Military Leaders

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General John Allen, Former Commander of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan

“In many respects, USAID’s efforts can do as much — over the long term — to prevent conflict as the deterrent effect of a carrier strike group or a marine expeditionary force. There are adversaries in the CENTCOM region who understand and respect American hard power, but they genuinely fear American soft power frequently wielded in the form of USAID projects. While the hard power of the military can create trade, space, time, and a viable security environment, the soft power of USAID and the development community can deliver strategic effects and outcomes for decades, affecting generations.”
– General John Allen, interview with USAID’s Frontline magazine, May 9, 2011

“The development programs carried out by USAID directly support the president’s National Security Strategy and are a sound expenditure of our nation’s precious resources. As you note, some do feel that expending funds in support of development projects is a luxury. This argument complements the ever increasing concerns over the economic realities facing our government. The fiscal pie is only so big and the ability to carve out a larger slice — no matter who you are — will only continue to become more challenging.”
– General John Allen, interview with USAID’s Frontline magazine, May 9, 2011

“With both DOD and USAID facing a resource constrained future operating environment, there has never been a more important time than now to leverage the relationships we’ve created and the respective capabilities we bring to the development problem set.”
– General John Allen, interview with USAID’s Frontline magazine, May 9, 2011

“As I enter my 40th year of service, I have enough experience to be comfortable stating that the important role played by USAID, as well as other development-focused organizations, will only continue to grow.”
– General John Allen, interview with USAID’s Frontline magazine, May 9, 2011


General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

“In response to these challenges and others, we will lead, and we will enable others to lead. Moreover, we will do this—always—by coordinating military power with the diplomacy and development efforts of our government and those of our allies and partners.”
– General Martin Dempsey, Strategic Direction to the Joint Force, February 6, 2012


Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates

“My worry is that we’ll be penny wise and pound foolish, that we will have spent hundreds of billions – maybe a trillion dollars here, over 4,000 lives, 30,000 wounded. I feel like we’re on the 2-yard line and I’d hate to see us not get across the goal line. And it’s the State Department that’s going to take us across the goal line.”
– Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, interview with CBS News’ 60 Minutes, May 12, 2011

“I would say that for the entire time I’ve been in this job I have been an advocate for more money for the State Department. And actually this dates back to my days in CIA when we had case officers collecting information that a good – that any good political officer in the Foreign Service could get, but there weren’t enough.”
Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, testimony in front of Senate Armed Services Committee, February 17, 2011

“And so it’s been a concern of mine all along. I would say that right now it’s a critically urgent concern, because if the State Department doesn’t get the money that they have requested for the transition in Iraq, we are really going to be in the soup.”
Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, testimony in front of Senate Armed Services Committee, February 17, 2011

“… [Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen] mentioned the need for State Department funding in his opening statement, but you would find, I think, extraordinary support across the entire Defense Department and for their budget, but more importantly, our real worry that all that we have gained is potentially at risk if we don’t have the kind of State Department presence and the State Department activities in Iraq.”
Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, testimony in front of Senate Armed Services Committee, February 17, 2011

“You can argue about the war all day long, but the fact is, we’ve spent hundreds of billions of dollars on this war. We’re now in the endgame. We are leaving. We are making a transition to a civilian-dominated process of development, of helping build institutions and so on. But the Congress took a huge whack at the budget the State Department submitted for this process of transition. And – and it is – it is one of these cases where, having invested an enormous amount of money, we are now arguing about a tiny amount of money in terms of bringing this to a successful conclusion. And I will tell you it reminds me for all the world of the last scene in “Charlie Wilson’s War,” where, having forced the Soviets out of Afghanistan and having spent billions to do it, Charlie Wilson can’t get a million dollars for schools.”
– Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, USGLC Annual Conference, September 28, 2010

“Development produces stability and contributes to better governance.”
Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, USGLC Annual Conference, September 28, 2010

“…without development we will not be successful in either Iraq or Afghanistan. And so in the fights that we’re in, the civilian component is absolutely critical to success.”
Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, USGLC Annual Conference, September 28, 2010

“Economic development is a lot cheaper than sending soldiers.”
– Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, USGLC Annual Conference, September 28, 2010

“[T]he work performed by diplomatic and development professionals helps build the foundation for more stable, democratic and prosperous societies. These are places where the potential for conflict can be minimized, if not completely avoided, by State and USAID programs – thereby lowering the likely need for deployment of U.S. military assets.”
Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Letter to the Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, April 21, 2010

