The Obama Administration wants to spend more actual money on diplomacy and aid, less on combat capacity, and Clinton, Gates, and Jones are all on board. Matt Yglesias calls this “good news.” I might use a stronger expression.
David Sanger in Monday’s NYT:
All three of [Obama’s] choices — Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton as the rival turned secretary of state; Gen. James L. Jones, the former NATO commander, as national security adviser, and Robert M. Gates, the current and future defense secretary — have embraced a sweeping shift of priorities and resources in the national security arena.
The shift would create a greatly expanded corps of diplomats and aid workers that, in the vision of the incoming Obama administration, would be engaged in projects around the world aimed at preventing conflicts and rebuilding failed states …. “a rebalancing of America’s national security portfolio” after a huge investment in new combat capabilities during the Bush years.
Investing actual buckaroonies in the capacity to do things other than kill folks and blow stuff up? Now there’s an interesting idea! Matt Yglesias calls this “Good news.” I’ll say!
Author: Mark Kleiman
Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out.
Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken)
When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist
Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993)
Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989)
View all posts by Mark Kleiman