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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release May 15, 1997


A National Security Strategy for a New Century

Today the President forwarded the 1997 National Security Strategy Report, A National Security Strategy for a New Century, to Congress, as required by the Goldwater-Nichols Defense Department Reorganization Act of 1986. The report outlines President Clinton's vision for America's role in the world and details the Administration's main international priorities. As outlined in the 1997 State of the Union Address, President Clinton is advancing the security and prosperity of the American people by building the institutions and understandings that will help secure America's interest into the 21st century. The President's strategy includes:

Fostering a peaceful, undivided, democratic Europe

Forging a strong and stable Asia Pacific community

Building a new, open trading system for the twenty-first century

Keeping America the world's leading force for peace

        Increasing cooperation in confronting security threats that
        disregard national borders 

        Strengthening the diplomatic and military tools required to
        address these challenges

Central to the President's national security strategy is the importance of US engagement in world affairs and the crucial leadership responsibilities America has as the world's indispensable nation. In the strategy report's preface, the President stresses the importance of America's leadership in harnessing the global forces of integration to further shape existing security, economic and political institutions and further the interests of the American people.

The Defense Department's Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), to be unveiled on May 19, was developed in parallel with and draws on the 1997 National Security Strategy Report. Both reports emphasize the need to shape the international environment to prevent or deter threats; to maintain an ability to respond across the full spectrum of potential crises, up to and including fighting and winning major theater wars; and to prepare today to meet the challenges of tomorrow's uncertain future. In addition, the 1997 National Security Strategy Report and the QDR stress the need to retain an ability to fight two regional wars nearly simultaneously.

This is the Clinton Administration's fourth National Security Strategy Report.

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