“I never miss an opportunity to call for more funding for and emphasis on diplomacy and development….Whatever we do should reinforce the state department’s lead role in crafting and conducting U.S. foreign policy, to include foreign assistance, of which building security capacity is a key part. Proper coordination and concurrence procedures will ensure that urgent military capacity building requirements do not undermine America’s overarching foreign policy priorities.”
Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Speech at Nixon Center, February 24, 2010

“The reality is the Department of State and the Agency for International Development were starved for resources for decades. Now, just – just let me give you an example. Working for me are 2 million men and women in uniform. Secretary Clinton has I think somewhere south of 7,000 foreign service officers. If you took all the foreign service officers in the world, they would barely crew one aircraft carrier. So, you know, just to keep things in perspective.”
Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates at a Discussion Panel with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at the George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs, Washington, D.C., October 6, 2009


General Michael Hagee, Co-Chair of the National Security Advisory Council

“I think of smart power as the strategic triad of the 21st Century—the integrated blend of defense, diplomacy and development. But this strategic approach will only be effective if all three smart power pillars are coherent, coordinated, and adequately resourced. While the Department of Defense rightfully has received strong Congressional support over the years, funding and support for the State Department and USAID has been more problematic. It is time to address the imbalance, both in strategic emphasis and in funding.”
– General Michael Hagee, USMC (Ret.), testimony before House Foreign Affairs Committee, March 2009

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel

“America’s role in the world should reflect the hope and promise of our country, and possibilities for all mankind, tempered with a wisdom that has been the hallmark of our national character.  That means pursuing a principled and engaged realism that employs diplomatic, economic, and security tools as well as our values to advance our security and our prosperity.”
– Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, in a speech before CSIS, November 5, 2013

“America’s hard power will always be critical to fashioning enduring solutions to global problems.  But our success ultimately depends not on any one instrument of power.  It depends on all of our instruments of power working together.  And it depends not only on how well we maintain and fund all of our instruments of power but how well they are balanced and integrated with each other.”
– Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, in a speech before CSIS, November 5, 2013


General James Mattis, Former Commander of the U.S. Central Command

“Of course, we cannot achieve our broader objectives in the region through military means alone. Our efforts require coordination and a spirit of collaboration between highly integrated civilian military teams. Our civilian colleagues need your full support even in this difficult fiscal environment to undertake their essential role in today’s complex environment.”
– General James N. Mattis, Former Commander, US Central Command, testimony before Senate Armed Services Committee, March 1, 2011

“Robust resourcing for the State Department’s mission is one of the best investments for reducing the need for military forces to be employed. Together, our military leaders and our diplomats not only represent a symbol of America’s enduring commitment to the region, but they also build trust through partnerships that have an important stabilizing effect when trouble looms.”
– General James N. Mattis, Former Commander, US Central Command, testimony before Senate Armed Services Committee, March 1, 2011

“As the transition to civilian leader in Iraq, it is essential that the State Department be sufficiently resourced to solidify relationships between the United States and Iraq for the future.”
– General James N. Mattis, Former Commander, US Central Command, testimony before Senate Armed Services Committee, March 1, 2011

Admiral Michael Mullen, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

“I want to reiterate our commitment to comprehensive approaches to our security challenges that employ all elements of national, and international, power in coordination. Our future security concerns require a whole of government effort, not just a military one, and we serve best when we serve hand-in-hand with all of our partners and support, rather than lead, foreign policy. As such, we will work closely with the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development to support their implementation of the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, particularly in the areas of conflict prevention and response. To this end, I reiterate my unequivocal support to Secretary Clinton and her efforts to fully resource the State Department’s and USAID’s activities and an expansion of its diplomacy and development capabilities, particularly in Iraq to support the transition from a military to a civilian-led mission.”
– Admiral Mike Mullen, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testimony before the Senate Armed Forces Committee, February 17, 2011

“The more significant the cuts, the longer military operations will take, and the more and more lives are at risk!”
– Admiral Mike Mullen, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in a handwritten note on Letter to Congressional Leadership, May 2010

“The diplomatic and developmental capabilities of the United States have a direct bearing on our ability to shape threats and reduce the need for military action. It is my firm belief that diplomatic programs as part of a coordinated strategy will save money by reducing the likelihood of active military conflict involving U.S. forces.”
– Admiral Mike Mullen, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Letter to Senate Majority Leader, May 21, 2010

