„Smart Power“: Diplomaten und Kommandosoldaten Hand in Hand

Gerne greife ich den Hinweis in einem Kommentar hier auf: US-Außenministerin Hillary Clinton hat am vergangenen Mittwoch beim Special Operations Command Gala Dinner in Tampa, Florida eine interessante Rede gehalten. Smart Power nannte die Ministerin den Ansatz, die Arbeit von Militär, vor allem Spezialkräften, mit der Arbeit von Diplomaten und Entwicklungsexperten zu verzahnen – vor allem im Einsatz gegen Al-Qaida und andere, von den USA als terroristische Bedrohung angesehene Gruppierungen. Ein Ansatz übrigens, den Clinton offensichtlich nicht auf die USA beschränkt sehen will – ausdrücklich erwähnte sie in ihrer Rede das NATO Special Operations Forces Coordination Center bei der Notwendigkeit, to build an international counterterrorism network that is as nimble and adaptive as our adversaries.

Übrigens begrüßte die US-Außenministerin Vertreter von 90 Nationen bei diesem Ereignis (da sind dann mit Sicherheit auch Bundeswehr-Vertreter dabei gewesen – das NATO-Zentrum wird doch nach meiner Erinnerung von einem deutschen Oberst gemanagt?).

Aus Clintons Rede (hier in voller Länge nachzulesen):

For my part, first as a senator serving on the Armed Services Committee and now as Secretary of State, I have seen and admired the extraordinary service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform. So we have made it a priority to have our soldiers, diplomats, and development experts work hand-in-hand across the globe. And we are getting better at coordinating budgets and bureaucracies in Washington as well.

To my mind, Special Operations Forces exemplify the ethic of smart power – fast and flexible, constantly adapting, learning new languages and cultures, dedicated to forming partnerships where we can work together. And we believe that we should work together wherever we can, and go it alone when we must. This model is delivering results.

Admiral McRaven talks about two mutually reinforcing strategies for Special Operations: the direct and the indirect. Well, we all know about the direct approach. Just ask the al-Qaida leaders who have been removed from the battlefield.

But not enough attention is paid to the quiet, persistent work Special Operations Forces are doing every single day along with many of you to build our joint capacity. You are forging relationships in key communities, and not just with other militaries, but also with civil society. You are responding to natural disasters and alleviating humanitarian suffering.

Now, some might ask what does all this have to do with your core mission of war fighting? Well, we’ve learned – and it’s been a hard lesson in the last decade – we’ve learned that to defeat a terror network, we need to attack its finances, recruitment, and safe havens. We also need to take on its ideology and diminish its appeal, particularly to young people. And we need effective international partners in both government and civil society who can extend this effort to all the places where terrorists hide and plot their attacks.

This is part of the smart power approach to our long fight against terrorism. And so we need Special Operations Forces who are as comfortable drinking tea with tribal leaders as raiding a terrorist compound. We also need diplomats and development experts who understand modern warfare and are up to the job of being your partners.