It envisages a region where stability and cooperation prevail, marked by maritime security for all and a collective ability to deal with sources of non-traditional security threats. Besides, India is set to enhance its hard power and also deploy soft power assets to deepen its links with littoral states.

The strategic partnership lays considerable emphasis on people to people ties. The two sides have agreed to simplify the rules to facilitate people to people exchanges. India appears to be taking a cooperative security approach to deal with security issues, combining hard and soft power options.

...[a] full-blown geopolitical rivalry cannot occur on one dimension only – it needs to go beyond, say, a military capabilities competition to include diplomacy, economics and even soft power.

Yet these new commitments to control the border have been largely expressions of public diplomacy rather than manifestations of new thinking about the border.

The author correctly argues that AFRICOM, in undermining state sovereignty, will “alter the regional balance of power, and be divisive and destabilizing…It would undermine the unity and collective decision-making.” AFRICOM was to be located in Africa, General Ward probably plans to locate it in countries such as Botswana and Namibia with pro-western leadership.

With great fanfare, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton launched a Quadrennial Development and Diplomacy Review (QDDR)—modeled on the Defense Department’s Quadrennial Defense Review—which promised a new era in foreign relations. In the President’s 2010 budget, State and USAID were the clear winners (with defense spending a clear loser).

July brings us our nation's birthday, which allows us to reflect on the beginning of America's history...The State Department's request of $2.14 billion for the contributions to International Peacekeeping Activities account, and recover $322 million cut from public diplomacy in 2008.

Washington, especially Obama’s State Department, has a democracy problem. Too many see democracy promotion as a Bush-era priority, others see democracy as “cultural imperialism,” and still others see dangers, not opportunities.