Prepared by: Mahmoud Medhat Mukhtar Abdel Hamid, Faculty of Economics and Political Science – Cairo University.

  • Arab Democratic Center

an introduction:

The word security is the opposite of fear and panic, it means the reassurance of expecting something unpleasant. Security is a term, like most social sciences terms for which there is no single definition of agreement. The British Encyclopedia believes that security means “protecting the state and the nation from the danger of oppression at the hands of a foreign country.” The US Secretary of State and National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger linked the concept of security to the right to remain, and believed that security is “the behavior of society to achieve its right to survival.” As for Boutros Ghali, he believed that security is not limited to the state and its regional units, but rather extends to its political and economic stability [1] . This indicates that there is no comprehensive definition of security. State security is located on three levels: the national level (which is the subject of study), the regional level , and the international or global level.The term national security is an American term originally appeared in the United States of America in 1947 by the National Security Agency, and it refers to a group of internal and external dangers that affect the internal entity of the state [2] . The United States of America is one of the unique countries in the world whose presidents develop a clear-cut strategy for national security with the beginning of each new period of government, as this strategy is considered as the general framework governing its foreign policy and includes – with the order of priorities – all security dimensions, whether traditional or not. Traditional.

This research will be limited to the National Security Strategy of the United States of America, issued in 2017 during the era of President Trump, as it is the last thing issued by the US administration, in terms of showing the non-traditional dimensions of security included in it. Beginning with an introduction to the most important theories related to how to achieve national security, and to clarify the most important modern threats facing the national security of countries.

First: theories of achieving national security:

With the emergence of the term national security for states after the end of the Second World War, the question began about how to guarantee this security for the state, and a number of theories appeared that presented various mechanisms which they considered to be the guarantors of achieving national security, and these theories fall into two directions:

The first trend : it can be called the traditional trend , which appeared during the Cold War period, and it is the positivist theories of national security that preserved the Westphalian system based on the centrality of the state as the only actor in international relations and that it is the basic unit of reference for achieving security, and among these theoretical theories Realism and Liberalism. Hence, according to this trend, the safety and survival of the state equals achieving security [3] .

The second trend: itcalled Amooson direction or shows the trend of traditional trend thatemerged ineighties withbeginninginternational detente emergence and openingup inUSSoviet relations and building confidence insysteminternational, a theory after the situation that criticizedtheoriesposition, in termsAguetzaretha centralized The role of the state, and it called for expanding the security agenda [4] . Among the most important of these theories:

  • The Copenhagen School : which contributed to deepening and expanding the contents of security, and its most important thinkers are Barry Buzan and Uli Weaver . In his book “People, States, and Fear” which was published in 1983, Buzan saw the need to expand the field of research in security studies to sectors other than the military On which positivist theories focused on, such as the political, economic, societal and environmental sectors [5] . This school made three main contributions, namely: the concept of community security, as this school was the first to talk about this concept through Buzan and Wafir, who saw that it means the ability of society to maintain its essential personality in light of changing circumstances and potential and current threats, and then the threat is not state security. Not only that, but also community security. The second contribution is the theory of securitizationWhich developed by Weaver and saw that it is a type of failure in crisis management, it means imposing the security formula on certain issues – which may be ordinary – in order to legitimize the resort to certain arrangements by leaders, which comes at the expense of the mechanisms of democracy (such as debate, dialogue and referendum). Weaver introduced the term non Omananh Desecuritization who saw it that the conversion of certain issues to security requires relevant procedures and thus reduce the severity of Alomananh. Finally , the regional security complex , as this school is considered one of the first to introduce the concept of regional security [6] .
  • Criticism trend: It is a trend that opposes positivist theories in security, and includes two currents: The first is what is known as the School of Wales , and its pioneers are Ken Booth and Richard Wayne Jones, and its content focuses on the idea of ​​liberation or human emancipation, so security is achieved when people are freed from human restrictions and Materialism that prevents them from doing what they freely choose to do. As for the second current: it is the current of Kate Krause and Michael Williams, and sees the need to move from focusing on the military dimension of state behavior in light of chaos to focusing on individuals, society and identity [7] .
  • Feminism trend: which focuses on the importance of the role of women and their share of security studies [8] .


Second: Modern threats to the national security of states and their roots:

The reports issued by the United Nations identified a group of modern threats facing the national security of the countries of the world at the present time, and even in the coming decades, and the most important of these threats are: economic and social threats, international conflict, internal conflicts, nuclear, radiological, chemical and biological weapons, terrorism, and organized crime Transnational [9] . We can add to them as well as space war, cyber warfare, fourth generation wars and hybrid wars.

