Thanks George for you post. I would say that winning the hearts and minds has always been important. The cold war and Air Land Battle Doctrine of the Cold war era completely forgot this as we began to leverage technology and thought that we could protect ourselves at a distance while influencing actions through missles, economic means and others.
Current thinking says that we must engage, partner, and seek meaningful relationships that are collaborative and interdependent in order to sustain long term and meaningful peace.
I have hope at least that we are working on the right things!
It's quite clear that the military seems to get this better than many of our politicians... when we get to the point where we hate the French, who are actually our allies, how do you think we'll approach folks from radically different cultures... I am reminded of the picture that was on someones Wall of Obama pictured with a goatee and beret with the caption, is Obama French? As if that were the worst thing the fellow could think of saying... I despair sometimes...