Convergence of National Power Required to Win War, Admiral Says
By Steven Donald Smith
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, June 7, 2006 It is not enough to win tactical engagements in the war against terror -- the United States and its allies must win the peace, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told the National Defense University's 2006 graduating class today.
Navy Adm. Edmund P. Giambastiani, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (left), congratulates a student at the National Defense University's graduation ceremony, June 7. Photo by Steven Donald Smith
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Cultivating international partnerships and facilitating strong cooperation throughout the U.S. government to maximize all of the country's instruments of national power are critical to ultimate success, Navy Adm. Edmund P. Giambastiani said during his remarks at the university, which is located on the grounds of Fort McNair here.
"Without these we find ourselves winning tactical military or other government engagements, but unable to win the peace that is our core national interest," he said. "Building a deployable, sustainable civilian capability in finance, justice, agriculture, commerce, and health, as a capable partner with the joint force, is one of the biggest challenges we face as a government."
The mission of the National Defense University is exactly that, he said. The institution's charge is to prepare military and civilian leaders from the United States and other countries to address national and international security challenges through multi-disciplinary educational programs, research, professional exchanges and outreach.
Today's graduation ceremony included the distribution of 513 master's degrees to a combined class of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces and the National War College, both part of NDU. Fifty-two foreign nationals were among the graduates, including the first graduates from Iraq, Afghanistan and Mongolia.
The school's master's program is a one-year intensive study program, normally made up of mid-level government and military personnel.
Air Force Lt. Gen. Michael M. Dunn, president of NDU, said this year's graduating class is probably one of the most "serious" and "spirited groups" in a decade. "Their collective energy and sense of purpose has been driven by world events," he said.
Giambastiani said the free world faces challenges that are greater even than those faced during the Cold War. "Today our enemy wears no uniform and defends no borders. He is unrestrained by no government or the laws of armed conflict. This presents all of us with enormous challenges," the admiral said.
The United States and its allies are already heavily engaged in meeting these challenges head-on. "In Afghanistan and Iraq, with our coalition partners, we are engaged in a continuing struggle to establish a decent society at peace with itself and its neighbors," Giambastiani said. "We are working around the world to build partner capacity to eliminate terrorists and criminal havens, to respond to natural disasters and humanitarian crises, and finally to extend the rule of law."
In addition, the United States is in the process of a military transformation. "This is a big agenda," the admiral said. "As big as any in my 40 years in uniform."
He urged the graduating students to go out into the world and solve problems. "Of whom much is given, much will be required," he said. "Our nation and our world need your skill, your talent, your wisdom, and your energy."
Also attending the ceremony was retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Brent Scowcroft, who received an honorary doctorate from NDU today. Scowcroft served as national security adviser to Presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush, and is an NDU graduate.
Scowcroft said he has received many honorary degrees in his life but today's was particularly humbling. "One of the most rewarding experiences of my career was when I sat where you are now," he told the graduates. "The year at the War College, in retrospect, was the foundation for the few things I've accomplished since then."