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'Shift civilian instruments of power'

world Updated: Jan 14, 2009 00:51 IST

AFP
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The top US military officer cautioned against ever growing militarisation of US foreign policy, urging greater support for civilian approaches to the world’s problems.

“I believe we should be more willing to break this cycle, and say when armed forces may not always be the best choice to take the lead,” Admiral Michael Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

Mullen’s comments, in a speech prepared for delivery at the Nixon Center, echoed US Defence Secretary Robert Gates’ views that US neglect of diplomacy and other civilian instruments of power has hurt Washington’s standing in the world.

It comes at the end of an administration that is fighting two wars and a global campaign against terrorism that has stretched the US military to the breaking point.