US Military Showing Softer Side

Greater emphasis on humanitarian operations seen by some as 'out of whack'
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 28, 2008 2:08 PM CDT
An Afghan boy carries humanitarian aid he received from the Afghan National Army as a US soldier stands guard.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Despite recent focus on shooting wars, the Defense Department has tweaked the core mission of US armed forces to promote “soft power,” such as humanitarian aid, the Boston Globe reports. Some civilian onlookers say the foreign policy is “out of whack,” and “too dominated by the military.” One Pacific commander says his job, “more often than not,” is to provide aid.

“If there is not an earthquake a day going on, there is certainly a volcano erupting,” the Air Force officer said. “There are landslides in the Philippines, floods in Vietnam and Burma.” He had no doubt that his airmen were up to the task. “Those skills that we use to go to battle are easily transferable in many cases.”