Friday, September 9, 2011

Hillary Clinton: more 'smart power' needed in terrorism fight -

Hillary Clinton: more 'smart power' needed in terrorism fight -

Secretary Clinton's push to have the U.S. State Department gear up to take over more of the post war, and transitional Government oversight, is not only a good move, but the correct one. The US has had the DOD take over more and more of the job of Diplomacy since mid Bush Administration. I believe it was needed in many ways, but it came with a real cost, as well.

The face of US presence in the eyes of most of the world now is a Military Armed Soldier, and where that promotes a physical strength and power, which is still needed at times, it needs to be the back up face. State needs to take back the role of working with other nations, with the DOD as the hammer, when and if needed. For many years it was State with the velvet hammer being the CIA, and the lone ranger coming into save the day was our Military, the most powerful force in the world. If asked now, most would tell you it has been turned on its head, we have a Military being backed by the CIA, with the State Department as the place holder.

Some of this came about from an ongoing and extended war, some blame can be placed directly on the State Department itself. They could not defer to the Military when needed, part I think of an old school approach at State, built over years of being in total control, and losing face if they deferred to the Military at all. I think all parties involved should take some basic FEMA course on Unified Command Structure. City & State Politicians, are learning to work with Police and Emergency Management (in most cases Fire Departments) under a unified command structure. It was hard going, and there are still issues, but a unified command approach is what is needed between State, DOD, & CIA. But State needs to be the lead, since they will have to continue when an incident is over.

State does need some work as the Secretary has pointed out, but she does have a plan, and part of that plan is to move up the branch dealing with Terrorism and Security, to stand with her directly as needed. It also will take a lot of work in the ranks of the State career officers, they really need to move away from the old European Aristocratic approach to a more business approach. It is also imperative that they train. drill, and buy into a unified command approach to dealing with incidents. If they do not, then this DOD taking full command during an incident will be needed, which just makes it harder to transition quickly back to a State Department controlled normalcy.

DOD will need to re evaluate chain of command issues, but really only at the top, in a true unified command approach, the DOD should only be sharing command at the very top of the incident command structure, with it's chain of command fully in place from there down. It was when State Department or even in some cases when CIA tried and in some cases inserted themselves into a DOD command structure at different levels that a Military chain of command can not function effectively.

But a lot of this is theory from someone that I do not think is equipped (myself) to evaluate all the issues, but as a theory, it is based on a perception that until we have the US State Department fully in charge of Diplomacy again, we the US will be working at odds with the rest of the world. Our Military is our protective and enforcement arm, not a diplomacy by force arm.

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