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OBAMA'S NEW SECURITY GOALS EMBRACE NON-MILITARY MOVES

By NBF News
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IN a formal break with the go-it-alone legacy of former President George W. Bush, the Barack Obama administration's new national security strategy has called for America to use its massive military power in concert with friends and allies.

A summary of the U.S. National Security Strategy, according to The Associated Press(AP), also made the safety of Americans the highest security priority and calls for the U.S. to bolster its power through diplomatic and development efforts.

The full document, the first written by the Obama administration, enshrines policies that President Barack Obama has advocated since his election campaign. It will be the foundation for a National Military Strategy document, due soon.

The new strategy is expected to repudiate, at least implicitly, the 2002 National Security Strategy adopted by former President George W. Bush. That document created a doctrine of U.S. unilateral action and pre-emptive wars.

Obama's strategy, like those of other presidents, is broadly worded and purposely vague. But its overarching principles will lay the groundwork for later policies and initiatives, just as the Bush administration's 2002 strategy helped set the stage for the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

Obama recently forced his intelligence chief to resign after an argument over whether the U.S should stop spying on France.

Dennis Blair stepped down as U.S. director of national intelligence last Thursday after calling for undercover operations to be halted as the countries were now close allies.

The proposal was overruled by Obama, who had concerns that France in future could elect a president who undermined American foreign policy.

When Blair resigned last week, his departure was attributed to the failure of the 16 government agencies he ran to prevent the attempted bombing of a plane en route from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day. A Nigerian man managed to board the flight with explosives hidden in his underwear despite warnings that he posed a security threat.

However, it has now emerged that there was also a major disagreement over plans for a mutual no-spying pact between the U.S. and France.

Blair had argued that the pro-U. S. stance of President Nicolas Sarkozy should be seized upon to end decades of espionage.

Sarkozy, whose Atlanticism earned him the nickname Sarko l'Americain at home, last year returned France to full NATO membership 60 years after Charles de Gaulle pulled the country out – a highly symbolic rapprochement with America.

Blair proposed an unprecedented written pledge even more binding than the postwar “gentlemen's agreement” between the U.S., Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand as trusted partners who do not spy on each other. The deal would also have given France access to a secure intelligence retrieval and exchange system.

But the proposed pact was ruled out by Obama as too risky. Many Americans still regard the French with suspicion after Jacques Chirac, the then president, opposed the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Sarkozy was said to be angry when Obama rejected the pact, which he had been led to believe was agreed. Officials said the “misunderstanding” damaged ties between the two allies at a time when they were seeking to show a united front over dismantling Iran's nuclear program.

Claude Gueant, Sarkozy's chief Elysee adviser, confirmed Monday that the deal had been in the offing. “It was an interesting prospect, a sort of conclusive new step in relations,” he said.

The deal was discussed between Blair and Bernard Bajolet, France's new intelligence chief, but then dropped, he said.

But diplomatic sources played down Sarkozy's reaction. “I don't think [the] president took it with a sense of disillusion,” one said. “We've lived without it for decades. We were not the askers. It changes nothing in our relationship.”

French officials attributed the failure of the pact to “turf wars” within the U.S. intelligence community.

France and the U.S. have a long history of spying on each other's defence, industrial and technology assets.

The U.S. has long been interested in gleaning information on France's business and diplomatic ties with Iran, Syria, and Lebanon, as well as North African militant groups with operatives in France. In 2007, French government workers were ordered not to use hand-held BlackBerry devices, amid fears that their messages could be intercepted in Britain or the U.S.

Gueant, however, denied that France spied on its ally at all.

IN a formal break with the go-it-alone legacy of former President George W. Bush, the Barack Obama administration's new national security strategy has called for America to use its massive military power in concert with friends and allies. A summary of the U.S. National Security Strategy, according to The Associated Press(AP), also made the safety of Americans the highest security priority and calls for the U.S. to bolster its power through diplomatic and development efforts. The full document, the first written by the Obama administration, enshrines policies that President Barack Obama has advocated since his election campaign. It will be the foundation for a National Military Strategy document, due soon. The new strategy is expected to repudiate, at least implicitly, the 2002 National Security Strategy adopted by former President George W. Bush. That document created a doctrine of U.S. unilateral action and pre-emptive wars. Obama's strategy, like those of other presidents, is broadly worded and purposely vague. But its overarching principles will lay the groundwork for later policies and initiatives, just as the Bush administration's 2002 strategy helped set the stage for the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. Obama recently forced his intelligence chief to resign after an argument over whether the U.S should stop spying on France. Dennis Blair stepped down as U.S. director of national intelligence last Thursday after calling for undercover operations to be halted as the countries were now close allies. The proposal was overruled by Obama, who had concerns that France in future could elect a president who undermined American foreign policy. When Blair resigned last week, his departure was attributed to the failure of the 16 government agencies he ran to prevent the attempted bombing of a plane en route from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day. A Nigerian man managed to board the flight with explosives hidden in his underwear despite warnings that he posed a security threat. However, it has now emerged that there was also a major disagreement over plans for a mutual no-spying pact between the U.S. and France. Blair had argued that the pro-U. S. stance of President Nicolas Sarkozy should be seized upon to end decades of espionage.Sarkozy, whose Atlanticism earned him the nickname Sarko l'Americain at home, last year returned France to full NATO membership 60 years after Charles de Gaulle pulled the country out – a highly symbolic rapprochement with America. Blair proposed an unprecedented written pledge even more binding than the postwar “gentlemen's agreement” between the U.S., Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand as trusted partners who do not spy on each other. The deal would also have given France access to a secure intelligence retrieval and exchange system. But the proposed pact was ruled out by Obama as too risky. Many Americans still regard the French with suspicion after Jacques Chirac, the then president, opposed the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Sarkozy was said to be angry when Obama rejected the pact, which he had been led to believe was agreed. Officials said the “misunderstanding” damaged ties between the two allies at a time when they were seeking to show a united front over dismantling Iran's nuclear program.Claude Gueant, Sarkozy's chief Elysee adviser, confirmed Monday that the deal had been in the offing. “It was an interesting prospect, a sort of conclusive new step in relations,” he said.The deal was discussed between Blair and Bernard Bajolet, France's new intelligence chief, but then dropped, he said.But diplomatic sources played down Sarkozy's reaction. “I don't think [the] president took it with a sense of disillusion,” one said. “We've lived without it for decades. We were not the askers. It changes nothing in our relationship.”French officials attributed the failure of the pact to “turf wars” within the U.S. intelligence community.France and the U.S. have a long history of spying on each other's defence, industrial and technology assets.The U.S. has long been interested in gleaning information on France's business and diplomatic ties with Iran, Syria, and Lebanon, as well as North African militant groups with operatives in France. In 2007, French government workers were ordered not to use hand-held BlackBerry devices, amid fears that their messages could be intercepted in Britain or the U.S.Gueant, however, denied that France spied on its ally at all.