An attempt by Greece to shift the country’s debt narrative away from austerity ran into a wall of inflexibility during a two-day trip to Germany. German officials here on Thursday, like European Central Bank officials the day before in Frankfurt, offered no sign that they considered the recent change of government in Greece to be an opportunity for a fresh start.

...the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games is estimated to have been watched live by more than 1 billion people. Therefore, for a few hours on the night of July 27th, Britain enjoyed a complete monopoly of television sets across the globe. Through its narrative in the opening ceremony it was able to highlight specific features of Britain and either introduce or remind the world of these.

Well, we've always had soft power, which seems to have been despite the government, not because of it. We have the soft power of Bollywood, Indian cuisine, fashion, yoga and the Indian brain that has done so well with science, computers and so on

Many Americans think that the United States' primary role in the world is the projection of military might. And while the "hard power" represented by drone strikes and aircraft carriers is essential to our security, living and portraying our values is as - if not more - important in the long run.

May 28, 2012

Pakistan is seething with anti-Americanism. This public sentiment is constraining the state's ability to find sensible options to work out the US-Pakistan relationship. People in the decision-making mix realise that a failure to transform the situation could eventually force a complete breakdown of this all-important partnership to Pakistan's own detriment.

False narratives, even heartfelt ones, will only keep conflict buzzing. Stratfor's findings may be the first time a mainstream US-based intelligence-gathering firm openly questions the existing narrative on Syria. It begs the question: what are we basing our policy initiatives on if our underlying assumptions are inaccurate?

The phrase “gets bandied about in various ways,” said Mr. Goldkorn. “It should mean that you have the power of attraction, and China’s been very bad at that,” he said, citing its lack of transparency, harsh treatment of dissidents, hard-line stance over claims in the South China Sea and food safety scandals.