The Obama administration on Thursday released a sweeping statement of its national security goals, emphasizing a strong counterterrorism effort, but also citing the importance of government action on issues such as climate change and the economy.

The 52-page manifesto, called the National Security Strategy, aims to draw contrasts with President Bush’s 2006 version, which centered heavily on the anti-terror fight, and began by saying, “America is at war.”

By contrast, the Obama plan says that the government effort against radical extremism is “only one element of our strategic environment and cannot define America’s engagement with the world.”

The document calls for the United States to strengthen international institutions, to heed treaties and norms, and to build stronger ties to allies, including to the emerging powers of India, Brazil and China. It says the United States needs to manage the emergence of new powers, while pressuring other nations to shoulder more of the burden of international problems.

It also declares there are limits to how much the U.S. government can spend in fighting in such places as Afghanistan and Iraq.

That message may draw uneasy attention from governments in Afghanistan and Pakistan, which already are worried that the administration may reduce its expensive efforts in those places.

The security report is required by Congress. Benjamin Rhodes, the White House aide who its principal author, said its policies weren’t original plans devised for the document, but were pulled from other statements and presidential speeches.

The document isn’t binding in any way, but is likely to be carefully studied by Congress and Republicans in an election year. White House counterterrorism chief John Brennan, National Security Advisor James L. Jones and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton made public appearances on Wednesday and Thursday to promote the document.

Source: Paul Richter for the Tribune Washington Bureau/L.A. Times.

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