As Heather Dichter pointed out in her 2014 H-Diplo essay, a conundrum of sport diplomacy, perhaps its signal paradox, is the extent to which nations have used sport as a proving ground on the world stage. [...] Current American and global politics and their illumination on the playing field demonstrate the extent to which actors within and sometimes without a country deepen understanding of how politics and sport work in the international arena.
There are several apparent motives behind the Taliban’s outreach: to decrease misperceptions and concerns about the Taliban and strive to change international opinion, which is currently stacked against them; to get supports for the Taliban’s war against U.S. “occupation”; to negotiate prisoner swaps; and to discuss the Afghan peace process.
It has been suggested that Donald Trump will be a president who will focus on "hard power" to underpin his foreign policy goals rather than focusing on "soft power," which was Obama's preference. The United States cannot just use this or that; it needs to use both. Hard or soft, it's about power, period. [...] While taking a strong stance on security and defense, Trump needs deploy American soft power institutionally in his foreign policy.
The Park Geun-hye administration started with an ambitious middle-power foreign policy agenda. But as President Park’s time in office seems set to come to an end, South Korea’s middle power prestige may fall victim to South Korea’s domestic politics. Park had several policies seeking to utilize South Korea’s middle power status. The "Eurasia Initiative" aimed to establish a logistics and energy network through North Korea, Russia, Central Asia and on to Europe.
Past presidents have tried to use "soft power" strategies to bolster the United States' cultural appeal abroad and lend moral weight to the country's standing as the free world's leading alternative to communist or authoritarian systems. Such tactics are not a substitute for military and economic "hard power," foreign affairs analysts said, but can help shape global perceptions of the United States and its motives.
In 2016, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India continued to enlarge its foreign policy options and generally pursue the goal of raising the country's international profile. Over the year India exhibited more self-confidence in dealing with challenges, showed more assertiveness in defending its interests, and displayed far more flexibility in exploring compromises on issues of global concern.