Austin Bay

"Diplomacy," Giuliani writes, "has received a bad name, because of two opposing perspectives. One side denigrates diplomacy because it believes that negotiation is inseparable from accommodation. ... The other seemingly believes that diplomacy can solve nearly all problems, even those involving people dedicated to our destruction. When such efforts fail, as they inevitably do, diplomacy itself is blamed, rather than the flawed approach that led to their failure. ... America has been most successful as a world leader when it has used strength and diplomacy hand in hand. To achieve a realistic peace, U.S. diplomacy must be tightly linked to our other strengths: military, economic and moral."

The last sentence refers to what the U.S. military calls "DIME," an acronym for the four elements of national power: "Diplomatic," "Information," "Military" and "Economic" power. (Information includes intelligence operations and moral and psychological capabilities.)

Unified Action is another Pentagon term. Achieving "unified action" requires coordinating and synchronizing every "tool of power" America possesses to reach a political objective -- like winning a global war for national survival against terrorists who hijack economically and politically fragile nations and provinces.

America's current "interagency structure" frustrates even the best attempts to coordinate the elements of power and achieve "Unified Action." It's a Cold War antique designed to prop up governments (so often corrupt and ill-led), instead of helping individuals and neighborhoods become economically self-sustaining and self-securing. Winning war in the Age of the Internet and -- even better -- preventing crises by pre-emptive diplomacy require "street-level" political intelligence and the capacity to improve neighborhoods and individual lives.

What does Giuliani propose? He intends to practice unified action from the top down. "The task of a president is not merely to set priorities but to ensure that they are pursued across the government." In my view that means changing bureaucratic cultures, starting with the State Department, Treasury and other key federal agencies. It also means creating an "expeditionary" corps of problem-solving diplomats, economic advisers and developmental experts that deploy as readily as U.S. military forces.

That's a revolution, indeed.


Austin Bay

Austin Bay is the author of three novels. His third novel, The Wrong Side of Brightness, was published by Putnam/Jove in June 2003. He has also co-authored four non-fiction books, to include A Quick and Dirty Guide to War: Third Edition (with James Dunnigan, Morrow, 1996).
 
Be the first to read Austin Bay's column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com delivered each morning to your inbox.

©Creators Syndicate


TOWNHALL MEDIA GROUP