Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, delivered a speech at Kansas State University as part of the Landon Lecture Series on Wednesday, March 3, 2010. Some highlights are at the top, full text, including Q&A, is below the fold.
U.S. foreign policy is still too dominated by the military.
Secretaries Clinton and Gates have called for more funding and more emphasis on our soft power, and I could not agree with them more. Should we choose to exert American influence solely through our troops, we should expect to see that influence diminish in time. In fact, I would argue that in the future struggles of the asymmetric counterinsurgent variety, we ought to make it a precondition of committing our troops, that we will do so only if and when the other instruments of national power are ready to engage as well.
Because frankly the battlefield isn’t necessarily a field anymore. It’s in the minds of the people. It’s what they believe to be true that matters.
…quality of people, training and systems over quantity of platforms. It means that we choose to go small in number before we go hollow in capability. And it favors innovation in leaders, in doctrine, in organization and in technology.