National Power consists of those powers that can be used to provide security and extend its reach to influence other nations. The agreed upon National Powers include Diplomacy, Information, Military, and Economy (DIME). When thinking of these powers you must consider that they work with one another to achieve National Objectives.
A nation's objectives are the starting point when determining how its National Powers will be used. An example of a nations objectives is the plan outlined by Adolf Hitler in his book Mien Kampf. Hitler's listed three main objectives.
- Destroy the Treaty of Versailles. This was the treaty that ended World War I and had divided the German speaking people of Poland and Czechoslovakia. The treaty also severely limited Germany's ability to build a military force.
- Unite all German speaking peoples into a larger Germany.
- To expand to the east into Poland and Russia to provide Germany with room to grow.
These objectives are clear and allowed Germany to create a strategic plan for using its national power. Keep in mind at the point Hitler came to power Germany had been stunted by the Treaty of Versailles.
In terms of National Power, Germany's economy is in ruins and it has a woefully small and antiquated military. However, Germany was aware that all of Europe was suffering from the effects of economic hard times, and would not be willing to stress the economy further. He calculated from this information that he could push the limits of the Treaty of Versailles. In 1933 he walked away from the treat conference and the league of nations.
In 1934 Hitler began a series of diplomatic maneuvers intended to hide his true intentions while also giving him popular support for Germany's expansion. In January of 1935 the Saar region, which had been ceded by Germany under the Treaty of Versailles, voted 90% in favor of rejoining Germany. In March Hitler announced he would begin conscription and raise 36 Divisions. This was in direct violation of the Treaty of Versailles. Although Britain, France, and Italy protested they took no action.
Each of Hitler's moves were calculated to gauge international response to his breaking of the Treaty of Versailles. As other nations did nothing to oppose his actions, he was emboldened to push the limits further. In fact, there were many in Britain that believed Germany had been treated harshly at the end of World War I. They were also more worried about Stalin and the Soviet Union.
The factories in Germany used to build up the military also greatly improved the economy. The German people were once again working and life in Germany was better than in that of its neighbors.
Using the National Powers of Diplomacy, Information, Military, and Economy, Hitler now was poised to make a great gamble. The Treaty of Versailles forbade Germany from militarily entering the Rhineland. On 7 March 1936 Hitler announced that he had sent a military force into the Rhineland. Britain and France took no action.
In Britain the government had decided to use a policy called Appeasement. Under this policy as long as Germany's demands were reasonable, Britain would take no action. Britain failed to act on Information that warned of Hitler's future intent. Although at this point Britain's military force was strong enough to eject the German's from the Rhineland and the Saar they chose to stand by and wait. They hoped to avert war.
Today we recognize that the policy of Appeasement failed not only to avert war, but led to the most devastating war in all of History. That history is repeating itself. Today we are told by our Government that we either accept a deal with Iran, or go to war. It is the failure demonstrated by our Government to use Diplomacy, Information, Military and Economic power to our advantage. Allowing an enemy that has vocally called for the destruction of the United States and our allies to fund its military build up will lead to war.
President Obama has empowered our enemies with the Appeasement policy. He and his Secretary of State John Kerry, if they get their way, will guarantee a very bloody war will take place. Following the Hitler formula Iran has pushed the limits and have been rewarded for it. With an election of a new President at hand we need to take heed of the lessons from the past. Denying Iran nuclear weapons will not lead to war, it will prevent it.