations during the forum Saturday, the White House National Security Council (NSC) leader said:
Revisionist powers — Russia and China — are subverting the post-World II political, economic, and security orders to advance their own interests at our expense and at the expense of our allies.
The rogue regimes of Iran and North Korea are violating the sovereignty of their neighbors, pursuing weapons of mass destruction and exporting terror to other nations.
Jihadist terrorist organization’s such as ISIS threaten all civilized people in every corner of the world.
McMaster acknowledged that there is room for the United States to work with Russia and China, vis-à-vis Syria and North Korea, respectively.
In 2015, Russia deployed military troops to intervene on behalf of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, a move that has allowed the violent regime to remain in power to the dismay of the United States.
Meanwhile, McMaster acknowledged that China has “tremendous coercive economic power over North Korea.”
“I mean, you can’t shoot missiles without fuel,” he added.
In defiance of U.S. and international sanctions, North Korea has repeatedly test-launched intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) as part of dictator Kim Jong-un’s efforts to develop a long-range nuclear capability that threatens the United States.
McMaster identified Kim Jong-un’s nuclear ambitions as “the greatest immediate threat to the United States and to the world.”
During the event, McMaster said Trump finds himself “at a similar crossroads,” referring to conditions the United States and the world were in when President Ronald Reagan took office in 1981.
At the time, confidence in America and the United States’ influence overseas was at a low point, noted Trump’s adviser, adding:
The Soviet Union appeared to be on the rise and America, it seemed, was in decline. President Reagan ushered in a dramatic rethinking of America’s role in the world and a dramatic renewal of American confidence. America would not only triumph in the Cold War and beyond but reach a new height of influence and prosperity.
“As we approached the unveiling of the Trump’s administration’s national security strategy we are at a similar crossroads,” he also said, noting that Reagan signed the first national security strategy in 1987.
McMaster vowed that Trump’s national security strategy would allow the United States to reclaim its strategic confidence, suggesting that the country lost it under previous administrations.
Referring to China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, and global jihadist groups, McMaster declared:
These national security challenges also require a dramatic rethinking of American foreign policy of from previous decades. President Trump will soon unveil the details of his new strategy, but I can tell you now that it will focus on the protection our homeland, advancing American prosperity, preserving peace through strength … and finally enhancing American influence.
McMaster explained that the Trump administration is planning to regain its strategic confidence through understanding the complexities of four particular areas.
“First, the values that define our nation; second, the full instruments that define our power; third, the threats facing our nation; and fourth, the dynamic and competitive nature of our security environment,” he said.