Russians, hackers cited as threats in new Obama National Security Strategy Document

Washington (CNN)What keeps President Barack Obama's national security team up at night? It's all laid out in the administration's new national security strategy document released by the White House on Friday, which lays out the administration's foreign policy priorities.

There are no major policy announcements in the 29-page report. Terrorists, Russian aggression in Eastern Ukraine, and hackers are all cited as threats in the president's strategy, threats National Security Adviser Susan Rice fleshed out Friday in an appearance at the Brookings Institute.
In the wake of ISIS's potentially dubious claims that American hostage Kayla Mueller was killed in a coalition airstrike, Rice denounced the militant group and reaffirmed the U.S.'s commitment to "degrade and ultimately defeat" ISIS.
"And with the world united in condemnation of its horrific executions, ISIL should know that their barbarism only fortifies the world's collective resolve," Rice said.
    With U.S. officials warning of continued Russian aggression toward Ukraine in recent days, Rice said the U.S. is still weighing whether to expand its military assistance to Ukraine to include lethal arms.
    Rice said the administration was clear-eyed that "the challenges ahead will surely continue to be many and great."
    "One thing I can guarantee you, President Obama is going to leave everything on the field and so will the rest of his team," Rice said. "Progress won't be quick or linear but we are committed to seizing the future that lies beyond the future of the day and to perusing a vision of the world as it can and should be."
    The document released Friday is more a window into Obama's cautious and nuanced foreign policy doctrine that seeks to avoid messy foreign entanglements in favor of a more multinational approach to global dangers.
    "Violent extremism and an evolving terrorist threat raise a persistent risk of attacks on America and our allies," Obama writes in the report's introduction. "Escalating challenges to cybersecurity, aggression by Russia, the accelerating impacts of climate change, and the outbreak of infectious diseases all give rise to anxieties about global security. We must be clear-eyed about these and other challenges."
    But in a reminder of his deliberative decision-making style, the President cautions the U.S. must "make hard choices among many competing priorities."
    "We must always resist the over-reach that comes when we make decisions based upon fear. Moreover, we must recognize that a smart national security strategy does not rely solely on military power," Obama states.
    The document repeatedly mentions Russia's intervention in Ukraine as a key foreign policy challenge for the administration. As the White House is weighing whether to ship defensive military weapons to Ukraine in its battle against Russian-backed separatists, the national security strategy hints at potential new assistance for "partners" such as the government in Kiev.
    "We will deter Russian aggression, remain alert to its strategic capabilities, and help our allies and partners resist Russian coercion over the long term, if necessary," the strategy document warns. "At the same time, we will keep the door open to greater collaboration with Russia in areas of common interests, should it choose a different path."
    There is a distinct shift in tone from the administration when it comes to ISIS, the terrorist organization described by Obama as "JV" in an interview with the New Yorker last year.
    In the strategy document, ISIS is referred to as one of "a growing number of regionally focused and globally connected groups— many with an al-Qa'ida pedigree... which could pose a threat to the homeland."
    In the aftermath of North Korea's suspected hack attack on Sony Pictures in response to the film, "The Interview," the Obama administration also vows to meet the cybersecurity threat in the strategy document.
    Still, the White House leaves no doubt where it believes many of the world's hacking threats originate - not North Korea but China.
    "We will take necessary actions to protect our businesses and defend our networks against cyber-theft of trade secrets for commercial gain whether by private actors or the Chinese government," the national security report states.
    While an annual national security strategy report to Congress is mandated by law, this is the first such report from the White House since 2010. Former President George W. Bush also declined to provide annual strategy reports.