UPDATE 2-Obama security doctrine stresses diplomacy, economy

* President looking to shape international order

* Calls economy the “wellspring of American power”

* Obama distancing himself from “Bush Doctrine”

(Adds Clinton, paragraph 13)

By Matt Spetalnick

WASHINGTON, May 27 (BestGrowthStock) – The Obama administration on
Thursday unveiled a new national security doctrine that would
join diplomatic engagement and economic discipline with
military power to bolster America’s standing in the world.

Striking a contrast to the Bush-era emphasis on going it
alone, President Barack Obama’s strategy called for expanding
partnerships beyond traditional U.S. allies to encompass rising
powers like China and India in order to share the international
burden.

Faced with a struggling economy and record deficits, the
administration also acknowledged that boosting economic growth
and getting the U.S. fiscal house in order must be core
national security priorities.

“At the center of our efforts is a commitment to renew our
economy, which serves as the wellspring of American power,” the
wide-ranging policy statement said.

Obama’s first official declaration of national security
goals, due to be released in full later on Thursday, pointedly
omitted predecessor George W. Bush’s policy of pre-emptive war
that alienated some U.S. allies.

Laying out a vision for keeping America safe as it fights
wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the document formalized Obama’s
intent to emphasize multilateral diplomacy over military might
as he tries to reshape the world order.

The administration even reiterated Obama’s determination to
try to engage with “hostile nations,” but warned
nuclear-defiant Iran and North Korea it possessed “multiple
means” to isolate them if they ignored international norms.

The National Security Strategy, required by law of every
president, is often a dry reaffirmation of existing positions
but is considered important because it can influence budgets
and legislation and is closely watched internationally.

SEEKS “FISCALLY SUSTAINABLE PATH”

Obama, who took office faced with the worst financial
crisis since the 1930s, took a clearer stand than any of his
predecessors in drawing the link between America’s economic
health at home and its stature overseas.

“We must renew the foundation of America’s strength,” the
document said, asserting that the sustained economic growth
hinges on putting the country on a “fiscally sustainable path”
and also urging reduced dependence on foreign oil sources.

There was no discussion of what has become an emerging
consensus in foreign policy circles — that heavy U.S.
indebtedness to countries like China poses a security problem.

But the report did reflect Washington’s enigmatic
relationship with Beijing, praising it for a more active role
in world affairs while insisting it must act responsibly. It
also reiterated unease over China’s rapid military buildup.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the United States’
fiscal problems presented a long-term threat to its diplomatic
clout. “We cannot sustain this level of deficit financing and
debt without losing our influence, without being constrained
about the tough decisions we have to make,” she said in a
speech at the Brookings Institution in Washington.

Bush used his first policy statement in 2002 to stake out
the right to unilateral and pre-emptive military action against
countries and terrorist groups deemed threats to the United
States in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Obama’s plan implicitly distanced his administration from
what became known as the Bush Doctrine and underpinned the 2003
U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, which lacked U.N. authorization.

While renewing previous presidents’ commitment to preserve
U.S. conventional military superiority, the doctrine laid out
on Thursday put an official stamp on Obama’s break from what
Bush’s critics called “cowboy diplomacy.”

“We need to be clear-eyed about the strengths and
shortcomings of international institutions,” the document said.
But it said Washington did not have the option to “walk away.”

“Instead, we must focus American engagement on
strengthening international institutions and galvanizing the
collective action that can serve common interests such as
combating violent extremism, stopping the spread of nuclear
weapons and securing nuclear materials, achieving balanced and
sustainable economic growth, and forging cooperative solutions
to the threat of climate change,” it said.

MESSAGE TO EMERGING POWERS

Obama’s insistence the United States cannot act alone in
the world was also a message to current and emerging powers
that they must shoulder their share of the global burden.

Obama already has been widely credited with improving the
tone of U.S. foreign policy but still is struggling with two
unfinished wars, nuclear standoffs with Iran and North Korea
and sluggish Middle East peace efforts.

Critics say some of his efforts at diplomatic outreach show
U.S. weakness, and they question whether he jeopardizes
American interests by relying too heavily on “soft power.”

Obama’s strategy repeated his goal to “disrupt, dismantle,
and defeat” al Qaeda but insisted that in the process the
United States must uphold and promote human rights. It also
rejected torture as a tool of U.S. national security.

Obama has reached out to the Muslim world, where the U.S.
image under Bush was hurt by the Iraq war, the Abu Ghraib
prisoner abuse scandal and his use of phrases like “war on
terror” and “Islamo-fascism.”

Curbing the threat of “home-grown” terrorism was also
listed as a top priority. This comes in the aftermath of the
failed Christmas Day bombing of a U.S. airliner and the botched
Times Square car bombing attempt earlier this month.

Investment Basics
(Additional reporting by Alister Bell; Editing by David
Storey)

UPDATE 2-Obama security doctrine stresses diplomacy, economy