—written by Joe
From a young lieutenant in Vietnam to Commander-in-Chief of US Central Command (CENTCOM), retired Marine General Tony Zinni has viewed combat from every perspective. He has also had direct involvement in humanitarian efforts in nations suffering from the onset of disease and natural disasters as well as political strife. All of these experiences have led him to advocate a new approach to such world problems. It is in the interest of developed nations, he says, to
band together in international cooperation, identify nations and/or areas of the world in a state of decline, and then to furnish them, with that nation’s consent and cooperation, with appropriate aid – humanitarian, medical, social, political or military – to halt and reverse this decline before it reaches a critical stage.
He cites the Marshall Plan after World War II as an example of an effort that prevented the decline of Germany and Japan and provided them with the means to become healthy, productive nations in the world community. A similar plan was proposed for the numerous small nations that became at risk with the fall of the Soviet Union. It was never implemented and that fact has been to the detriment of the world.
The decline of any nation or people to a critical stage, he points out, causes repercussions that threaten the safety and stability of all nations. “Military responses by themselves will not do the job,” he writes. “We need a new strategic vision for our country – a vision that will focus our government and all its elements of power on the task of bringing stability and peace to the world.”