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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release January 4, 2000


Today President Clinton transmitted the 1999 National Security Strategy Report to Congress, as required annually by the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986. The report, entitled "A National Security Strategy for a New Century," outlines the President's vision for America's role in the world and discusses the Administration's international priorities.

The three core objectives of U.S. national security strategy are to enhance America's security, to bolster America's economic prosperity, and to promote democracy abroad. Central to the President's strategy for achieving these aims is U.S. engagement and leadership in world affairs.

America has done much over the past seven years to build a better world: aiding the remarkable transitions to free-market democracy in Eastern Europe; adapting and enlarging NATO to strengthen Europe's security; stopping ethnic wars in Bosnia and Kosovo; working with Russia to deactivate thousands of nuclear weapons from the former Soviet Union; ratifying START II and the Chemical Weapons Convention; negotiating the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and strengthening the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty; freezing North Korean fissile material production; facilitating milestone agreements in the Middle East peace process; standing up to the threat from Saddam Hussein; helping broker peace accords from Northern Ireland to Sierra Leone to the Peru-Ecuador border; fostering unprecedented unity, democracy and progress in the Western Hemisphere; benefiting our economy by reaching over 270 trade agreements, including the landmark accord to bring China into the World Trade Organization; reducing Africa's debt through the Cologne Initiative and the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative; exercising global leadership to help save Mexico from economic disaster and to reverse the Asian financial crisis.

Our military is -- and will continue to be -- capable of carrying out our national strategy by meeting America's defense commitments around the world. The report describes the Administration's efforts to preserve and enhance the readiness of our armed forces while pursuing long-term modernization and providing quality of life improvements for our troops. To better meet readiness challenges, the President proposed, and Congress passed, a fiscal year 2000 defense budget that increased military pay and retirement benefits, and significantly increased funding for readiness and modernization. The President also proposed a $112 billion increase across fiscal years 2000 to 2005 -- the first long-term sustained increase in defense spending in over a decade.

The report also emphasizes that we must sustain our commitment to America's diplomacy. Every dollar we devote to preventing conflicts, promoting democracy, opening markets, and fighting disease and hunger brings a sure return in security and long-term savings. Working with Congress, we were able to provide enhanced funding for international affairs efforts and UN arrears, but we need to sustain our commitments in the years ahead.

The report previews the President's national security agenda for the coming year, including: forging a lasting peace in the Middle East; securing the peace in the Balkans and Northern Ireland; helping Russia strengthen its economy and fight corruption as it heads toward its first democratic transfer of power; furthering arms control through discussions with Russia on the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and deeper reductions in strategic nuclear weapons; implementing China's entry into the WTO and other global institutions while promoting freedom and human rights there; easing tensions between India and Pakistan; building on hopeful developments between Greece and Turkey to make progress in the Aegean, particularly on Cyprus; securing new energy routes from the Caspian Sea that will allow newly independent states in the Caucasus to prosper; supporting democratic transitions from Nigeria to Indonesia; helping Colombia defeat the drug traffickers who threaten its democracy; fighting weapons proliferation, terrorism and the nexus between them; restraining North Korea's and Iran's missile programs; maintaining vigilance against Iraq and working to bring about a change in regime; consolidating reforms to the world's financial architecture as the basis for sustained economic growth; advancing global trade; enacting legislation to promote trade with Africa and the Caribbean; pressing ahead with debt relief for countries fighting poverty and embracing good government; reversing global climate change.