"Each administration is required by the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986 to submit an
annual report to Congress setting out the nation’s comprehensive strategic security objectives. The
tradition began with President Harry S Truman in 1950 with NSC-68, a report that focused on the
United States and the then-Soviet Union and calling for a doctrine of containment that dominated the
ensuing Cold War. Each president since then has submitted a similar document to Congress in varying
forms and with varying degrees of specificity."
The United States Code, the codification by subject matter of the general and permanent laws of the U.S., last updated in 2000, stipulates the conditions of the National Security Strategy under Title 50, Chapter 15, Subchapter I, § 404a of the "Annual National Security Strategy Report":
"(a) Transmittal to Congress
The President shall transmit to Congress each year a comprehensive
report on the national security strategy of the United States
(hereinafter in this section referred to as a 'national security
(2) The national security strategy report for any year shall be
transmitted on the date on which the President submits to Congress the
budget for the next fiscal year under section 1105 of title 31.
(3) Not later than 150 days after the date on which a new President
takes office, the President shall transmit to Congress a national
security strategy report under this section. That report shall be in
addition to the report for that year transmitted at the time specified
in paragraph (2).
Each national security strategy report shall set forth the national
security strategy of the United States and shall include a
comprehensive description and discussion of the following:
The worldwide interests, goals, and objectives of the United States
that are vital to the national security of the United States.
(2) The foreign policy, worldwide commitments, and national defense
capabilities of the United States necessary to deter aggression and to
implement the national security strategy of the United States.
(3) The proposed short-term and long-term uses of the political,
economic, military, and other elements of the national power of the
United States to protect or promote the interests and achieve the goals
and objectives referred to in paragraph (1).
(4) The adequacy of the capabilities of the United States to carry out
the national security strategy of the United States, including an
evaluation of the balance among the capabilities of all elements of the
national power of the United States to support the implementation of
the national security strategy.
(5) Such other information as may be necessary to help inform Congress
on matters relating to the national security strategy of the United
(c) Classified and unclassified form
Each national security strategy report shall be transmitted in both a classified and an unclassified form."