In fact, these threats were not only born of the twenty-first century, but what is new in the matter is the emergence of the terminology of these threats in this direct form, as the roots of these threats go back hundreds, even thousands of years. The Noble Qur’an mentioned “What is said to you except what was said to the Messenger before you ِن Your Lord is forgiven and carries a painful punishment” [10]In our contemporary terms, this means that psychological warfare was used against the Messenger and the messengers before him, peace be upon them – as accusations of witchcraft or madness – to force them to give up the mission they were entrusted with. The Messenger succeeded in using psychological warfare to instill fear in the hearts of the enemies of Islam and achieve victory over them. For example, in the conquest of Mecca 8 AH, the Muslims succeeded in entering Makkah without a fight, as the Messenger preferred ﷺ at that time to wage psychological warfare on his enemies while he was on his way to conquer Mecca. He ordered the Muslims to light the fires during their stay in their camp, and they lit ten thousand fires in one night, which made their camp a magnificent sight that threw terror into the hearts of the enemies and achieved for the Messenger ﷺ what he wanted without direct military conflict [11] .

Psychological and cultural wars continued to be used to achieve various purposes, and this was clearly evident in the last century, for example, psychological warfare was used when Joseph Goebbels was appointed as Minister of Propaganda by the German dictator Hitler, who portrayed Hitler to the Germans as the only savior of Germany, which contributed to the large crowd. For the German people [12] . As for the cultural war, it emerged when the United States of America and Western powers succeeded in using the promotion of their own cultural values ​​such as freedom, democracy and their own way of life, which had an impact on the destruction of the Soviet Union [13] . On the other hand, biological warfare is also considered ancient as ancient history, so that it is said that the first to use this weapon was the Greek commander Solon in 600 BC, by polluting the water of the river from which his enemies drink, which led to their injury and easy for him to defeat them [14]. Hence, most of these non-traditional security dimensions, which are not only represented in direct military conflict, have their roots in ancient times, except for their terminology that has become widely used in our current era. This matter undoubtedly makes it necessary for states to be aware of the various sources of threat, which enhances the strength and cohesion of the state.

Third: the non-traditional dimensions of security in the US 2017 strategy:

The National Security Strategy of 2017 for the United States of America under President Trump included many non-traditional security dimensions, so we find that it accorded great importance to many non-military security dimensions such as space, biosecurity, cybersecurity, economic security, energy security, strengthening diplomacy, and societal security. However, this does not mean that it ignored the military dimension – which is indispensable. Rather, most of the strategy included non-traditional security dimensions more than traditional. If we look at a comparative view of the national security strategies of the United States of America, we find that there has been a shift in these strategies since Obama came to power, during which two national security strategies were issued (2010-2015). With the 2010 strategy, the US national security strategies began to turn to issues and dimensions. Other non-traditional ones, the most important of which are economics, environment, space security, cybersecurity, epidemic response, climate change, diplomacy, science, energy security.[15] .

The most important non-traditional security dimensions included in the National Security Strategy 2017 under President Trump are as follows [16] :

  1. Biosecurity and epidemic response:

The American strategy saw that biological accidents, whether intentionally, as happened in October 2001, when the anthrax attacks in the United States of America after the events of September 11, or naturally unintentional such as SARS or Ebola virus, would lead to many disasters, including losses. Humanity, the destruction of the economy, the loss of confidence in government institutions. The strategy also saw that although the development of life sciences has many positive effects on areas such as health, economy and society, it allows many flaws that would lead to disasters in such areas, in addition to that this development may reach international parties. Others, and thus may be made available to some terrorist organizations.

  1. Cybersecurity:

The political encyclopedia defines cybersecurity as “a set of mechanisms, procedures, means and frameworks aimed at protecting software and computers (cyberspace in general) from various attacks and penetrations (cyber threats) that may threaten the national security of countries” [17]. The Trump administration has considered that cyber attacks have become one of the hallmarks of modern conflict, and that militias and non-state actors can now use cyber attacks to distort and destroy the information security of states, and that they would threaten the integrity of democratic systems, organizations and the global economic system. Hence, the US administration saw the necessity of strongly combating and deterring cyber threats and their users through: developing the ability to respond quickly to cyber attacks, developing cyber tools and possessing experts in the cyber field and enhancing their capabilities, developing and developing integration between government institutions – in cooperation with Congress – so that directed cyber operations Against the enemies of the United States of America is strong and at the best level.

