Thursday, December 13, 2007

U.S. awakens to "soft power"

Led by the military, war-weary US awakens to 'soft power'
After six hard years of war, the United States is awakening to the idea that "soft power" is a better way to regain influence and clout in a world bubbling with instability.

And nowhere is the change in thinking more advanced than in the US military, which is pushing for greater diplomacy, economic aid, civic action and civilian capabilities to prevent new wars and win the peace in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Hmm...I seem to recall diplomacy being recommend before we went into Iraq, before we lost all these lives, before we squandered all this money, and before Bush ruined our reputation and standing in the world.

At least the military isn't waiting on the Bush administration to change their thinking, which the article describes as a "a mixed bag."
The military wants civilian agencies to do more to prevent wars, but is not waiting for them to get their act together, analysts say.

Instead, it has stepped up thinking and planning for what it calls "phase zero," military jargon for conflict prevention.

"I think they've come to the conclusion that insurgencies are really hard to fight. And so it would be better if they could not have the conflict in the first place," said Robert Perito, an expert at the US Institute of Peace.

"In conflict prevention, of course, there is very little military component to that. It's mostly all political and economic.
Americans will be dealing with the ramifications of the Iraq war for decades to come. Maybe conflict prevention will be the one good thing that comes out of all of this.


Larry said...

Seems a little late for "soft power" since Bush has caused most of the world to plot our demise.

expatbrian said...

This "revelation" by the military has nothing to do with a change in strategy or policy. The military loves wars, they justify their existence. This is a response to having NO MORE SOLDIERS to send anywhere. They need those boys back from Afghanistan and Iraq because they need to get them ready to go to a New War.

They can't very well say that they have been wrong all along. Instead, they will make it seem that they are instituting a new, more compassionate strategy of diplomacy.

Of course you are right Kathy. They could have done this before the slaughter. But that is not their function nor that of the liar in chief.

This new strategy is temporary. It will last until there is enough military manpower available to get into Iran. And they want to do that before Bush leaves office because they know that no Democratic admin will do it.

K. Rove said...

When we saw the war coming, and all the opposition to it, we knew at the time that going into Iraq was the biggest thing we've ever done with that weak of support.

I think war is never a good option, but at times it is unavoidable. We have a responsability to hunt down terrorist activity wherever it happens to be. The thing is, I was ready for that war. I figured that after the initial afghanistan "kickoff", it would turn into a slightly warmer version of the cold war. However, this blantant kind of "cowboy" action with such little support, will only happen once. Even an idiot like our president knows (and knew) that this was a one time shot. Go in with a fury, free Iraq (or get some oil), then hunker down and wage war on an idea. It's like the war on drugs, it will never end, we'll just one day quit fighting it assuming we don't kick another ant pile. Even the US has realized the danger in further disruption.

Kathy said...

Larry, I'm hopeful a change in the White House will help diffuse the anger the rest of the world feels towards us.

Expat, I'm not sure they have enough time to gather the military manpower before Bush leaves office. There are already signs of mutiny being reported in the ranks. On the other hand, if they hire enough Blackwater thugs they could probably get the power they need - at ten times the price.

KRove, the war in Afghanistan was unavoidable, but the war in Iraq didn't have a thing to do with the war on terror.