Performance Matters

SecDef Robert Gates is concerned about the militarization of foreign policy. He is right to be.

The expanding influence of the military in foreign policy can be traced back to the 1986 bill that created the present global, regional "CINC" command structure (well described in Dana Priest's book "The Mission"). That legislation essentially "localized" our military relationships in countries where "security" (for better or worse) is a driving issue.

It also put military people on the ground who had a lot more money to spend than the striped pants types. Naturally the locals gravitated toward the guys with the bucks. Add to that the ability of the military guys to actually make a decision, and it is no wonder the State folks got left in the dust.

Performance matters. The military has not been perfect in Iraq, but State is almost not there. And don't get me started on the CIA.