U.S. National Intelligence Strategy Highlights Democracy Promotion

Bolstering the growth of democracy in other countries is a top strategic mission for the nation's intelligence agencies, according to the National Intelligence Strategy of the United States of America released on October 26. The document states that the intelligence community must support diplomatic and military efforts when intervention is necessary and forge relationships with new and incipient democracies that can help them strengthen the rule of law and ward off threats to representative government. It must also provide U.S. policymakers with an analytic framework for identifying both the threats to and opportunities for promoting democracy, as well as warning of state failure.

John D. Negroponte, Director of National Intelligence, said of this document, "This strategy is a statement of our fundamental values, highest priorities and orientation toward the future, but it is an action document as well. For U.S. national intelligence, the time for change is now.”

The strategic objectives of the National Intelligence according to the National Intelligence Strategy of the United States of America are:

  • Defeat terrorists at home and abroad by disarming their operational capabilities, and seizing the initiative from them by promoting the growth of freedom and democracy.
  • Prevent and counter the spread of Weapons of Mass Destruction.
  • Bolster the growth of democracy and sustain peaceful democratic states.
  • Develop innovative ways to penetrate and analyze the most difficult targets.
  • Anticipate developments of strategic concern and identify opportunities as well as vulnerabilities for decision-makers.

According to the The New York Times

Negroponte, the director of national intelligence, said the rankings were intended to align the work of intelligence agencies with the administration's broader national security goals. . . . At a briefing, Mr. Negroponte said he did not believe that the priorities reflected a significant change from those in place before the overhaul of intelligence agencies and the establishment of his post six months ago. But another senior intelligence official, speaking at the same briefing, said the emphasis reflected an acknowledgment that American agencies needed to do "a better job" in understanding the role played by "soft power."

The Bush administration has seized upon the expansion of democracy abroad as a central theme of foreign policy, especially since President Bush devoted much of his second inaugural address to pledging support for democratic movements "in every nation and culture."

Among other things, the strategy says that "collectors, analysts and operators" within the 15 American intelligence agencies should seek to "forge relationships with new and incipient democracies" in order to help "strengthen the rule of law and ward off threats to representative government."

This is another sign of the American administration's commitment to democracy promotion worldwide and particularly in the Middle East. This commitment rests on the administration's conviction of the necessity of promoting freedom and democracy to the U.S. national security in the post-9/11 international context.

Here are some related statements by U.S. top officials:

(Source: International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State.)

U.S. Will Continue To Press for Expansion of Freedom in Mideast

The Bush administration will continue working to expand liberty and freedom in the Middle East as part of the U.S. effort to help countries and peoples transform their capabilities to govern themselves, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said January 5.

In the interview with the State Department press corps Rice said:

Obviously, last year and now this year, probably the dominant story in foreign policy has been the changing Middle East. I noted a few days ago when I was watching CNN that there actually is a series about the Middle East and it starts with, "The Middle East is Changing." And I think I would make the argument that indeed the Middle East is changing and changing very dramatically. The President, in his Inaugural Address, Second Inaugural Address, made very clear that it was going to be the policy of the United States to insist that the policies that we followed worldwide about liberty and freedom would also be pursued in the Middle East, and I think something has been unleashed in the Middle East.


State's Burns Outlines U.S. Trans-Atlantic Agenda for 2006

"Our goal in 2006 is to broaden NATO's mandate and extend its global reach."

By Jeffrey Thomas
Washington File Staff Writer

Washington -- A senior State Department official says the U.S. agenda for the trans-Atlantic relationship in 2006 is to broaden NATO’s mandate and extend its global reach; to advance democracy in Russia, Ukraine, the Caucasus and Central Asia; and to cooperate with Europe in every region of the world through political, economic and security partnerships.

R. Nicholas Burns, under secretary of state for political affairs, outlined U.S. goals for a European Institute audience December 15 in Washington. The State Department released his remarks December 27.

Burns characterized 2005 as the year Europe and the United States stopped the trans-Atlantic war of words, rediscovered each other and got back to work on the world’s problems, having recognized they are “wed together in a long-term marriage with no possibility of separation or divorce.”

He cited a long list of U.S.-European achievements in 2005, ranging from Lebanon and Syria, where the United States and France led the way to “unprecedented and constructive U.N. action,” to Belarus, where the alliance is “delivering a united message for freedom against Europe’s last dictator.”

In 2005, the entire trans-Atlantic agenda shifted “from an inward focus on Europe to an outward focus, and U.S.-European relations are increasingly a function of events in the Middle East, Asia and Africa,” Burns said.

This profound shift, Burns said, will drive the United States and Europe more closely together, not further apart.

“Europe will be our most important partner as we confront the central security challenge of the coming generation -- the global threats flowing over, under and through our national borders: terrorism; the proliferation of chemical, biological and nuclear technologies; international crime and narcotics; HIV/AIDS; and, climate change,” Burns said. “Our interests are nearly identical on all these issues,” he added.


Turning to the agenda for 2006, Burns said the United States wants to continue to work through NATO as the core trans-Atlantic link but to broaden and extend NATO’s mandate to Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

In working with the European Union, “the next great mission for us together is spreading the freedom we enjoy in Europe and America,” Burns said.

“We also need to complete our work in Europe by attending to the Balkans, Ukraine and Russia,” he said. “We need to continue fostering democracy and opposing repression in Central Asia and the Caucasus. And, most importantly, the United States and Europe need to intensify our efforts in the broader Middle East, as well as Africa and Asia.”

Finally, Burns discussed U.S.-European cooperation around the world, including in the Balkans, the Caucasus and Central Asia, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Asia and Africa.

About the Balkans, he said, “U.S. leadership is indispensable and we have revitalized our efforts.”

He reiterated the U.S. commitment “to pursuing the Freedom Agenda in Russia and Ukraine.”
In Central Asia, he said, “we must engage Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan, and demand reform from Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.”


Regarding Iraq, Burns urged Europe to play a constructive role: “Whatever our past disagreements over removing Saddam Hussein from power, the Europeans must now recognize that democracy's failure in Iraq would be a grave blow to our common security, and to the prospect for reform and stability throughout the Middle East.”

He urged Europe to support the new Iraqi government that emerges from the mid-December elections and to engage with the new Iraqi leaders.

On Iran and its pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability, he said the United States is working closely with Europeans, Russia, India, China and other countries “with the hope of forming one increasingly united and purposeful coalition to deter Iran's efforts.”

Regarding Afghanistan, he said the United States is committed to ensuring that that Central Asian country never again is a haven for terrorism. But it will take European troops and commitment to extend the national government's reach into the provinces, he said. The narcotics trade threatens to destroy all of the political, military, and economic progress that has been made in Afghanistan, he said, adding: “We hope European governments will recognize the threat and respond appropriately by significantly funding alternative livelihood programs.”

In Asia, the United States and Europe “need to develop a strategic consensus on how to engage a rising India and China.”

Regarding Africa, Burns said supporting that continent’s development is and will continue to be a new priority area for the United States. In Sudan, the United States is working with the EU and NATO to provide support to the African Union (AU) to help it carry out its mission in Darfur. “When the AU makes a request, we hope that NATO and the EU will continue to respond quickly and favorably,” Burns said.

The text of Burns’ remarks

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