Sunday, August 8, 2010

Latest from the GWB Institute's "Ideas in Action" Should a core competency of U.S. military be state building and economic repair/development?

An outstanding 30 minute discussion:

I think the answer is that this needs to be a core competency of U.S. foreign policy, involving the military, state department, and other agencies. I would suggest having the military play the lead role, their having recent experience in the most difficult of situations doing precisely this sort of coordination, and also possessing the best reputation of any U.S. institution, not only domestically but internationally.

Long term goal: Move away from fall back realpolitik that characterized foreign policy in the latter half of the 20th century, as difficult as that may be, so as to avoid having to deal with states like Pakistan or Saudi, and inadvertently giving support to the vocal cynics about U.S. foreign policy that peddle a view that can be shortly encapsulated with this statement:

Freedom for me, but not necessarily for thee.

We must get away from that, especially in the Middle East.