Lt. General Kerrick: Smart Power is Critical to US Military Success

January 4, 2011 By Melissa Silverman

Lt. General Donald Kerrick, USA (Ret.), writes this morning in The Daily Caller that the U.S. military cannot be successful unless we, as a nation, invest in smart power.  Kerrick knows first-hand the degree of civilian-military cooperation it takes to keep Americans safe as he served as Deputy National Security Advisor from 200 to 2001, and worked alongside the late Ambassador Richard Holbrooke in bringing a peace agreement to the Balkans.  General Kerrick presents a moving tribute to his friend Ambassador Holbrooke, and argues that the best way to remember and honor his legacy of service is to continue to build civilian capacities, like development and diplomacy, alongside our military defense.

General Kerrick, a member of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition’s National Security Advisory Council, writes that “As a military man and former deputy national security advisor, I know what it takes to win not just battles but wars, and I firmly believe that investing in diplomacy and development will pay off in the end. And I’m not alone in this… Led by our generals, our military will win battles with military power, but it will take U.S. diplomacy, along with other elements of our national power, to win wars.”

He also writes, “Efficient and effective international affairs programs are the key to meeting the global challenges of the 21st century, protecting our national security and growing our economy here at home. Taxpayers’ small investment of around one percent of the overall federal budget reaps rich rewards, from stability in dangerous corners of the world, such as Afghanistan, to new export markets that help create jobs in cities and towns across America.”

To read Lt. General Kerrick’s full op-ed, please click here.