Overview: The Strategic Context of Responsibility Sharing
The U.S. National Security Strategy of Engagement and Enlargement includes
three essential elements:
- National security interests represent the ends or
objectives of our strategy. Since the United States has national
security interests worldwide, our strategy involves commitments, presence, and
responsibility sharing arrangements worldwide.
- U.S. military forces are among the most important
means of implementing the strategy, and our forward presence is perhaps
its most visible demonstration.
- Allied contributions to security represent important
dividends of engagement--the degree to which our security goals are
shared and our efforts reciprocated. This community of shared interests and
goals makes our security arrangements strong yet flexible, efficient and
effective politically, militarily, and economically.
This last item, allied responsibility sharing, cannot be divorced from the
strategic ends and means which it supports, and is one measure of the scope and
success of U.S. engagement. Indeed, by this measure, our strategy of
engagement continues to be very successful--as documented in this Overview to
the 1996 Report on Allied Contributions to the Common Defense.
Within the framework of our engagement strategy, the central tenets of the
Administration's responsibility sharing policy are as follows:
- Responsibility sharing is an important but not paramount
objective of our national security strategy. The foremost goals of