Speaking at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., on Friday, White House National Security Advisor Susan Rice described the terrorist threat from radical Islam as “violent extremism” and said part of President Barack Obama’s national security strategy is fighting “the very real threat of climate change” and promoting gay rights.
Rice’s remarks followed the release on Friday of Obama’s 2015 National Security Strategy, which updates a similar document released by the White House in 2010.
While saying the radical Islamic group ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) is an offshoot of al Qaeda and that the United States is committed to “countering the corrosive ideology of violent extremism,” Rice called for a “sense of perspective” when assessing that threat.
“Too often, what’s missing here in Washington is a sense of perspective,” Rice said. “Yes, there is a lot going on.
“Still, while the dangers we face may be more numerous and varied, they are not of the existential nature we confronted during World War II or during the Cold War,” Rice said. “We cannot afford to be buffeted by alarmism in a nearly instantaneous news cycle.”
In her remarks, Rice listed other threats to U.S. security, including “the very real threat of climate change” and the necessity of promoting equality for homosexuals.
“American leadership is addressing the very real threat of climate change,” Rice said. “The science is clear.
“The impacts of climate change will only worsen over time,” Rice said. “Even longer droughts; more severe storms; more forced migration.
“So we’re making smart decisions today that will pay off for generations,” Rice said.
Equality for homosexuals is also a focus of the 2015 National Security Strategy, Rice said, by first addressing equality based on gender and then citing the rights of people who oppose gender classification.