US President Donald Trump unveiled a new counter-terrorism strategy which issues a tough warning to terrorist groups and their supporters that the United States will defeat its enemies with the full force of American might.
The strategy for counterterrorism focuses efforts on pursuing terrorists to their source and isolating terrorists from their support, the US administration said.
“Guided by the National Strategy for Counterterrorism, we will use all instruments of American power to protect our great nation, and we will defeat our enemies with the full force of American might,” Trump said after basic contours of National Strategy for Counterterrorism were made public.
The strategy, Trump said, outlines the approach of the US to countering the increasingly complex and evolving terrorist threats and represents the nation’s first fully articulated counterterrorism strategy since 2011.
“It provides the strategic guidance needed to protect the United States against all terrorist threats, while simultaneously fostering the agility to anticipate, prevent, and respond to new threats,” he said.
Describing the strategy as a significant departure from the previous Obama Administration, his National Security Advisor John Bolton told reporters that the strategy focuses efforts on pursuing terrorists to their source and isolating terrorists from their support.
It also involves modernising and integrating US’s counterterrorism tools, protecting infrastructure and enhancing preparedness, countering terrorist radicalisation and recruitment and strengthening the counterterrorism abilities of its international partners, he said.
“The strategy articulates a counterterrorism approach that is sustainable, more efficient, prioritized and less reliant on only United States’ capabilities,” Bolton said.
“Because the global threat posed by terrorist groups is more complex and diffuse than ever, this strategy provides the framework to protect the United States against all terrorists who threaten our country,” he said.
As part of the strategy, the top Trump advisor said the US will not focus on a single organisation, but will counter all terrorists with the ability and intent to harm the United States, citizens, and its interests.
“We will place greater emphasis on targeting terrorist networks that threaten the US and our allies, and focus our efforts on disrupting and denying the ways and means terrorists use to radicalize, recruit, mobilize, finance, travel, communicate, and inspire new followers,” he said.
“We will deny terrorists the freedom to travel and communicate across international borders, and take action to limit their ability to recruit and radicalize online. We will counter the violent, extreme, and twisted ideologies that purport to justify and excuse the murder of innocents,” Bolton said.
Bolton asserted this strategy stresses better integration of national power, both, military and non-military, to combat terrorism and terrorist ideologies, with an increased emphasis on non-kinetic means.
The strategy also places greater emphasis on protecting the homeland, preventing attacks, and mitigating the impact of an attack, should one occur, he said.
This includes building strong borders, securing ports of entry, protecting critical U.S. infrastructure, and promoting a culture of preparedness.
Welcoming the new strategy, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the strategy recognises the need for all nations to equitably share the burden of confronting terrorism.
“As such, the State Department, in close coordination with other federal agencies, will continue to work with our allies and partners to implement the policies and tools necessary to eliminate our terrorist enemies and their networks of support,” he said.
The Pentagon said, “By standing with traditional and non-traditional partners, the DoD (Department of Defense) advances shared counterterrorism efforts by employing military and non-military capabilities to disrupt and deny terrorist mobility, financing, communication and recruitment.”
According to Director of National Intelligence, Daniel Coats, the strategy addresses the complex and evolving terrorism landscape in its emphasis on denying terrorists the resources and recruits to fuel their nefarious aims, and outlines the need to leverage the strong partnerships that the US has to built at home and abroad to solve this global problem.
“The strategy places America first, emphasizing strong borders, strengthening security at points of entry, protecting critical infrastructure, and facilitating preparedness. However, America First does not mean America alone. The new strategy commits us to expand our partnerships at home and abroad to encourage partners’ assistance in counterterrorism activities,” the White House said, adding that this includes working with North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Allies and partners.
Trump said under his leadership, the United States has accelerated efforts to defeat terrorists. “Working with coalition partners, we have decimated ISIS in Syria and Iraq,” he said.
“Likewise, I ended United States participation in the horrible Iran deal, which had provided a windfall for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its proxies, funding Iran’s malign activities throughout the world. Importantly, I have also secured historic increases in defense funding to rebuild our Nation’s military,” said the US President.