THE BLOG
10/20/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Zinni Calls on Obama to Release "National Strategy Report" and for US "Smart Power" Functions to be Organized in a New Military Command

This is an eight minute exchange with retired 4-star General and former CENTCOM Commander and Israel/Palestine presidential envoy Anthony Zinni. It's well worth watching.

Among the interesting zingers offered by General Zinni, he suggests (1) that the Obama administration needs to issue its "National Security Strategy" which by law it is supposed to do within 150 days of the administration; (2) that the "smart power" functions of our global security agenda would be better served by taking the 'civil affairs' functions out of the military units in which they operate and stand them up as a separate and distinct Pentagon command -- which would coordinate with the State Department and US AID; and (3) that the envoy process is disruptive, distracting, and usually disappointing.

Zinni's proposals are provocative and substantive. I have asked someone at the Department of State about possibly responding. Hopefully this will happen in the near term.

Anthony Zinni, Chairman of the Board of BAE Systems, is author of Leading the Charge: Leadership Lessons from the Battlefield to the Boardroom.

-- Steve Clemons directs the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation publishes the popular political blog, The Washington Note