Photo: The White House
Now, ironically, the Secretary of Defense has become a strong spokesman for limiting the use of force, and the director of the Central Intelligence Agency has taken on missions that should have been given to the Secretary of State.
Several years ago, Columbia’s ambassador tо the United States told his incoming foreign minister that “The U.S. State Department, which used to be important, is destroyed, it doesn’t exist,” recalls Melvin A. Goodman, a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy, a professor of government at Johns Hopkins University and a former CIA analyst.
It is noteworthy that the crossroads of conflict in Ukraine find the Biden administration divided between a Secretary of Defense and a Chairman of the Joint Chiefs who believe there can be no absolute victory on the battlefield and a Secretary of State who believes that more lethal military weaponry will help the Ukrainians achieve their goals.
No one in the Biden administration appears to realize that any solution to the conflict will require addressing Russian security requirements, which have increased due to the expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization on Russia’s borders, and the deployment of U.S. weaponry in East and Central Europe.
If the United States want to get a handle on the national security state that has evolved since the attacks of 9/11, it will have to stop using the military to secure foreign policy goals. The military instrument failed in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan over the past 60 years, and has contributed to the perception of the United States as an authoritarian actor, which has weakened our democracy at home and our credibility and influence abroad.
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