Gates Is Not Alone


(U.S. Global Leadership Campaign Director Liz Schrayer and pollster Geoff Garin explain U.S. military leadership attitudes on U.S. national security — partial video)

Bob Gates sent shockwaves through the national security community last year at Kansas State University when he dared suggest that the non-military instruments of power are under-resourced. Turns out, he’s not alone.
Earlier this year, I learned that Rep. Jack Murtha, who chairs the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, worked with Rep. Nita Lowey, who chairs the Foreign Ops. (non-military foreign affairs) Subcommittee to bump up her spending allocation — a smart and selfless move.

Geoff Garin and Bill McInturff, who did a phenomenally thorough poll last year for the United Nations Foundation showing new patterns in the public’s foreign policy preferences, released a memo last week on their new poll of military officers’ attitudes. Long story short, they’re backing up their boss. Here’s a key finding that summarizes the poll:

Eighty-four percent (84%) of officers say that strengthening non-military tools such as diplomacy and development efforts should be at least equal to strengthening military efforts when it comes to improving America’s ability to address threats to our national security.

This isn’t really news, but it should serve to rebut those who suggest that the effort to enhance U.S. diplomatic and development initiatives represents a challenge to the military. News flash to these folks: Gen. Buck Turgidson is a figment of Stanley Kubrick’s (and Peter George’s) imagination.

Get with the program.
— Scott Paul


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