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SUSTAINABLE SECURITY: Humanity as a Weapon of War The increasing involvement of the U.S. armed forces in addressing the basic human needs of civilians abroad represents one of the most profound changes in U.S. strategic thought and practice in at least a generation. The Pentagon is recognizing that conventional "kinetic" military operations, which utilize armed force through direct action to kill or capture the enemy, have limited utility in countering the threats posed by militant extremism. Therefore, they are searching for—and finding—"non-kinetic" options other than the use of force to tackle the non-violent components of pressing security problems, both in and out of warzones. This may seem like an appropriate approach to America's new security challenges in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, but it is not without controversy. The increasing involvement of the U.S. military in civilian assistance activities has launched a contentious debate about the role of the military in global development, and the relevance of global development to American national security. Non-governmental organizations argue that the "militarization" of development assistance threatens to undermine the moral imperatives of poverty reduction, the neutral provision of emergency relief, and the security of civilian aid workers in the field. Non-military government agencies, most prominently the U.S. State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development, have demonstrated a complex ambivalence about the subject. Even as their bureaucracies have changed to accommodate the military's growing role in providing assistance, some rank-and-file staff at USAID have argued that the military's programs do not constitute "real development" work, while a vocal minority of foreign service officers in the State Department have protested their deployment to promote political reconciliation in active warzones as hazardous assignments inappropriate for professional ...
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