present opportunities as well aschallenges.
The U.S. andinternational system has seen agrowth in terrorists, criminalnetworks, pirates and other non-stateactors who are increasingly well-equipped and employing advancedtechnologies.
Proliferation of nuclear, biological,chemical and radiologicalweapons.
The possibility that aterrorist or terrorist organizationcould acquire a nuclear, biological,chemical or radiological weaponremains one of the gravest, albeitunlikely, national security threats weface. Efforts aimed at locking downvulnerable nuclear material have progressed, but the threat persists. Atthe same time, states such as Iran and North Korea continue to defyinternational norms and threatenregional stability.
An ongoing economic crisis.
Theinternational economic downturn hasforced a number of U.S. allies and partners to take austerity measuresthat will increasingly affect thesecurity contributions such states arewilling and able to make. And athome, the long-term impacts of debt, joblessness and crumblinginfrastructure continue to be of graveconcern.
Other serious challenges
. As populations continue to grow andmore people flock to urban areas,demand for resources has increased, particularly in the developing world.Water scarcity and governance issuesare likely to accompany such growthin the future. Climate change andglobal pandemics will alsoexacerbate challenges tointernational security and stability.
Given the scope of challenges facing theUnited States and global system, Americamust continue to work with its allies and partners to forge strong coalitions andinstitutions that are capable of responding toand mitigating such threats. Americanleadership, both at home and abroad, willcontinue to be instrumental in sustaining andshaping the global order. Leveraging suchleadership will require that the U.S. use allelements of our national power—our political, economic and military might—andthat we pursue our national interests on asmart, calculated basis.
Enduring National Interests
The National Security Strategy highlightsour enduring national interests
The security of the United States, itscitizens, and U.S. allies and partners;
A strong, innovative, and growingU.S. economy in an openinternational economic system that promotes opportunity and prosperity;
Respect for universal values at homeand around the world; and
An international order advanced byU.S. leadership that promotes peace,security, and opportunity throughstronger cooperation to meet globalchallenges.The strategy for advancing these interestsmust employ a blend of diplomacy,development and defense. The U.S. hasrelied too heavily on our troops and engaged