How might a Republican White House engage Asia?(...)At a Council on Foreign Relations symposium on U.S. Rebalance to Asia held earlier this week, Daniel Russel, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, cautioned against the “politics of China” in the 2016 presidential campaign. Republican candidates might consider three elements in appropriating the rebalance within a Republican foreign policy rubric.
The 10th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks was an opportunity to revisit and reflect upon how the attacks fundamentally reshaped public diplomacy in the United States and across the globe. In the days prior to, and immediately following the anniversary, much was written about public diplomacy and foreign policy in the post-9/11 world. From U.S.
“The window for diplomacy is closed.” So said President George W. Bush as the U.S. prepared to launch military action in Iraq. Mr. Bush intended that statement as a message to Saddam Hussein that the U.S. was no longer willing to negotiate and that his immediate departure from power was the only option; but in light of history his metaphor was somewhat ironic. In the aftermath of the attacks on September 11, 2001, the United States missed a number of opportunities to repurpose the enormous outpouring of good will around the world into a focused and potent strategy of public diplomacy.
One decade later, has anything changed? This question was asked over and over during the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
The 9/11 Commission charged by the U.S. Congress and president with investigating the “facts and circumstances relating to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001” and making recommendations for “how [to] avoid such tragedy” in the future had little to say about failures related to the nation’s diplomatic preparedness to combat ideological threats. In fact, the Commission’s conclusions about pre-9/11 diplomacy were summed up in its final report in one sentence:“The diplomatic efforts of the Department of State were largely ineffective.”
China also began to actively practice soft power around the world, making investments in Africa, Asia, Australia and Latin America. Those investments not only made economic sense but also benefitted the local economy and made friends with a vast number of people.
Killing terrorists is eliminating the exponents but not the cause of terrorism, because it does not eliminate the ideas and motives that spawn terrorists. The fight against terrorism must proactively discourage people from resorting to terrorism by the use of "soft power".
Pakistan has taken out a half-page advertisement in The Wall Street Journal to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks in an attempt to shift what Islamabad feels is an anti-Pakistan narrative in the American media.