  1. Economic security:

The American administration considered that economic prosperity is a major pole of national security, and therefore the country must develop from its economic level, which had been affected – from the critical point of the Trump administration – negatively in the past few years (during the administration of former President Obama, especially as a result of the global recession crisis. Occurred in 2008) as a result of the relative intervention of the government that led to a relative decline in economic growth and employment opportunities. Mechanisms for reviving the US economy are mentioned in three parts of the National Security Strategy, which are:

  • Reducing barriers to investments, reforming the tax system, developing infrastructure, reducing foreign debt through financial measures, and strengthening educational and training programs to qualify American workers .
  • Promoting free and fair economic reciprocal relations with other countries: with the aim of increasing American exports abroad, widening the scope for them, and removing the obstacles they face.
  • Attracting many partners from developing countries: The American administration considered attracting developing countries to be one of the greatest victories. Because it would create profitable markets for American investments, making the United States of America wealthier and more competitive.
  1. Leadership in scientific research, technology, innovation, and innovation:

The Trump administration has adopted these four areas in order to enhance US competitiveness, as it has deemed that the state should give priority to the technological field by developing modern technological fields such as nanotechnology and artificial intelligence, and that this would enhance economic growth and state security. In addition to the importance of attracting innovators and inventors through incentives and removing everything that hinders the full utilization of various skills within all American states, thus serving the public sphere and the economy. On the other hand, the strategy emphasized that investment should be made early in the fields of scientific research and development.

  1. Energy security:

This dimension was given a great deal of importance, as President Trump’s administration promised that the United States of America would, for the first time in history, be a leader in the energy field in the world, and enumerated many positive returns that would be as a result of that on the country, including the production of a strong and prosperous economy with free and secure markets, Ensure and protect environmental security by reducing the severity of traditional pollution and greenhouse gases. The administration has also considered that this will only be done through a set of means, including: reducing the barriers imposed on energy production without harming environmental security, protecting global energy security by working with allies to confront cyber and physical threats, and supporting diversity in the production of energy sources.

  1. Space security:

The administration of President Trump emphasized the need for the state to preserve its freedom of action and leadership in the field of space security, through NASA, which considered it imperative to develop a strategy that would guarantee US leadership in the space field. The strategy also stipulated that the American administration would achieve leadership for the country in the field of exploration and humanitarian surveys through partnership between the public and private sectors. The strategy also acknowledged that space security greatly helps in military strategic operations, and allows the ability of US forces to have hegemony in the event of conflicts.

  1. Diplomatic force:

The National Security Strategy stressed the importance of resorting to diplomacy as a means of resolving conflicts, especially in unstable regions in the world, and that diplomatic capabilities must be developed by maintaining a diplomatic presence abroad while presenting American interests first, identifying opportunities related to trade and cooperation, and facilitating exchange opportunities. Cultural and educational.

On the other hand, the strategy stressed the need to strengthen the economic tools of diplomacy, by developing and strengthening economic ties with allies, imposing economic pressures on those who threaten peace and security, which reduces military confrontations, and not accepting any support directed at terrorists or helping to spread weapons. Total destruction, in order to refute their strength to use this support in conducting hostilities and actions.

  1. Information Security:

The strategy saw that the information wars on the United States of America by penetrating its enemies of information has become a major threat to national security, which necessitates that the United States develop its capabilities in this field in order to effectively confront this type of threat.

  1. Community Security:

The strategy was also keen to include some threatening factors to ensure the protection and security of the American community, and the mechanisms for dealing with them in order to provide a protective cover for the American society and preserve its essence, and these mechanisms are mainly as follows:

  • Fighting transnational terrorist organizations : The American administration saw that these organizations would threaten the safety and health of American society, as they contribute to the introduction of drugs to citizens, spread violent gangs in society, and have a role in cyber crimes.
  • Securing the issue of illegal immigration: The strategy made the issue of illegal immigration a security issue that threatens national security, and that it must be dealt with firmly and severely by imposing the necessary and deterrent laws.
  • Protecting American values: This preserves the essence of American society, by working to spread the values ​​of freedom and equality in as many regions of the world as possible.


We conclude from the foregoing the increasing importance that the non-traditional and modern dimensions of security have become, such as the political, economic, social and environmental dimensions, and psychological, biological and chemical warfare. The network of relations between states is complicated, but the different dimensions must be integrated. On the other hand, it can be said that the US national security strategy, since it was developed, has not succeeded in achieving all of its goals. In containing the current Corona crisis, but it has become the world’s most human losses due to the crisis.

It is expected that after the end of the Corona pandemic, the importance of these modern security dimensions in the national security strategies of countries, whether written or not, will increase in importance, especially after trends emerged that believe in conspiracy theories between countries and biological wars with specific political purposes such as destroying a country’s economy.

