In this Midterm Assessment, FDD experts and scholars evaluate the Trump administration's efforts to advance and protect U.S. vital interests. The assessment spans the broad range of threats and challenges to national security and prosperity that our nation faces. Those threats and challenges include revisionist powers, hostile states, and transnational terrorist organizations. And the essays also consider new domains in which these threats operate (such as cyberspace) as well as increasing dangers associated with the potential breakdown of the nuclear nonproliferation regime and the prospect of hostile states and non-state actors gaining access to some of the most destructive weapons on earth. This assessment deserves wide attention because the stakes are high. And it deserves attention because the authors have transcended the vitriolic and shallow partisan discourse that dominates much of what passes for commentary on foreign policy and national security.
The 2017 U.S. National Security Strategy emphasized the need to compete more effectively to protect our free and open societies from those who are promoting authoritarian and closed systems. Nations committed to democratic governance and free market economies must demonstrate a much higher degree of strategic competence, especially in cooperative efforts to improve security and grow prosperity. And overcoming challenges to national and international security will require confidence – confidence in democratic principles, institutions, and processes as well as confidence in our free market economies.
At a time when those who know the least about issues seem to be those who hold the most strident opinions, FDD's work as represented in this assessment is essential to generating the bipartisan understanding necessary to compete effectively and preserve America's strategic advantages.