Hope is not a plan, and if you’re depending on InterAgency you’re wrong

At War But Not War-Ready by Hans Binnendijk:

The Defense Department is at war while the State Department still suffers from the post-Cold War notion of a peace dividend. One is on steroids, the other on life support.

The State Department and other civilian agencies are instruments of U.S. national security policy but are unprepared. They need to be authorized and fully resourced to do their jobs. The USIA should be re-created, while USAID needs expansion and restructuring. Civilian agencies need operational cultures more compatible with the changing security environment.

Non-hacker oxygen thieves of no tactical significance.

H/T: Dave Dilegge at SWJ

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15 Comments

Filed under strategery

15 responses to “Hope is not a plan, and if you’re depending on InterAgency you’re wrong

  1. StarCMC

    State Dept. believes in diplomacy at all costs. They are the natural check/balance for the Dept. of Defense. That said, I’d much rather the DoD have my back than State…especially with the enemies we are facing today.

  2. Diplomacy can sometimes work when the other side is a rational state actor. State has not been covering themselves with glory lately. If I worked for State I would hang my head when a Marine or Soldier walked by and hope he didn’t say anything.

  3. If I worked for State I would hang my head when a Marine or Soldier walked by and hope he didn’t say anything.

    That is why you don’t work for State

  4. The resource problem is with human resources, not funding. It is the human resource problem that you have to deal with, cause that department is full of holes with State.

  5. Subsunk at blackfive pretty much rended State with this post.

    link

  6. State’s latest just adds to my frustration and disgust with .gov.

    DOD appears to be the ONLY Executive Department with any capability, competence and credibility. Whether this is true or not, that is my perception.

    I guess we can shrink government one contract at a time, and privatize most of the rest, until we get down to those few functions that absolutely are inherently governmental.

  7. StarCMC

    Maybe working for the State Dept, by it’s very nature, poisons your outlook.

  8. StarCMC

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1921199/posts

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,308178,00.html

    Duncan Hunter quote: “I think we should fire those folks that don’t want to go. You can’t have people on the payroll who refuse to be deployed to the tough places.”

    Condi Rice quote: “Regardless of how the jobs may be filled, they must be filled. It is our duty to do our part towards succeeding in the vital mission in Iraq given to us by the President.”

    Somehow that Rice quote strikes me as similar to the memo Clinton had to send out to the interns in the White House during his tenure reminding them that they needed to wear underwear to work. Something they should already know.

  9. It’s easy to hate on State, and they deserve a lot of it, but Justice, Agriculture, Commerce, Homeland Security are all stuck in peace time bureaucratic civil service union lackadaisical route step half vast participation in the war.

    From a military perspective, very little that is supposed to be provided by InterAgency can be relied upon, so our National Guardsman and Reservists with expertise in those areas end up doing what mobilized government employees from those absent Departments should be doing, on an ad hoc basis.

    I agree with Duncan, but it ain’t gonna happen.

    The party that wants to grow government is always going to have a lot of sympathizers in the government employee unions. Supporters of the party that wants to shrink government are rarer, because such people generally don’t seek government employment.

    Only the military has retained the old-fashioned notion of apolitically serving the NATION to the best of their ability no matter which party is in power.

  10. QuickIO

    I know the state department has its issue that are far to numerous to count. However, politicians (as much as I hate to say this) have their plus side as well. The problem lies in the utilization of them. The military acts quickly based on a tactical or strategic need. State and many other gov organizations are not quite built that way. I truly believe that it is in the mentality that while we are at war only the military is feeling pain of it. If you get everyone sharing the cost then things may change.

  11. The military can act quickly in some things because they have a clear chain of command that can make things happen quickly.

    Politicians have to talk, and make deals, and horse trade, and offer ear marks, and arm twist, and persuade people to do what they want.

    Can’t run the .gov like the .mil. The military is a dictatorship. Commanders command, and are obeyed, usually, and the orders are carried out. The .gov is supposed be a representative republic with checks and balances, and the “Loyal Opposition” misses few opportunities to check the Executive.

  12. It’s easy to hate on State, and they deserve a lot of it, but Justice, Agriculture, Commerce, Homeland Security

    The thing is that State is prestigious enough that if you can crush them, all the other bureacrats will follow automatically.

    If you can get control of State, and that means get control of the people in the DoS, then it would be a supreme psychological blow against ALL bureacrats in the US government. The threat of being taken out and/or audited, amongst other threats, would be enough to get them to do things that they would never have done if they were not worried for their own careers and bank accounts.

    A simple COIN strategy applied to such bureacracies would be very effective. Find the people that wish to be loyal to your cause, whether old or new generation, and promote them to power, while getting rid of their enemies. That is not really difficult, especially since Petraeus has already done the grunt work.

    Supporters of the party that wants to shrink government are rarer, because such people generally don’t seek government employment.

    That is why I am so hardline against the bureacracy, whether foreign or domestic. You can’t, and shouldn’t bribe such folks since it is never reliable nor is it a good use of resources. The only alternative is to force them to do things your way. There is no outside threat, such as AQ, that we can negotiate with them towards a common understanding. There is just them and those that can replace them.

    Much of political warfare has to do with maneuvering, which is only effective if the maneuvers are conducted with the strategic or military objective in mind. So far the politicians feel no threat from the military or the Executive, thus they have been free to party around and/or do the usual deals and pork stuff. The bureacrats already believe that they will be around when Bush is old and feeble.

    Disillusioning them of such beliefs would be the first crack in their armor. They are complacent because they have no need, nor desire, to do anything else. The same occurs in the military, which is why good discipline and training are so very very necessary. The bureacrats can be trained just as well as soldiers, though. You simply have to bring in a punishment that they would pay attention to, and acquire allies that would back you. Much as officers need NCOs, we need those in the bureacracy that know the bureacracy inside and out, but working for the elected representatives rather than against them. Politics is already an ugly and dirty business, it would really benefit from a purging of the bureacratic layer.

  13. Pingback: Bureacrats and their Living « Sake White

  14. Found a NYT op ed this morning called “Send the State Department to War” —

    THE State Department has announced that it will force 50 foreign service officers to go to Iraq, whether they want to or not. This is the biggest use of “directed assignments” since the Vietnam War, and it represents a long-overdue response to complaints that diplomats aren’t pulling their weight in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    *snip*

    Oh well — no more cocktail/dinner parties for a while. 😛

  15. Sun Tzu would have executed the ring leaders of this little mutiny and replaced them with loyal FS members.

    Alas, the old days are gone. Although not for good if the Islamic jihad improves their war fighting abilities.