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White House Outlines New National Security Strategy

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The White House outlined a new National Security Strategy plan Friday designed to set out the president's priorities for protecting the nation from enemies, leveraging global alliances and advancing peace and "universal values" around the world.

The new document, highlighted by a speech Friday afternoon by top national security adviser Susan Rice, updates a 2010 policy outline and reflects newly developing challenges like cyberterrorism and the growth of ISIS.

“Our interests are enduring, but in many respects, 2015 is a whole new ballgame,” Rice said. “Much has changed in the last five years.”

Critics and even some allies of the White House have criticized the president for being overly cautious on security issues and focusing too much on diplomatic efforts that have sometimes been prone to snags.

Rice alluded to those critics in her remarks at the Brookings Institution, saying that the administration “aims to avoid sending many thousands of ground forces into combat in hostile lands.”

“With this national security strategy, we stake out a much larger role for America in shaping the world, while anticipating the challenges to come,” she said.

The release of the new strategic plan addresses the country's actions to defeat direct threats by groups like ISIS. But it also underscore the importance of the link between poverty, inequality and terrorism – and emphasize "building the capacity of others to prevent the causes and consequences of conflict to include countering extreme and dangerous ideologies."

The document also outlines the administration's continued efforts to "deter Russian aggression" through both economic sanctions and strategic alliances with allies in the region.

And it spotlights a "rebalancing" to Asia and the Pacific through trade and increased diplomacy.

Administration opponents are sure to paint the document as mere rhetoric that offers little change of course from the past six years of White House security policy.

- Carrie Dann

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