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Obama looks beyond allies

world Updated: May 28, 2010 00:30 IST
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Military superiority is not enough to maintain US strength and influence in the world, and the United States must build global institutions and expand international partnerships beyond its traditional allies, according to a new national security strategy prepared by the Obama administration.

Maintaining US global leadership will also depend on a strong domestic economy and a commitment to "education, clean energy, science and technology, and a reduced federal deficit," the White House said in talking points summarising the strategy document, which is scheduled for formal release on Thursday.

The new doctrine represents a clear break with the unilateral military approach advocated by the Bush administration after the September 11, 2001, attacks.

Bush tempered that doctrine toward the end of his presidency, but the Obama doctrine offers a far broader definition of national security.

While military advantage will remain "a cornerstone of our national defence and an anchor of global security," the strategy calls for "new partnerships with emerging centers of influence" and a "push for institutions that are more capable of responding to the challenges of our times," the summary said.

At home, the strategy recognises "American innovation ... as a leading source of American power."

The report is the first that President Barack Obama has prepared under a 1986 law that requires the president to present Congress with an annual strategic statement. Most administrations have only sporadically adhered to the requirement; George W Bush issued two national security strategies during his presidency, in 2002 and 2006.

The document serves to set administration priorities inside the government and communicate them to Congress, the American people and the world. It also is intended as a framework for strategy documents produced by other parts of the government, including the Pentagon's national defense strategy.

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