Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Jim Miller left his post as DOD’s top policy official Wednesday, after serving in the position since May 2012. Miller said he has tried to implement the Obama Administration’s emphasis on a whole-of-government approach to national security, dubbed “smart power” by some, from the Asia-Pacific rebalance to Afghanistan. He does not expect this approach will change when his successor is named, he told reporters at the Pentagon Jan. 8. “Having a strong, capable, ready military is critical to that—hard power is integral to smart power,” Miller said, adding that senior leadership of the Pentagon and US government have worked hard to guide the drawdown from Afghanistan and its posture in areas like Asia with this strategy in mind. While some details will change in the future as to how to implement this approach, the basic strategic points of the administration’s defense policy—specifically to defend the homeland and expand engagement with friends and allies—will not be altered much, he said. Cooperation from the legislative branch will be critical to achieving these goals, noted Miller. Congress has to work to reach “reasonable compromises” on defense spending, he said. “Over time, we need to get back to more bipartisanship on policy, programs, and budgets.”
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.