"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Jim Talent: “A Clear Global Strategy Will Help Define Defense Policy”

October 20th, 2008 by mopns · No Comments

By Jim Talent

If you ask a foreign policy question of a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, ultimately he would say that the question is above his paygrade. Defense policy is subordinate to foreign policy, in the sense that the military does the tasks it is directed to do to advance the policies that civilians determine.

Defense policy and foreign policy are not the same thing. And that’s the problem. There is increasing frustration among the leaders of the military because they have the job of preparing to accomplish America’s strategic mission in the post-Cold War world, and they are not sure what that mission is. They have resorted to deducing a national military strategy from the various operations they have been ordered to perform over the past 20 years. That means they have been slower than usual to adjust to new requirements. For example, three times during the past 20 years, the military has been involved in building democracies — in Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq. But neither they nor their civilian counterparts have developed comprehensive nation-building capabilities, and it will be years before they do so in the absence of strategic direction, because nation-building is controversial, difficult and only tangentially related to the more traditional foreign policy and defense functions.

Contrast the current situation with the Cold War years. Read more…

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Tags: Hon. Jim Talent

0 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Kaycie // Apr 8, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    L7B1Hv Cool! That’s a clever way of looking at it!

  • 2 cnbepe // Apr 11, 2011 at 8:52 am

    F4ca7j ftlmajpavqwn

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