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Hard Power, Soft Power, and Energy Power

PDiN

Since becoming president, Barack Obama has emphasized soft power, suggesting that an over-reliance on military force has alienated many of the United States’ friends and allies without achieving much in return. But many Republicans, and even some Democrats, accuse him of overcorrecting (...). For all their finger-pointing, both parties have, in reality, come to embrace an intermediary approach—what can best be called “energy power.”

Russia Tries to Block Benefits for Families of Gay U.N. Employees

PDiN

Last June, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued a far-reaching administrative ruling that offered marital benefits for the first time to all of the United Nations’ lesbian and gay employees, as well as to other U.N. workers who had entered legally recognized domestic partnerships. On Monday, March 2, Russia gave the plan a resounding nyet.

Estonia Can Handle Putin's Soft Power

PDiN

The results of yesterday's parliamentary election in Estonia would not be of interest to anyone outside the tiny nation, were they not a test of Russian President Vladimir Putin's soft power in the post-Soviet Baltic states.

China and Russia vs. the United States?

PDiN

The rising tensions between Russia and the West, especially the United States, over Ukraine provide a constant reminder of the Cold War, when the two superpowers fought proxy conflicts for spheres of influence. A key question in the current game of great power politics is whether China and Russia will form an alliance against the United States?

The War at Home: How Russia is Winning the Battle for Hearts and Minds

PDiN

Last week, a report from a committee of the House of Lords offered a brutal judgement on British and European policy toward Russia. Europe went “sleep-walking” into the crisis in Ukraine, said the report, and Western countries had lost the “robust analytical capability” to understand Russia. The truth about UK policy toward Russia, however, is much worse.

Ruxit is Real: Russia’s Exit from Europe

PDiN

Obviously, Putin fears European soft power, since it is a force to which he has no response.  Russia’s lack of attraction is one of its most serious weak spots. Its leverage rests on its state-controlled extracting industries and its military. 

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