Scott-Smith's prediction was already being fulfilled this week in tussles from Afghanistan to Guantanamo Bay. However, his wider point --- that the Department of Defense is trying to seize some control of "information", US economic assistance, and even diplomacy --- is backed up in a New York Times editorial by Gary Schaub, an assistant professor at the Air War College. This is Schaub's opening declaration:
GEN. DAVID PETRAEUS, not Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, will shape American engagement with the Middle East for years to come. While Mrs. Clinton prepares to put together the State Department, the military is already reconsidering American policy in critical regions. The politically savvy General Petraeus has both a plan and the resources to see it through.
Schaub identifies the mission of Petraeus' Central Command not only "to provide security" but to "help nations in the region govern effectively [and] build their economies" and "to communicate America’s foreign policy intentions clearly". Rather than support the lead of other agencies who normally carry out these duties, military commands should co-opt civilian employees to implement their plans.
Of course, one could suggest this is Schaub's personal wild ride in How to Make US Foreign Policy, rather than the intentions of Petraeus or Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. It is a bit discomforting, however, especially as the nightmare of Pentagon-State Department battles in the Dubya years and amidst some evidence of the military's unease with Obama, to see this splashed across The New York Times.