September 27, 2010

New Poll: Military Officers Say Development & Diplomacy Key to National Security

Nearly 90 percent agree and say a strong military alone is not enough to protect America

Washington, DC —A new poll released this morning by the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition 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 and 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 a former military man, I recognize we live in an interconnected world and must use all of the tools at our disposal to keep our nation safe,” said 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,” said Admiral James Loy, USCG (Ret.).

Findings from the poll also show a clear call for increased resources for the International Affairs Budget to prevent conflicts from happening and provide support to military efforts around the world. Over 1,000 veterans and supporters have now signed a petition to Congress urging passage of a robust International Affairs Budget for Fiscal Year 2011. The petition is part of the USGLC’s Veterans for Smart Power initiative, which includes over 10,000 supporters throughout the country.

The survey, conducted by the bipartisan polling team of Geoff Garin from Peter D. Hart Research Associates (D) and Bill McInturff from Public Opinion Strategies (R), is being released as part of the USGLC’s national conference this week.

“The majority of military officers say non-military tools such as diplomacy, food assistance, and support for health, education, and economic development programs are important to achieving the country’s national security objectives,” said Geoff Garin.

“A large majority of military officers also believe that Congress increasing the funding for non-military tools helps our national security and military objectives in the long run,” said Bill McInturff.

The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition ( 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.


Note: Both Admiral Loy and General Wald serve on the USGLC’s National Security Advisory Council.