“Smart Power” = Diplomats + MREs

This is part of the smart power approach to our long fight against terrorism. And so we need Special Operations Forceswho 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.

One of our senior Foreign Service officers, Karen Williams, is serving here in Tampa on Admiral McRaven’s staff. And under an agreement finalized this year, we are nearly doubling the number of military and Foreign Service officers who will be exchanged between the Departments of State and Defense.

[We] are overhauling the State Department and USAID to become more operational, more strategic in our use of resources and personnel, more expeditionary, and more focused on transnational threats. […] [You] can begin to see the potential when soldiers and diplomats live in the same camps and eat the same MREs. That is smart power in action.

From SecState’s remarks at the SOC thing in Tampa two weeks ago.

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