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DOD Directive 1404.10 further militarizes foreign policy February 13, 2009

Posted by Molly in Analysis, News.
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Read the new DOD Directive 1404.10 here.

At the end of January 2009, the Defense Department issued DOD Directive 1404.10 establishing a DOD Civilian Expeditionary Workforce intended to complement DOD’s military missions around the world. The CEW, the directive stated, “shall be organized, trained, cleared, equipped and ready to deploy in support of combat operations by the military; contingencies; emergency operations; humanitarian missions; disaster relief; restoration of order; drug interdiction; and stability operations…”. The directive is intended to complement the 2005 Directive (DOD 3000.05), which established stabilization and reconstruction as core missions for the military.

The DOD directive further accelerates the trend for DOD to become the leading edge of overall U.S. global engagement. Whether it concerns post-conflict reconstruction, development assistance, humanitarian relief, or public diplomacy, the DOD resources committed to non-military missions has grown exponentially over the past eight years. The continually expanding DOD role contradicts the rhetorical support the Department’s leaders have given to strengthening U.S. civilian capacity. It also exacerbates the “militarization of foreign policy,” a trend Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen warned against as recently as his February 2009 talk at the Woodrow Wilson School in Princeton, NJ.

As the Defense Department continues to build its internal capabilities for reconstruction and stabilization, humanitarian assistance, rule of law, governance, and economic development, it could seriously undermine emerging efforts to strengthen civilian tools in the State Department and USAID. In addition it expands the military face on U.S. global engagement, with potentially harmful consequences for U.S. national security.

–Gordon Adams, Stimson Center Distinguished Fellow

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