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                     Office of the Press Secretary
                             (New York, NY)
For Immediate Release                                   October 30, 1998


1998 National Security Strategy Report

President Clinton has transmitted to Congress the 1998 National Security Strategy Report, as required annually by the Goldwater-Nichols Act. The report, entitled "A National Security Strategy for a New Century," outlines the President's vision for America's role in the world.

The core objectives of US strategy are to enhance our security, bolster our prosperity, and promote democracy and peace around the world. Central to achieving these aims is US engagement and leadership in world affairs, through a network of institutions and arrangements, active diplomacy and a strong military.

This year's report focuses particularly on two central challenges: meeting the persistent threat of international terrorism and crime and addressing the global financial crisis. It also reasserts the President's long-term vision for our role in regions around the world. Following are some of the report's highlights and recent steps America has taken to carry out our strategy:

The fight against terrorism and crime. The report describes the President's initiatives to protect Americans against the growing challenge of transnational threats: terrorism, organized crime and drug trafficking. This year we have strengthened government-wide efforts to address this challenge, with the naming of a National Coordinator to bring the full force of our resources to bear on terrorism; targeted efforts to protect against cyber-attacks and chemical and biological weapons; and a comprehensive plan to fight international crime. Our strategy also includes taking the battle directly to terrorists who attack our citizens -- as with our military strikes in the wake of the murders at our embassies in East Africa.

A strong global economy for the 21st Century. The report emphasizes America's profound interest in the health of the global economy to provide jobs and opportunity at home. It discusses our continuing leadership role in breaking down trade barriers and the strong steps we have taken to address the global financial crisis. This year we have: invited the senior financial officials of the 22 leading economies to consider options for crisis management and reform; announced an action plan to spur growth and stop the contagion from spreading; obtained full funding for the IMF; and launched an effort to reshape the world's financial architecture. (Consistent with our strategy, today, the US and its G-7 partners announced agreement to establish a new line of credit to help countries with sound economic ward off the financial crisis, and a new World Bank emergency fund to aid people most in need.)

America as an engine for peace. The report discusses America's continuing role in leading for peace around the world. Our recent successes in promoting an end to conflict, from the Wye agreement for the Middle East to the Good Friday agreement for Northern Ireland to the border settlement agreement between Peru and Ecuador, are driven by a compelling fact: Drawing on our strength and values, America can often be a decisive force for peace.

A stable Europe. The report emphasizes the progress we have made toward the President's vision, outlined in 1994, of a Europe democratic, undivided and at peace for the first time in history. This year, in support of this goal, we led the effort to add three new members to NATO, and in April, the President will host the NATO Summit to welcome the new members and chart a vision for NATO in the 21st Century. NATO resolve promoted stability by bringing peace and free elections to Bosnia and stopping the violence and repression in Kosovo. And we continued to support democracy and reform in Russia.

An Asia-Pacific community. The report discusses how America has built on the President's vision of a new Asia-Pacific community for security, prosperity and freedom. Vital to this approach are our cornerstone relationship with Japan and our engagement with China. On the President's trip to China in June he expanded cooperation on issues like security in Korea, nuclear proliferation, and the environment, while dealing forthrightly with differences, including human rights.

The report emphasizes that the US military is and will continue to be capable of supporting our strategy by meeting our defense commitments around the world. Working with Congress, we have significantly increased readiness funding for 1998 and 1999.

Finally, the report emphasizes that we must strengthen our commitment to America's diplomacy. Every dollar we devote to our diplomatic efforts to prevent conflict, promote democracy, and reduce disease and poverty can help protect the security interests of the American people.

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