What are the Key Elements in National Security Strategy

To meet the basic security requirements and concerns of citizens, each country develops a key framework that forms the National Security Strategy (NSS). It aims to address all threats- internal or external- to the country and its citizens. To better understand how National Security Strategy works to identify and address the challenges and prevent them from escalating into conflict, we asked subject matter experts to highlight the key elements;

Consider Existing Resources

Relevant national security strategies must consider existing resources but should not be defined by them; strategies that are bound to and defined by available resources always become a restatement of present efforts 5 rather than a proactive outline for effectively shaping the future.

It is sufficient to note here that governments can effectively utilize national security strategies to fight for resources that they do not presently have but feel will be required to sustain the nation’s long-term national security.  

Furthermore, keep in mind that strategies specify aims and, to some extent, ways; the means, or resources, can change over time even if the ends do not. Further, changes in resources do not always result in changes in the end; there are numerous ways to achieve the same goal. Finally, it is critical to understand that resources might range from relationships to specialized competencies.

Hassan Usmani, the Tech Expert at YEELIGHT

Risk Evaluation

A national security strategy does not need to or can identify every risk that a country will confront in the long run. Indeed, national security strategies that attempt to do so undermine their own meaning by becoming a laundry list of problems rather than a coherent plan of action.

Instead, a strategy must prioritize risks based on the likelihood and severity of their impact on national interests in order to provide appropriate recommendations to the government. In addition, the catastrophic risk to the homeland, no matter how remote and whether caused by human or natural causes, must be considered. 

Daniel Carter, SEO Manager of Skuuudle

Identifying And Assessing Future Challenges

National security strategies are, by definition, forward-looking blueprints designed to assist governments in preparing to deal with difficulties that may develop in the future. 

According to forecasting and prediction research, reasonably reliable predictive assessments, particularly those involving national security challenges, are only attainable in the very short term — often less than a year. Because of the short time period, prediction is an impractical approach to apply in a national security policy that must be viable beyond a single year. 

Predicting the long-term future with any degree of accuracy is impossible, and attempting to do so is a waste of time and resources. On the other hand, governments can utilize foresight to lay out the spectrum of future difficulties they are likely to confront and assess their readiness to address them. 

Darsh Ray, CEO & Founder of Job Alert

Articulation Of A Finite Set Of Goals

This declaration is a succinct explanation of the overall effect that the government hopes to achieve through its national security strategy. Previous US national security strategies referenced the strategic vision in the document’s title as a clear means of communicating its aim. 

For example, President Clinton’s 1994 National Security Strategy was titled A National Security Strategy of Engagement and Enlargement. President Obama also stressed the importance of ongoing American leadership throughout the world in his introduction letter to the 2015 National Security Strategy as an exposition of his strategic vision. 

The strategic vision should allow for the articulation of a finite set of goals that will allow it to be realized.

Tyler Martin, Founder and Certified Business Coach, ThinkTyler

Accurate Reflection Of National Ideals

In order to effectively prioritize risks and interests, a nation’s national security plan must take into account and reinforce that nation’s principles. Because the document intends not to advertise a full and explicit list of national values but rather to articulate a plan of action in favor of those values, this reflection of values is often done implicitly or indirectly through the articulation of goals. 

National values are often broad concepts that do not change much except over time; they constitute the slowly changing essence of a nation’s character.

Tyson Stevens, Founder of EduRef

Endorsement By The Head Of Government

To have the gravitas required for implementation, a national security plan must have the clear endorsement of a senior government official with formal power for directing national security concerns, usually the head of government. The legitimacy of the National Security Strategy in the United States is obviously and directly drawn from the President, who has traditionally signed an opening letter that serves as the document’s ceremonial frontispiece. 

This letter, together with the fact that the National Security Strategy is prepared and directed by National Security  Staff intimately linked with the President, guarantees that the document is widely recognized as an accurate statement of the President’s intent and counsel. The President’s direct involvement also signals that he will continue to advocate for and facilitate the resources required to carry out the strategy. 

It also shows his aim to link accountability to the highest level of government: himself. In the framework of the whole range of national strategies that regulate various parts of US policy, the President’s express and public acceptance of the document also implies that other US national strategies that do not bear his signature are subordinate to the US National Security Strategy. 

Tanner Arnold, President & CEO of Revelation Machinery

National Security Strategy in the United States

National security strategy is the plan or policy that determines how a nation will ensure its protection. Every country, whether large or small, has one, but different countries handle it differently. Some may focus on protecting their borders, while others may prioritize the welfare of their citizens. 

The United States National Security Strategy (NSS) encompasses both these priorities to protect Americans and American interests at home and abroad.

The document is split into four major sections:

  • A mission statement- describes the fundamental principles that guide the United States’ actions.
  • Major national security issues-recognizes important challenges to US interests at home and abroad.
  • An overview of US national security interests- identifies areas that are of concern to the United States, namely, global security issues, transnational threats, and challenges to US prosperity.
  • American leadership in an interdependent world- describes how the United States will defend its interests and promote peace and prosperity around the world.

Stephen Curry, Chief Executive Officer at CocoSign

Leona Rankin
Founder Leona has worked for years as a Corporate Security Manager until she decided to form the company. She deemed all information regarding security should be regarded as a necessity, especially nowadays where threat may be imminent everywhere, whether in the physical, or the digital world.