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Hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee - "Implementing Smart Power: Setting an Agenda for National Security Reform"

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Location: Washington, DC


Hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee - "Implementing Smart Power: Setting an Agenda for National Security Reform"

"Today the Committee on Foreign Relations holds the second in a series of hearings on smart power. It is part of a larger effort to reexamine our nation's foreign policy and present a new vision for policymakers.

"As the current Administration ends, we face a multitude of new challenges. The emergence of China and India as major economic powers. The resurgence of Russia floating on a sea of oil revenue. A unifying Europe. The spread of dangerous weapons and lethal diseases.

"The shortage of secure sources of energy, water and -- as witnessed by rioting in several countries -- even food. The impact of climate change. Rising wealth and persistent poverty. A technological revolution that sends people, ideas and money hurtling around the planet at ever faster speeds. The challenge to nation states from ethnic and sectarian strife. The struggle between modernity and extremism.

"That's a short list of the forces shaping the 21st century.

"These challenges raise the question: Do we have the right non-military instruments, the right institutions and the right relationships among those institutions to deal with new threats and opportunities?

"In the committee's last hearing on smart power, we posed these questions to two of our finest military officers, General Tony Zinni and Admiral Leighton Smith. Their resounding answer: no.

"As commanders in the field have told us, the military lacks an adequate civilian counterpart in Iraq and Afghanistan to effectively help in the reconstruction of those societies. The national security planning process is fragmented and disjointed. The resources we allocate to non-military tools do not match the challenges we face.

"We are here today to seek a path to reform. Today's hearing will focus on implementing Smart Power - the skillful use of all of our resources, both non-military and military - to promote our national interests.

"Our first two witnesses are well placed to help us with this inquiry. Dr. Nye first coined the term ‘soft power' in the late 1980s to describe the ability of a country's culture, political ideals, and policies to influence and persuade others. After all, it's not leadership if no one follows.

"Dr. Nye is joined by Secretary Armitage - his co-chair on the CSIS Commission on Smart Power. Secretary Armitage has an equally distinguished public service career, most recently serving as Deputy Secretary of State.

"As Secretary Armitage wrote with Dr. Nye in a recent op-ed in the Washington Post, ‘The world is dissatisfied with American leadership. The past six years have demonstrated that hard power alone cannot secure the nation's long-term goals.'

"I look forward to this hearing to begin to answer three critical questions:

"First, do we have the right instruments to effectively address 21st century challenges? Do we have the right people and resources?

"Second, do we have the right institutions? Is our national security system - largely shaped during the Cold War era - up to the larger tasks we face today?

"Third, do we have the right relationships among our institutions to achieve national security objectives? Is there a need to restructure the inter-agency system, and if so, how?

"Our second panel brings us two preeminent thinkers on our national security system. Jim Locher was a lead staff person in the Senate over two decades ago in devising the original Goldwater-Nichols legislation that reorganized the military services. He is currently leading a broad effort on national security reform.

"Gordon Adams is a former senior national security official at the Office of Management and Budget who has written extensively on national security budgeting, resource allocation and capacity building.

"We have the right people here to guide this debate - to help us define the issues, and to begin the search for the right answers.

"I look forward to their testimony."


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