Roles & Missions

/ January 29, 2009 at 5:00 AM

Defense Secretary Robert Gates today sent Congress the Pentagon's 2009 Quadrennial Roles and Missions Review Report, an assessment that examines the division of labor among the services in a number of areas, including: irregular warfare, cyberspace operations, unmanned aircraft systems, and intratheater airlift.

We'll have a story on the entire 39-page report soon. Meantime, here are some of the conclusions Gates highlights in the foreword:

Together, we have concluded the Department must improve how we organize, train and equip our forces for these areas.

And Gates points to a finding that is clearly in step with President Obama's stated goal of beefing up the civilian side of the government to support national interests overseas (italics added).

One of the most important lessons from recent operations is that military success does not equate to victory. As a result, during the Quadrennial Roles and Missions Review we considered opportunities that will help strike a better balance between our nation's hard and soft power capabilities.

The Quadrennial Roles and Missions Review concludes we must improve our soft power: our national ability to promote economic development, institution-building and the rule of law, internal reconciliation, good governance, training and equipping indigenous military and policy forces, strategic communications, and more. Doing so requires exploring whole-of-government approaches for meeting complex security challenges.

-- Jason Sherman