hard power

Pew recently reported that younger generations "favor multilateralism over unilateralism and the use of diplomacy – rather than relying on military strength -- to ensure peace." We need to see that hard power is often best used in restraint, and that soft power can be thrown away by a few criminals in the White House deciding they know what's best about interrogation methods.

November 22, 2011

Clever diplomacy, not more Marines, is the answer. The over-extended American Raj has got to face strategic reality or it risks going the way of the Soviet Empire.US foreign policy has become almost totally militarized; the State Department has been shunted aside. The Pentagon sees Al-Qaida everywhere. The US needs the brilliant diplomacy of a Bismarck, not more unaffordable bases or military hardware.

Consider how Washington’s new era of austerity and restraint has reduced U.S. foreign policy: Bush started wars and, after having exhausted the alternatives, engaged in massive nation-building efforts...With Obama, it increasingly seems like we are just in it for the killing.

That doctrine relies on downplaying "hard" power capabilities and relying more on "outsourcing" U.S. security concerns to international institutions like the United Nations, negotiating with military competitors (think: the New START nuclear agreement with Russia) and embracing "soft" power initiatives (think: diplomatic "engagement" with Iran).

There's more to South Korea than K-Pop and Kim Yu-Na, and Lee Bae-Yong's mission in life is to stress that point worldwide.... [she] heads a unique body trying to burnish the image of a country which frets that its economic "hard power" far outweighs its "soft power" in the eyes of the global community.

The speech and doctrine was far less grounded in a liberal illusion of Obama as a cosmopolitan-in-chief. His public diplomacy on this trip was meant less to reassure and more to make plain America’s intent to augment its hard military power in Australia’s backyard. His believe in the efficacy of hard power is one of the most underappreciated aspect of his presidency.

In the Lisbon Summit (2010), NATO decided to use Soft Power (the term which belongs to Joseph Samuel Nye – Harvard University Professor) for stabilisation of the Western Balkan Countries in the new millenium because it is not only cheaper and effective, but also this strategy brings long-range stability to the region and provides prosperity and more democratic rights to these nations.

China isn’t the only country engaged in cyber espionage. But perceptions of its increased activity risk undermining its soft power diplomacy.