Mullen: US Foreign Policy Too Dominated by Military

Calls on State Dept, Others to 'Step Up'

In a speech today at Kansas State University, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Michael Mullen described his revisions to the Powell Doctrine of American warfare, focusing on counterinsurgencies.

But likely the most provocative comment made by Mullen was to warn that “US foreign policy is still too dominated by the military, too dependent upon the generals and admirals who lead our major overseas commands and not enough on the State Department.”

Mullen’s solution to this had nothing to do with the military being less proactive about overseas adventurism, of course. Rather, he urged the State Department and others to “step up” and become more “expeditionary.”

The State Department defended its comparative lack of “expeditionary” projects by noting that its budget is a tiny fraction of the military’s. Again they didn’t view the problem as a military awash in cash and influence but rather that the State Department needed to do a better job convincing Congress to throw money at them as well.

Cementing his support for global interventionism, however, Mullen cautioned that the military should never be thought of as a “last resort” for the government, but should instead be part of the overall policy and diplomatic efforts.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.