List of references:

Amina Deir, “The Impact of Environmental Threats on the Reality of Human Security in Africa: A Case Study of the Countries of the Horn of Africa” , (Master Thesis, Muhammad Khaider University, Faculty of Law and Political Sciences, 2013/2014).

Engy Mahdi, “The Wideners Trend  , (two lectures on 3/1/2020 and 3/3/2020 , Faculty of Economics and Political Science, Cairo University).

Engy Mahdi, “The Security Issue in International Relations” , (Lecture, Faculty of Economics and Political Science, Cairo University, 11/2/2020).

Engy Mahdi, “Levels of Security”, (Lecture, Faculty of Economics and Political Science, Cairo University, 2/16/2020).

Ayman El-Nahrawy, Article entitled: “Introduction to Biological Warfare” , Al Shorouk Newspaper, published on March 22, 2020, available at the following link: -4946-8876-3a9c366acecf

Jaraya Al-Sadiq, “Changes in the concept of security in light of new international threats,” (Journal of Legal and Political Sciences, Issue 8, 2014).

Abdel-Fattah Abdel-Moneim, an article entitled: “A Secret Document to Protect American National Security,” Al- Youm Al- Sabe` , published on September 18, 2017, available at the following link: Document- Company – to protect-the-national-security / 3418021

Ali Abdel-Rahman, a report titled: “ Lie So People Believe You” .. The birth anniversary of the Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels , The Seventh Day, published on October 29, 2019, available at the following link: / 10/29/2019 / Lie-until-believe you-people-memory-birth-minister-propaganda-Nazism-Joseph / 4479495

Ali Muhammad Al-Sallabi, “The Messenger’s Battle: Lessons, Lessons, and Benefits” (Cairo, Iqra Foundation for Publishing, Distribution and Translation, First Edition 2007).

Kingsbury, Damien, et al, ” INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT: ISSUES AND CHALLENGES”, (Shanghai, Palgrave Macmillan, second edition 2012).

Trump, Donald J., National Security Strategy (NSS) (Washington, DC: White House, 2017), available on: الأمن% 20 السيبراني

[1] Engy Mahdi, “The Security Issue in International Relations” , (Lecture, Faculty of Economics and Political Science, Cairo University, 11/2/2020)

(2) Engy Mahdi, “Levels of Security”, (Lecture, Faculty of Economics and Political Science, Cairo University, 2/16/2020)

[3] Amina Deir, “The Impact of Environmental Threats on the Reality of Human Security in Africa: A Case Study of the Countries of the Horn of Africa” , (Master Thesis, Muhammad Khaider University, Faculty of Law and Political Sciences, 2013/2014), pp. 15-17

[4] Ibid., P. 18

[5] Ibid., P. 18

[6] Inge Mahdi, “The Wideners Trend ,  (two lectures on 3/1/2020 and 3/3/2020 , Faculty of Economics and Political Science, Cairo University)

[7] Umniah Deir, previous reference, pp. 19-20

[8] Ibid., P. 21

[9] Jaraya Al-Sadiq, “Shifts in the Concept of Security in Light of New International Threats,” (Journal of Legal and Political Sciences, Issue 8, 2014), p. 23

[10] Surah detail verse 43

[11] Ali Muhammad al-Sallabi, “The Prophet’s Battle: Lessons, Lessons, and Benefits” (Cairo, Iqra Foundation for Publishing, Distribution and Translation, First Edition 2007), p. 266

[12] Ali Abd al-Rahman, report entitled: “ Lie So People Believe You” .. The birthday of the Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels , The Seventh Day, published on October 29, 2019, available at the following link: https: //www.youm7. com / story / 2019/10/29 / lie-to-believe-you-people-memory-birth-minister-propaganda-Nazism-Joseph / 4479495

[13] Damien Kingsbury et al, ” INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT: ISSUES AND CHALLENGES”, (Shanghai, Palgrave Macmillan, second edition 2012), p 120

[14] Ayman El-Nahrawy, article entitled: “An Introduction to Biological Warfare” , Al-Shorouk newspaper, published on March 22, 2020, available at the following link: ae9f0e58-9ac3-4946-8876-3a9c366acecf

[15] Abdel-Fattah Abdel-Moneim, an article entitled: “A Secret Document to Protect American National Security,” Al- Youm Al-Sabea, published on September 18, 2017, available at the following link: / Secret-document-to-protect-national-security / 3418021

[16] Donald J. Trump, National Security Strategy (NSS) (Washington, DC: White House, 2017), available on:

[17] 20 cybersecurity