World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


US Defense Sec. Seeks More Funds For 'Soft' Power


By Al Pessin
Pentagon

US Defense Secretary Calls for Increased Budget for 'Soft' Power

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates is calling for a significant expansion in the budgets of government agencies that promote U.S. interests through diplomacy, foreign aid, information and other aspects of what he calls "soft" power.

Secretary Gates says the U.S. government needs "new institutions for the 21st Century with a 21st Century mind-set." He told an audience at Kansas State University recent conflicts, including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, have proved that military power alone can not prevail in this century's challenges. He said that means devoting "considerably more resources" to other parts of the U.S. government.

"There is a need for a dramatic increase in spending on the civilian instruments of national security - diplomacy, strategic communications, foreign assistance, civic action and economic reconstruction and development," he said. "We must focus our energies beyond the guns and steel of the military, beyond just our brave soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen. We must also focus our energies on the other elements of national power that will be so crucial in the years to come."

Gates says that means more money for the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development, whose budgets are currently a small fraction of the size of his budget for the Defense Department.

He says the U.S. government might also need new organizations to expand and coordinate its capabilities to deliver assistance on governance, rule of law, internal reconciliation and basic services, and to communicate its policies and goals to the world. He suggests the need for a new National Security Act, updating the law passed in 1947 that established the current U.S. government foreign affairs structure, in order to better deal with the conflicts of the future.

"These conflicts will be fundamentally political in nature, and require the application of all elements of national power," he said. "Success will be less a matter of imposing one's will and more a function of shaping behavior - of friends, adversaries, and most importantly, the people in between."

Secretary Gates also said while U.S. military power will continue to be important in promoting U.S. interests, the most important U.S. military role may be to enable partner nations "to defend and govern themselves." He says the skills needed to do that are now a mission for the entire U.S. military.

He says more effective U.S. government civilian and military efforts to build democratic societies around the world could also "make it less likely that military force will have to be used" in various potential conflict zones of the future.

ENDS

More: Latest World News | Top World News | World Digest | Archives

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news