National Security Strategy Proposal


National Security Council is a USA government body that deals with national policies on security issues. The body is responsible for the formulation of US National Security Policy. President Reagan wrote in 1986 that the purpose of National Security Policy is to defend the United States’ constitutional order (Aftergood, 2012)[1]. The policy primarily protects the constitution of United States but it also protects the country from terrorist attack. It also highlights some of the security issues affecting the country and what the government is planning to do in order to address such security concerns. The national security policy acts as a political tool to address security issues in USA. and enables the administration to understand the strategic security environment in order to initiate dialogue for the purpose of enhancing order and security in the country.

The National Security Council also focuses on the defeat of insurgency groups including Al Qaeda and Taliban. As terrorism gains ground in several parts of the world especially the Middle East, United States’ national security policy is designed to protect the country from such terrorism threats. The policy creates a stable nation by providing intelligence measures to combat the effects of terrorism.

Terrorism is a form of violence committed by individuals with a political, religious, or ideological motive. Terrorists or insurgents perpetuate terror to instill fear in a nation in order to achieve their goals. In United States, the worst terrorist attack occurred on September 11, 2001 when Al Qaeda bombed the World Trade Center. Since then, USA has been pursuing Al Qaeda and other insurgents which pose a threat to US security. The US National Security Policy contains the intelligence measures to prevent such attacks from occurring again.

The Current Terrorist Trends and Security Threats in USA

Terrorism and insurgencies in the world are the main concern for the National Security Council of United States because threats to security in the world are a threat to security in United States. United States focuses on terrorism mainly from the perspective of security threats from the Al Qaeda. Hoffman (2009) suggests that the Al Qaeda committed the September 11 attack in 2001 because they had a place where they could plan and plot attacks on the United States. The place where they were hiding was Pakistan and its environs. The United States Army launched a search and attack against the Al Qaeda as they sought out for Osama Bin Laden the Al Qaeda leader. Although the US managed to kill Osama in 2011, there are still Al Qaeda members in the Middle East who get support from the Taliban. The US Army has since been camping in Afghanistan to help the government to establish a strong form of government and fight against the existing terrorists.

The main focus of the United States is Pakistan and Afghanistan where the main terrorists reside. Although Al Qaeda collapsed after the 2001 terrorist attack, it began to re-group in Pakistan and Afghanistan slowly.[2] The US then focused its military and security policies on fighting terrorism in these areas, and eventually Al Qaeda leader Osama was killed in 2011. The main re-grouping area of the Al Qaeda is the lawless Afghanistan-Pakistan border where the terrorists can easily group themselves and plan their terrorist attacks.[3] Furthermore, criminal networks nowadays are becoming more dynamic are using more sophisticated mechanisms to perpetuate crime across the world.

Al Qaeda has historically been concerned with ideological and operational agenda against US property and citizens. This has prompted the US to consider counterterrorism as the top agenda of the National Security Council. The Al Qaeda also targets the sea, land and air to perpetuate attacks against the US.[4] In response, United States has used marine, air and special weapons to counter these attacks. Having survived more than 2 decades and getting a safe place to hide and support from other groups such as the Taliban, Al Qaeda has become a major threat to world security; hence a major concern for the United States Security council.

Anti and Counter-terrorist policies

There are various policies that can be used to counter terrorist effects. Essentially, it is necessary to consider strategic influences that can enhance cooperation and collaboration among various nation-state actors and intelligence groups. This is because support is needed to achieve strategic objectives in the fight against terrorism. The nation-state, non-governmental, and other actors and need to adopt an appropriate strategic communication strategy to influence the behaviour of all actors involved in counterterrorism. Generally, policies needed to combat terrorism should have some strategic influence.

One of the policies is to integrate communication and strategic influence into the tactical, strategic and operational activities of the foreign affairs department in order to strengthen the Soft Power of USA. As noted earlier, cooperation and collaboration is essential for the government to succeed against terrorism. This is not only necessary in issues concerning joint operations in United States’ military but also in foreign affairs because the country needs to convince other nation-states to fight against terror groups which pose security threats to the world. The United States Administration needs to use its soft skills to derive soft power to muster support from other nation-states.[5] For instance, it is necessary for the US to convince Afghanistan to help them in the fight against terrorism because terror on USA planned and plotted and Afghanistan also affects Afghanistan. Similarly, the US should muster support from Pakistan, the neighbouring country of Afghanistan. One of the soft skills needed to gain soft power is communication and negotiation skills. Together with a strategic focus, this approach enables the United States to persuade other nation-states and successfully convince them to join in the fight against terrorism.

