France launched its second major African intervention in a year on Friday as its troops rushed to the Central African Republic's capital, Bangui, to stem violence that already claimed over 100 lives this week. France, which capital Bamako earlier this year, began assembling a new 1,200-strong force for CAR just hours after winning U.N. backing to go ahead on Thursday.

Here’s a statistic from an official Pentagon presentation, recently revealed at a security industry conference in Augusta, Georgia. The subject was American military interventions since the end of World War II. The figures: 44 interventions – one a year – between 1945 and 1989; and another 100 – three to four a year – since the end of the Cold War.

August 1, 2012

This new age of brand-aware governments is both good and bad news for NATO. It’s bad, because it gives member states yet another reason to shy away from conflicts that don’t concern them directly, for fear of contaminating their image ... On the other hand it’s good, because if NATO gets this right, it can offer a way for states to enhance those all-important reputations.

The projection of America’s abundant soft power is still wholly inadequate. Tally the scorecard in Afghanistan – you’ll see the consequence of our inadequacy in misspent treasure and tragic human sacrifice. When we fail with our soft power, we rely more heavily on hard power to achieve our goals, placing an undue, and unfair, burden on our armed forces.

March 21, 2012

Although the cadre at the top of the party is generally pious, it has not imposed sharia rule in Turkey, as some secularist Turks have feared, and has not geared its foreign policy toward spreading Islamism. Instead, it has focused on soft power and economic interests.

January 4, 2012

The precise reason for penning the editorial now is still unclear, but it seems likely intended to address both concerns about a crisis of values in Chinese society, and the Chinese leader’s keen interest in developing the country’s soft power by creating internationally popular media.