After six hard years of war, the United States is awakening to the idea that "soft power" is a better way to regain influence and clout in a world bubbling with instability.Hmm...I seem to recall diplomacy being recommend before we went into Iraq, before we lost all these lives, before we squandered all this money, and before Bush ruined our reputation and standing in the world.
And nowhere is the change in thinking more advanced than in the US military, which is pushing for greater diplomacy, economic aid, civic action and civilian capabilities to prevent new wars and win the peace in Iraq and Afghanistan.
At least the military isn't waiting on the Bush administration to change their thinking, which the article describes as a "a mixed bag."
The military wants civilian agencies to do more to prevent wars, but is not waiting for them to get their act together, analysts say.Americans will be dealing with the ramifications of the Iraq war for decades to come. Maybe conflict prevention will be the one good thing that comes out of all of this.
Instead, it has stepped up thinking and planning for what it calls "phase zero," military jargon for conflict prevention.
"I think they've come to the conclusion that insurgencies are really hard to fight. And so it would be better if they could not have the conflict in the first place," said Robert Perito, an expert at the US Institute of Peace.
"In conflict prevention, of course, there is very little military component to that. It's mostly all political and economic.