DIME: an integrated effort

Austin Bay takes a look back at his War College days and the discussion about Army force levels that took a dive after the first Iraqi conflict in the early nineties. He notes that Army strength and capability is not a simple matter and it is only a part of the whole picture. “Winning takes all elements of power applied and applied in a sustained, focused (yet flexible) manner.”

the issue isn’t merely military power or “how much” military power. We do a terrible job of “unified action” — uniting our diplomatic, information/intelligence, military, and economic elements of power (DIME is the acronym).

These elements are the expression of a nation’s power through its government. In the U.S. this power is expressed by a bureaucratic corps that has an interia beyond the politicians, the people who elect representatives and first leaders, and a form of government that divies up duties for accountability and action moderation.

It is DIME that VDH prompts to ask: Meanwhile, are we losing it here at home?

Does running for President allow a candidate to freelance at a time of war by talking to our enemies and triangulating against the president? Why is Gov. Richardson talking to North Koreans, or Sen. Kerry trying to talk to the Iranians, or Sen. Bayh to the Syrians? Wouldn’t that be like a Tom DeLay talking to Milosevic to undermine Clinton during the Kosovo bombing? Or Trent Lott dealing with the Taliban as Clinton sent cruise missiles against them?

The question is why the U.S. is becoming unhinged, why there are leaders taking destructive actions, why there is such misperception and misguided destruction of a common mission and purpose.

We can talk about more troops. That is easy. It only takes money. It doesn’t offend anyone. It is a simple process. But when we look at DIME, getting the State Department bureaucrats working on the same goals and mission and values as the Defense Department and the intelligence agencies and the MSM and the legislators – that isn’t so easy. It means looking at the mirror and asking not what we do for ourselves but for our country. It means working with a team and not derogating responsibilities to someone else. It means growth and change and tollerance – and perhaps even examining our own intellectual integrity.

Comments are closed.