AG Biden: U.S. must use ‘Smart Power’

    In a speech at our Nation’s Capital, Biden said the United States must balance military power and diplomacy to maximize its role as a world leader.

    America’s military might, by itself, is not enough, according to Delaware’s top law enforcement official.

    Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden was in Washington, DC Tuesday sharing his ideas on how to build a safer, more secure world.

    Biden, who recently served as a Captain in Iraq with the Delaware National Guard, gave the opening address to the United States Global Leadership Coalition’s annual conference.

    Biden told the influential foreign policy organization that simply having the best technology is not enough to protect our national security and values.

    His address focused on the application of “Smart Power” — civilian and diplomatic tools in addition to military tools.

    “That’s the point I made today, and it’s not a controversial notion at all,” Biden said by phone. “But, yes, while we do have and must have the finest fighting force the world has ever known, that cannot stand alone. It must be complimented by diplomatic efforts, development and aid.”

    Biden, who serves in the Delaware Army National Guard as a JAG Officer with the 261st Signal Brigade, was deployed for a year with that unit in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The 261st returned home in September 2009. In 2001, he spent several months as a civilian advisor in post-war Kosovo training judges and prosecutors for the country’s new legal system.

    It was during those two missions that Biden saw the importance of the “Smart Power” approach.

    “That’s what anybody who goes on one of these operations will tell you we need,” he said. “It not only makes us safer on a day-to-day basis, protecting our soldiers. But it also increases the likelihood that we can leave sooner and won’t have to go back again.”

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.