Posted by: Martin Fox | August 12, 2008

Pentagon and Robert Gates Inceasing “Soft Power”

Yes, it’s true, I was dancing in my chair when I read an article discussing Secretary of Defense Gates and his Pentagon report highlighting the opinion that the US military needs to increase soft power activities to resolve issues.

Soft power was a recurring theme at the Chautauqua Institute’s “Leadership in American Policy” week in July. A week of brilliant insight and refreshing perspective, including candid comments from speakers who were not from the USA. While I don’t know much about Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, I wanted to hug him after reading the soft power article. Hmm, there is probably some rule again hugging US Secretaries.

My three favorit quotes from the article are below:

  1. “The need to subordinate military operations to “soft power” initiatives to undermine Islamist militancy by promoting economic, political and social development in vulnerable corners of the world.”
  2. “The patient accumulation of quiet success against militant adversaries and the importance of improved relations with “old allies and new partners.”
  3. “The use of force plays a role, yet military efforts to capture or kill terrorists are likely to be subordinate to measures to promote local participation in government and economic programs to spur development, as well as efforts to understand and address the grievances that often lie at the heart of insurgencies.”

Hmm, understanding a addressing the grievances that lie at the heart of insurgencies. Yep, I think that hug is coming.

Peace out – Martin Fox with the Center for Global Leadership and The Higher Road Initiative

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