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Obama to Unveil National Security Strategy

  • VOA News

FILE - President Barack Obama speaks during a new conference in the East Room of the White House.

FILE - President Barack Obama speaks during a new conference in the East Room of the White House.

President Barack Obama is set to present his plan to deal with foreign policy concerns, ranging from the Islamic State to the rise of China, in a report to lawmakers.

No major policy changes are expected to be unveiled Friday in the 33-page National Security Strategy document.

Some Republican lawmakers have criticized Obama for what they feel is an insufficient response to global threats, including the Islamic State group and Russia's actions in Ukraine.

In a brief introduction to the report, President Obama defended his policies. "In a complex world, many of the security problems we face do not lend themselves to quick and easy fixes," he said.

Obama's introduction affirmed the importance of American leadership in the 21st century and said the U.S. will continue to fight extremists. But he also warned against "the overreach that comes when we make decisions based on fear."

Under a 1986 law, the president is required to submit a National Security Strategy to Congress every year, though in practice this is usually only done periodically.

The president last submitted the strategy document in 2010. Since then, he has pulled U.S. troops from Iraq and begun to wind down the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan.

But Obama now faces the question of how to deal with Islamic State extremists that have taken over large parts of Iraq and Syria and committed mass atrocities there.

White House officials are also considering providing weapons to the Ukrainian government to help in Kyiv's battle against pro-Russia separatists.

Such concerns have overshadowed President Obama's attempt to focus U.S. diplomatic, security and economic attention on Asia, where the rise of China has rattled many U.S. allies.

White House National Security Adviser Susan Rice will deliver a speech in Washington Friday that is expected to lay out the president's foreign policy plans for his final two years in office.

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