US Center for Global Engagement - GLOBAL TALKERS: Battle of the Joes

Global Talkers for July18, 2008

This week: Who’s the most “active lobbyist for the State Department” and why does he have military officers’ support? Plus, who won the “Battle of the Joes”?

The most “active lobbyist for the State Department” award goes to…

At a U.S. Global Leadership Campaign dinner honoring Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said, “I think this is the first time in our history that the Secretary of Defense is employed as an active lobbyist for the State Department.”

Anyone present for the Defense Secretary’s speech that followed was not surprised by Rice’s joke. Gates declared,“It has become clear that America's civilian institutions of diplomacy and development have been chronically undermanned and underfunded for far too long – relative to what we traditionally spend on the military, and more importantly, relative to the responsibilities and challenges our nation has around the world.”

No wonder both presidential candidates are considering keeping Gates in the Cabinet.

Sec.Gates’ military officers agree

According to the Center for U.S. Global Engagement’s newpoll of post-9/11 military officers, Gates’ military commanders agree with his assessment. As the Center’s bipartisan polling team of Geoff Garin (Peter D. Hart Research Associates) and Bill McInturff (Public Opinion Strategies) wrote in a memo on the poll results, “A significant majority of officers surveyed embrace a new paradigm in which strengthened diplomacy and development assistance are important companions to traditional military tools for achieving America's national security goals.”

“Eighty-four percent (84%) of officers,” Garin and McInturff noted, “say that strengthening non-military tools such as diplomacy and development efforts should be at least equal to strengthening military efforts when it comes to improving America’s ability to address threats to our national security.”

The poll, released Tuesday morning at the Center’s NationalConference, “Election ’08: The Global Impact,” surveyed active duty and recently retired (post-9/11) military officers and their views on the national security challenges facing America and the set of tools required to meet those challenges.

Battle of theJoes

Did the next Secretary of State just speak for his President-to-be? The Center’s conference also included dueling foreign policy addresses by Sen. Joe Lieberman representing the McCain campaign and Sen. Joe Biden representing the Obama campaign. While they both certainly had jabs at their candidates’ respective opponents,what’s gone unnoticed is that both surrogates – and the campaigns they represent – recognized the need to make use of all ourtools of national power – defense, diplomacy and long term investments in global development.

· · About Global Talkers

Global Talkers is a publication of the Center for U.S. Global Engagement (, the educational arm of the U.S. Global Leadership Campaign, which unites business, civic, military, faith-based, and political leaders around the country to broaden understanding of America’s interests in building a better, safer world. The Center’s Impact ’08: Building a Better, Safer World initiative, chaired by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former Secretary of Defense Frank Carlucci, calls on the Presidential candidates to elevate and strengthen America’s investments in global development and diplomacy.