DOH! We forgot the ‘national will’ part!

Following up on my call earlier to Dave looking for resources about DIME, he e-mailed me something he got from a friend who teaches at West Point:

DIME is a list of the instruments of national power:

The ability of the United States to achieve its national
strategic objectives is dependent on the effectiveness of the US Government
(USG) in employing the instruments of national power. These instruments of
national power (diplomatic, informational, military, and economic), are normally
coordinated by the appropriate governmental officials, often with National
Security Council (NSC) direction. They are the tools the United States uses to
apply its sources of power, including its culture, human potential, industry,
science and technology, academic institutions, geography, and national

To which I responded,

National will! We forgot about national will! DOH! That’s the problem!…

And kidding aside, that IS the problem. As long as our conversations about strategy is grounded in the kind of political vocabulary we’ve heard for the last few years — mostly based either in trying to appeal to bases or win elections — we’re not going to be able to assemble the national will to focus all of our resources toward international goals that are beneficial not only to this country, but to the world at large.

Where George W. Bush has failed, more than in any other way, is in assembling that national will and leading us to act upon it.

Unfortunately, so far I haven’t seen either McCain or Obama state a whole strategy that the nation can get behind — that is, something that goes beyond the either-or oversimplification of "soft power vs. hard power." If they did it and I missed it, I’d appreciate a heads-up.

2 thoughts on “DOH! We forgot the ‘national will’ part!

  1. Ralph Hightower

    The United States and Canada, several European countries, and Japan may have to abandon the International Space Station; something that the US has spent over $100 billion dollars in.
    Starting in 2012, until the new Ares spacecraft flies, the only inhabitants on the Space Station will be Russia! NASA’s contract with Russia expires on 12/31/2011. Congress granted NASA an exemption from INKSNA earlier. Renewal of the exemption doesn’t look possible with the flare up between Georgia, South Ossetia, and Russia.
    The problem is renewing the exemption for NASA from the Iran, North Korea, Syria Nuclear Non-proliferation Act to buy seats on the Soyuz. The Soyuz also functions as a lifeboat for the astronauts to return to Earth should an emergency happen on the Space Station that forces the crew to abandon ship.
    For us to abandon ship for three or more years after spending $100 billion to build the Space Station is damned stupid. It takes Russia three years to build a Soyuz. NASA needs the exemption by early 2009 to continue staffing the Space Station.

  2. Lee Muller

    Muslims Support Obama
    Agence France Presse reports:
    Delegates at a US-Islamic forum voiced support on Monday for U.S. presidential hopeful Barack Obama, although some warned against expecting any radical policy change irrespective of who captures the White House.
    Obama, who is vying to become the first black president of the United States, won overwhelming support in a mock election by more than 200 American and Muslim delegates at the US-Islamic World Forum in the Qatari capital. His Democratic rival Hillary Clinton and Republican candidates won only a handful of votes.
    Around 280 public figures and academics from 32 countries, including Afghan President Hamid Karzai and the US ambassador to the United Nations, Zalmay Khalilzad, attended the fifth edition of the forum due to end in the gas-rich Gulf state later Monday.
    Many Muslim delegates said they hoped to see Obama win the Democratic nomination and go on to be elected next November to succeed US President George W. Bush.
    “I would like to see Obama become president of America because he champions ‘change and hope’, which we Muslims need as much as the Americans do,” Islamic television preacher Amr Khaled told AFP.
    Khaled told the forum that he speaks “on behalf of millions of Muslim youth who seek work, respect and freedom,” and urged the next US administration to “solve the political problems in Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan, and not to mix between Muslims and extremists.”
    “The Indonesian people would love to see a (US) president who has studied at an elementary school in Jakarta,” Din Syamsuddin, chairman of Muhammadiyah, one of Indonesia’s largest Islamic organisations, told AFP in a reference to Obama.
    But Dhiya Rashwan, an Egyptian expert on terrorist groups, warned that US policy under the next president would be “a continuation of current policies, though in a less extreme way than the conservative Republican administration”.
    The Bush administration has “planted landmines everywhere” for its successor, making it impossible for the next president to suddenly reverse course, Rashwan said.
    One example is the arms deals concluded by the Bush administration “to counter Iran and terrorism … The arms industry will not give up these deals under any circumstances,” he said.
    The Bush administration has also “imposed phobia” on the Americans, something US politicians will find difficult to change, Rashwan added.
    The Bush administration is generally unpopular in the Middle East and Islamic world due to the US-led invasion of Iraq, the “war on terror” which is often associated with anti-Islamic sentiment, and Washington’s perceived bias for Israel.


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