It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
WASHINGTON (AFP) - After six hard years of war, the United States is awakening to the idea that "soft power" is a better way to regain influence and clout in a world bubbling with instability.
And nowhere is the change in thinking more advanced than in the US military, which is pushing for greater diplomacy, economic aid, civic action and civilian capabilities to prevent new wars and win the peace in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Gates pointed to the huge disparity between the Pentagon's half trillion dollar budget and the State Department's 37 billion dollars.
Its 6,600 diplomats amount to the crew of a single US aircraft carrier, he said.
The US Agency for International Development has been slashed from 15,000 to 3,000 people, and the US Information Agency was dismantled, he said.
Underfunded and undermanned, US civilian agencies have not kept up with the demand for experts in war zones, leading to bitter complaints from US military officers that they have been left holding the bag.