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Pentagon learns to use soft power
Washing, D.c. | July 28, 2008 12:01:13 AM IST
 
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U.S. military strategists say they are changing approach to emphasize humanitarian missions on an equal footing with combat operations.

The shift reflects experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan and indicates recognition that combating radical ideologies and averting future wars means the Pentagon must use so-called soft power more often. That concept is reflected in revisions to a document called Joint Operations which lays out basic Defense Department concepts for all military branches, the Boston Globe reported Monday.

Things have changed significantly, Jerry Lynes, a retired Marine Corps colonel who is now chief of education and doctrine for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in an interview. We have taken our traditional principles of war and added to them.

An example of soft power came after the 2004 Indonesian tsunami when U.S. ships and dozens of aircraft brought food and medical aid not arms to hundreds of thousands of people in the world's largest Muslim nation.

The standing of the United States in Indonesia had dropped very low as a result of the Iraq war but went up impressively after the tsunami relief, said Joseph Nye, a former assistant secretary of defense who now teaches at the Harvard Kennedy School.

(UPI)

 

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