At this year’s Reagan National Defense Forum, National Security Advisor General H.R. McMaster revealed hints of the Trump Administration’s national security strategy that will be finalized by the national security team in a Cabinet meeting the second week of December. Axios reports that key Cabinet secretaries and the president have shown support for the strategy, which will largely be centered on new technological threats, homeland security, and economic competition. The strategy was put together by McMaster and his team with President Trump’s input and is aimed at “recovering the strategic initiative.”
At the conference, McMaster said the strategy would give America the “strategic confidence” necessary to take on “similar crossroads” that Reagan faced where other world powers appeared to be on the rise while America lagged. He added, “These national security challenges also require a dramatic rethinking of American foreign policy from previous decades,” which will focus on “principled realism” and “enhancing American influence.” Although the liberal media has criticized the administration for having a “chaotic” foreign policy lacking in clear strategy, Jeremy Bash, Leon Panetta’s former chief of staff, told Axios “it’s unusual for a White House to complete the NSS in its first year.”
According to the Washington Examiner, many forum attendees were concerned about federal budget caps passed by Congress in 2013 that threaten “the Trump Administration’s effort to rebuild the military.” But the report also states that Rep. Kevin McCarthy is negotiating a deal to raise the $549 billion cap on base defense spending for 2018.
Speaking of expensive military upgrades, a more unusual topic that was also discussed at the forum was the US Air Force’s progress on next-generation missile warning satellites that could operate by fiscal year 2029. STRATCOM head General John Hyten stated that he has “talked to enough people in industry” that he knows a date sooner than 2029 is possible for “the warfighter.” While Hyten said that “There’s not enough money in the budget to keep buying billion-dollar satellites...,” private industry “could make them $200 million satellites, $100 million satellites…” going forward.
Trump’s NSS document reportedly includes (upon Newt Gingrich’s suggestion) methods for the Trump Administration to tackle “Russia’s hybrid warfare and new breakthroughs in the weaponization of space.”