hard power

September 8, 2015

As it stands, the funding and coordination of America’s soft-power strategy is inadequate. But we know that hard power is not enough, particularly to contest the cyber territory that the Islamic State occupies – for example, by developing a capacity to take down botnets and counter hostile social-media accounts.

Targeting China’s international reputation is a good place to start. Despite popular misconceptions, Beijing is actually extremely concerned about maintaining a positive image. It knows that being viewed as a pariah could bolster international moves to counter its strategic, political and economic weight. 

China is practicing the gunboat diplomacy of the Western imperialist powers that it despised. From the existential threat to China of being “carved up like a melon” by the Western powers during the “Century of Humiliation” from the turbulent mid-19th century, it is ironic that it is now engaged in “salami slicing” and “cabbage harvesting” in the disputed territories with its smaller neighbors in the 21st century.

The delegates recognized that there would be many hurdles to traverse for the military and scientists to fully harness the fruits of Arctic diplomacy. In particular, the distrust of China as a non-Arctic nation taking interest in the region needed to be moderated with a recognition of other global powers having presence in areas very distant from their own regional vicinity.

Diplomacy has resumed its role, trumping 'go it alone' military interventions. [...] The fruitful culmination of negotiations between world powers and Iran over its nuclear program, are yet another indication to the global shift in International Relations, away from unilateral military solutions, and back towards multilateral diplomacy.

China has been making major efforts to increase its ability to influence other countries without force or coercion. [...] China has emphasized its cultural and economic strengths, but it has paid less attention to the political aspects that can undermine its efforts.

First introduced by then-Vice President Xi during a state visit in 2012, the NTGPR framework has since come to dominate Chinese public diplomacy towards the United States. Like the “China Dream” and “One Belt, One Road,” the “new model” of Sino-American relations occupies an important ideological space for the Party’s 5th generation leadership. 

The defence secretary has defended the government’s military strategy and spending, saying that “no country in Europe is playing such a strong global role”. Writing in the Sunday Telegraph he said the UK was “in it for the long term” when it came to Nato and deterring Russia, also hailing British operations against Islamic State (Isis) and humanitarian missions. [...] In his Telegraph article, Fallon highlighted the role of soft power in tackling the causes of instability, while also highlighting areas of military spending, including aircraft carriers and submarines.

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