Add “S” to Meet U.S. 21st Century Security Challenge

  • Lieutenant Colonel Dalian Antwine Washington Sr.

Solving the United States’ 21st century “failed state” problem necessitates modifying the Cold War era national security solution set. Adding “S” to the U.S. Instruments of Power (IOP) paradigm (Diplomatic, Information, Military, and Economic) elevates social stability to its appropriate position. Doing so reduces the overreliance on the military to build institutional capacity within failed states. Transitioning to “DIMES” broadens the national IOP aperture and operationalizes disperse resources that are aptly suited to solve the failed state dilemma. Shifting to a DIMES paradigm expands the policymakers’ toolbox in the strategy development process. The DIMES acronym is aptly suited for the national security lexicon because it is simple, unexpected, credible, concrete, and emotionally connective, thus helping policymakers tell the U.S. national security strategy story. The DIMES acronym is also easy for policymakers to retain, recall, repeat and research.