“A fully-integrated foreign policy requires a fully-resourced approach. Our troops, Foreign Service officers and development experts work side-by-side in unprecedented and ever-increasing cooperation as they execute our strategic programs. We need to continue to grow the important capabilities that are unique to our non-military assets, ensuring they have the resources to enhance our security and advance our national interests, in both ongoing conflicts as well as in preventative efforts.”
– Admiral Mike Mullen, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Letter to the Speaker of the House, May 21, 2010

“Secretaries Clinton and Gates have called for more funding and more emphasis on our soft power, and I could not agree with them more. In fact, I would argue that in the future struggles of the asymmetric counterinsurgent variety, we ought to make it a precondition of committing our troops, that we will do so only if and when the other instruments of national power are ready to engage as well.”
– Admiral Mike Mullen, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in a speech at Kansas State University, March 3, 2010

“My fear, quite frankly, is that we aren’t moving fast enough in this regard. U.S. foreign policy is still too dominated by the military, too dependent on the generals and admiral who lead our major overseas commands, and not enough on the State Department.”
– Admiral Mike Mullen, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, speaking to an audience at Kansas State University, March 3, 2010

“I would argue that in future struggles of the asymmetric, counterinsurgent variety,” he said, “we ought to make a pre-condition of committing our troops that we will do so only if and when the other instruments of national power are ready to engage as well.”
– Admiral Mike Mullen, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, speaking to an audience at Kansas State University, March 3, 2010


Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta

“As our country emerges from a decade of large-scale conflict, and confronts new fiscal constraints here at home, I frankly worry that our political system will prevent us from making the investments in diplomacy, and development that we need to ensure we protect America’s interests in these volatile regions of the world.”
– Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, in a speech to the Center for a New American Security, November 20, 2012

“To truly end the threat from al-Qaeda, military force aimed at killing our enemy alone will never be enough.  The United States must stay involved and invested through diplomacy, through development, through education, through trade in those regions of the world where violent extremism has flourished.”
Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, in a speech to the Center for a New American Security, November 20, 2012

“But to truly protect America, we must sustain, and in some areas deepen our engagement in the world.  Our military, intelligence, diplomatic, and development efforts are key to doing that.  After all, we are confronting a number of challenges in the Middle East and North Africa.”
Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, in a speech to the Center for a New American Security, November 20, 2012

“This is not a time for retrenchment.  This is not a time for isolation.  It is a time for renewed engagement, and partnership in the world.”
Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, in a speech to the Center for a New American Security, November 20, 2012

“Strong national security is dependent on having a strong diplomatic arm, a strong development arm, a strong intelligence arm, a strong capability to try to have strong economies in the world.  I mean, all of this is related to our national security. And I think if any one of these areas suffers cuts above and beyond others it’s going to damage our security just by virtue of the kind of broad approach we need to have to be — to maintain the leadership position we have in the world.”
Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, in a House Budget Committee hearing, February 29, 2012

“National security is not just dependent on military power. It’s dependent on diplomatic power. It’s dependent on the State Department being able to provide foreign aid, being able to work with countries, being able to provide development money, being able to provide education money.”
Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, remarks at the 8th Annual Saban Forum in Washington, DC, December 2, 2011

“I believe security is dependent on a strong military, but it is also dependent on strong diplomacy.”
Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, remarks at the 8th Annual Saban Forum in Washington, DC, December 2, 2011

“[I]t isn’t just the defense cuts; it’s the cuts on the State Department budget that will impact as well on our ability to try to be able to promote our interests in the world.”
Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, remarks at the Woodrow Wilson Center, October 11, 2011

“[N]ational security is something that is dependent on a number of factors. It’s dependent on strong diplomacy. It’s dependent on our ability to reach out and try to help other countries. It’s dependent on our ability to try to do what we can to inspire development.”
Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, remarks at the Woodrow Wilson Center, October 11, 2011

“But the question you have to ask: Is it enough to maintain a military edge if you’re isolating yourself in the diplomatic arena? Real security can only be achieved by both a strong diplomatic effort as well as a strong effort to project your military strength.”
Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, interview with reporters, October 3, 2011

