September 28, 2010
Poll of Military Leaders Shows Non-Military Tools Key to National Security Objectives
Washington, DC —Top cabinet officials touted the important role development plays in meeting U.S. national security objectives at the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition’s annual conference this afternoon. During a roundtable discussion, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner, USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah, and Millennium Challenge Corporation CEO Daniel Yohannes endorsed a smart power approach to meeting today’s global challenges using development and diplomacy alongside defense.
“Our country faces many dangers and opportunities around the world, and focusing on our diplomatic and development resources is absolutely critical and money well spent to deal with the global challenges of today,” said USGLC Honorary Chair and former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell.
“Civilian-led programs are as essential to our national security as defense programs,” said USGLC Advisory Council Member and former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge. “Development and diplomacy protect our nation by not only addressing the root causes of terrorism and conflict, but also by building new markets overseas for American products. This creates jobs and boosts our economy here at home.”
“Today we saw a unified message coming from the U.S. government that enjoys bipartisan support for using all of the tools at our disposal—development, diplomacy, and defense—to keep our nation safe and prosperous,” said USGLC Board Chair and former Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman. “As we deal with food security, global pandemics, and unrest around the world, having a coordinated effort to meet these challenges is essential.”
A new poll was also released at the USGLC conference that finds nearly 90 percent of active duty and retired military officers agree the tools of diplomacy and development are critical to achieving U.S. national security objectives. These leaders know a strong military alone is not enough to protect America. 83 percent of the military leaders also say humanitarian efforts such as food assistance, and health, education, and economic development along with diplomacy are important to our national security.
“As former military men, we recognize we live in an interconnected world and must use all of the tools at our disposal to keep our nation safe,” said Admiral James Loy, USCG (Ret.), and General Charles Wald, USAF (Ret.). “This new poll shows there is clear agreement across military leadership that civilian-led development and diplomacy efforts must be front and center alongside our military assets in meeting the foreign policy challenges we face today.”
The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (www.usglc.org) is a broad-based influential network of 400 businesses and NGOs; national security and foreign policy experts; and business, faith-based, academic and community leaders in all 50 states who support a smart power approach of elevating development and diplomacy alongside defense in order to build a better, safer world.