The United States Must Return to its Original Values in This Tumultuous Time

January 24, 2012
By Robert K. Ackerman
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Straying from traditional values is why the United States is facing challenges both financially and internationally, said a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Adm. Mike Mullen, USN (Ret.), told a luncheon audience at West 2012 in San Diego that the country needs to stick to its values as much as possible. When it strays from them, it may realize short-term gains but it suffers losses in the long run, he stated. He cited the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal as an example of that departure from traditional national values. The admiral also called for "fixing" the State Department. "Diplomacy should lead the military, not the other way around," he declared. The departure from fiscal responsibility is another area that imperils U.S. standing. "Economies drive outcomes," Adm. Mullen said. Calling the national debt "our number one security threat," he pointed out that the worse the debt, the smaller the Pentagon budget and the less likely the United States can deploy the forces it needs.

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