“It has to be a whole of government approach as we deal with these issues. Clearly, State Department plays a very important role in providing assistance to individuals to ensure that an area remains secure — AID, the education area. The Justice Department provides assistance. The area of agriculture also provides important assistance. You know, look, I know — I know the Department of Defense is our primary military weapon in terms of securing areas. But if we don’t follow it up with these other important assets, we will never be able to fully secure these countries.”
Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, testimony in front of Senate Armed Services Committee, June 9, 2011

General David Petraeus, Former Director, Central Intelligence Agency

“The bottom line is that I stated that this category of funding… is so essential to building on the hard-fought security gains that our troopers sacrificed so much to achieve. This category of spending is really a national security funding issue, not just an issue of foreign assistance. Without that construction of governance and development on the foundation of security achieved by our men and women in uniform, you cannot consolidate your gains.”
General David Petraeus, USA (Ret.), testimony before House Armed Services Committee, March 16, 2011

“I am concerned that levels of funding for our State Department and USAID partners will not sufficiently enable them to build on the hard-fought security achievements of our men and women in uniform. Inadequate resourcing of our civilian partners could, in fact, jeopardize accomplishment of the overall mission. I offer that assessment, noting that we have just completed a joint civil-military campaign plan between U.S. Forces and Afghanistan and the U.S. Embassy which emphasizes the critical integration of civilian and military efforts in an endeavor such as that in Afghanistan.”
General David Petraeus,USA (Ret.), testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, March 15, 2011

“This is a national security issue. It’s not just a foreign aid issue.”
General David Petraeus,USA (Ret.), testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, March 15, 2011

“[State-foreign operations spending] is absolutely central to what we do. This is a comprehensive civil-military counterinsurgency campaign; it is not a military-only campaign. As I noted in my opening statement, we’ve recently revamped the U.S. civil-military campaign plan, and essential to that is the ability of State, AID, and other implementing partners to capitalize on the hard-fought gains of our troopers on the ground and those of our Afghan partners. Again, it is not enough just to clear and hold; you do have to build, and the build includes local governance, local economic revival, if you will, improvements in basic services and so forth so that the Afghan people see that there is a better future by supporting the Afghan government, a legitimate government, and it has to be seen as legitimate, rather than a return to the repressive days of the Taliban.”
General David Petraeus,USA (Ret.), testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, March 15, 2011

“My concern for Iraq is similar to the concern that I’ve voiced for Afghanistan, and that is funding for our State and AID partners. The idea was… that as military forces came down, the State and AID presence would actually take on more tasks than they had in the past as they were handed off from some of our military elements to them. Subsequent to that, the funding for those particular endeavors has not been forthcoming, and so you have a situation in which military forces are drawing down or transitioning tasks to elements that are not sufficiently resourced to carry them out.”
General David Petraeus, USA (Ret.), testimony before House Armed Services Committee, March 15, 2011

“This is not just a military campaign. This is not a campaign where we take the hill, plant the flag, and come home to a victory parade. This is a civil-military comprehensive endeavor that requires building on what our troopers in uniform have achieved.”
General David Petraeus, USA (Ret.), testimony before House Armed Services Committee, March 15, 2011

“Moreover, as we complete our combat mission in Iraq, we will require non-traditional enabling capabilities such as leaders to augment newly formed advisory assistance units, personnel to follow money trails in support of our threat finance cells, and an increased number of multi-functional logisticians to man critical logistics units. At the same time, we support a significant expansion of the U.S. government’s vital, deployable civilian capacity, particularly in the State Department and USAID.”
– General David Petraeus, USA (Ret.), testimony before Senate Armed Services Committee, March 15, 2010

“I’ve testified as one of the biggest proponents of more funding for the Department of State… Maintaining a close civil-military partnership is a critical part of a comprehensive counterinsurgency campaign. In fact, tens of thousands of civilians are working closely with their military counterparts in the Central Command region to achieve the conditions we hope to establish, and this is obviously a hugely important aspect of our operations.”
– General David Petraeus, USA (Ret.), at a USGLC co-sponsored event in Florida, February 2010


National Security Advisory Council

“Development and diplomacy keep us safer by addressing threats in the most dangerous corners of the world and by preventing conflicts before they occur. … We urge you to support a strong and effective International Affairs Budget. Our nation’s security depends upon it.”
70 top military leaders; USGLC National Security Advisory Council’s Letter to Congress, March 30, 2011