Monday, May 23, 2011

Binding DoD And State

Oh, you didn't know?

While Great Satan's State and Defense Departments are both departments - complete with secretaries deputy secretaries - they are far from equal. DoD does tons of heavy lifting and has a budget to match while State tends to appear more like a think tank (albeit with branch offices in every nation state on earth).

Great Satan spends about twenty cents per buck on DoD and about 1 penny per buck on State Department's nonmilitary-related internat'l affairs chiz Society of Nat'l Security Professionals  executive Veep (who also gigs at Article I Section 8) just pubbed a money shot about the money fights in the the world's hyperpuissant World Capitol.

Talking 'bout hooking up:

"Advocates of soft power bemoan Washington’s overly militarized approach to the world, while conservatives are critical of what they view as an ineffective bureaucracy run by establishment elites in Foggy Bottom. Yet of all national budget debates, the fratricide for funds between State and Defense is most puzzling as their roles are so intrinsically complementary."
"The past 10 years of unconventional conflict have reminded the military and its congressional overseers of the inherently political nature of war and the importance of nonkinetic capabilities — like civil affairs teams, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, rule of law educators, development and reconstruction specialists, counter-drug personnel and police trainers. These capabilities are as vital to contemporary conflict as some major weapons systems. Cutting funding for them is, therefore, a kind of unilateral disarmament.
"It’s time for national security conservatives and soft power advocates to call a truce and stand shoulder to shoulder. This new approach to the budget debate means working together to make public arguments for the importance of each other’s top line budget numbers — as Gates has — and ending bureaucratic budget sniping.

"For diplomacy and development advocates, that means not suggesting that Congress cut a fighter jet, or even a military marching band, to pay for innovative new State Department or USAID programs. For the military, it means not marginalizing the strategic necessity of State Department and USAID programs or excluding them from an operational role in the current security environment.
"Federal budget politics remain the quintessential zero-sum game. As Congress considers where to identify savings, it must acknowledge that defense, diplomacy and development cannot be devolved to state or local-level government. Instead, Congress should redirect its scalpel to departments and agencies whose missions are not as intrinsic to the federal government and to key drivers of long-term debt.


J. said...

Sadly, the term "whole-of-government" appears so often and yet is so rarely practiced. Yes, we should do this State-DoD thing better, but it will take an adjustment of funds and responsibilities. Question is, is State up to the task?

GrEaT sAtAn'S gIrLfRiEnD said...

Direct hit J.! Funnily enough, I'm writing some stuff about xforming State at a fundamental level in a fundamental way. It'll be hot!

I:8 said...

You sank my battleship.