Public diplomacy should also be strengthened with an aim of seeking understanding towards the actions of United States against terrorism. This public diplomacy also promotes the interests of United States and initiate dialogue with US institutions and other interested parties from abroad. Public Diplomacy is used to inform, engage and influence international audiences to promote USA’s interests and security concerns across the world. Several nation-state actors including the Department of Defense, the Whitehouse, USAID, and Department of state should collaborate in the Public Diplomacy in order to reach the world with one mind.[6]

Public diplomacy and soft power can be enhanced through strategic communications. This involves appropriate strategic efforts and understanding necessary to engage the right people in the fight against terrorism, through the creation, strengthening and preservation of favourable mechanism needed to promote the interests of the country with regards to security issues. All departments in the US administration need to develop a coordinated information operations in order to enhance effective strategic communications.[7] The State Department should also be given authority to impose order on strategic communication activities. Lines of authority should be bureaucratically re-organized and clarified while the information operations should address key strategic issues to counter the ideological grounds of terrorist groups.

Another strategy that needs to be considered is developing partnership with international actors in order to break the corruptive and criminal networks brought about by terrorists. In terms of intelligence, an important aspect of the US Army is to use international partners to collect information about criminal networks in order to understand their strategies and weaken their corruptive power and enhance governance and transparency.[8] For instance, the US may collaborate with Pakistan and Afghanistan to weaken the corruptive power of Taliban and Al Qaeda. The US should help international partners to develop necessary capacities and power to defeat terrorists and enhance legitimate and democratic governance as well as justice, security and safety.

To combat terrorism, it is also necessary to target the economic power and infrastructure of terrorist groups. This is an essential part of intelligence that targets the terrorist networks that pose a threat to security and safety in US, and protect the interests of US government. Terrorists should not be given time and resources to build up, communicate, plan, and plot attacks or any other criminal activity.[9] The US should also engage other international partners in depriving terrorists of all resources and infrastructure including logistical support, finance, safe places to collect, material support and communication channels. The financial strength of terrorists should be targeted and weakened. Their illicit wealth should also be destroyed and their access to financial system should be denied.

The economic power of the terrorists should be weakened while strengthening the economic power of US partners who engage in the fight against terrorism.[10] Legitimate financial systems and markets should also be established in nation-states that are committed to helping the US to overcome threats of terrorism. The US should also protect its own financial system and strategic market in order to strengthen its economic power.


The National Security Policy is considered as an important tool of preventing terrorism which has become a major security concern in United States, and protects the interests of the country. Since the September 11 attack, there has been a key focus on intelligence by the US nation-state actors. Intelligence has been given the frontline consideration as opposed to war. The national security policy outlines some of the strategies that the US may use to combat terrorism and protect its interests. These strategies are basically engulfed by cooperation and collaboration among various US nation-state actors and international partners. This enhances strategic influence and enhances the achievement of strategic objectives in the fight against terrorism.

One of the main policies to be implemented is integration of communication strategy into the tactical, operational, and strategic activities of the foreign affairs department. This enhances soft power of the United States and attracts support from foreign partners in the fight against terrorism. Another strategic policy to reduce terrorism is strengthening of public diplomacy and enhancing strategic communication in order to enhance understanding from foreign partners about the interests of and actions of United States. The US should also target and weaken the economic power and infrastructure of terrorists including funds, wealth, communication channels and hiding places.



[1] Aftergood, Steven. Secrecy News: The Purpose of National Security Policy, Declassified. Federation of American Scientists. 2012.

[2] Hoffman, Bruce. A Counterterrorism Strategy for the Obama Administration. Terrorism and Political Violence, 21, 3(2009): 359-377.

[3] Jones, L. Frank. The Strategic Dimensions of Terrorism. Praeger Security International, 2014.

[4] Hoffman, Bruce. A Counterterrorism Strategy for the Obama Administration. Terrorism and Political Violence, 21, 3(2009): 359-377.

[5] Lynch, Marc. In defense of Obama’s Muslim outreach., 2014.

[6] National Security Council. Strategy to Combat Transnational Organized Crime. 2014. Accessed from

[7] Hoffman, Bruce, 2009.

[8] Colby, A. Elbridge. “Making Intelligence Smart.” Policy Review. August & September 2007.

[9] National Security Council, 2014.


[10] National Security Council, 2014.


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B. Economics & Finance, B/ED, Writer, Educator with experience of 12 years in research and writing.

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