Hegemony & Leadership Toolbox



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A2 – Soft Power


--Nye agrees – smart power fails in the Middle East and trades-off with hard power

Nye, ’11 former US Assistant Secretary of Defense and professor at Harvard University

Joseph S. Jr. “Obama’s Tightrope”, 3-8, http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/ nye92/English, CMR]
CAMBRIDGE – According to a United States State Department official, the concept of “smart power” – the intelligent integration and networking of diplomacy, defense, development, and other tools of so-called “hard” and “soft” power – is at the heart of the Obama administration’s foreign-policy vision. Currently, however, Obama’s smart-power strategy is facing a stiff challenge from events in the Middle East. If Obama fails to support the governments in Egypt, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, or Yemen, he may jeopardize important foreign-policy goals such as Middle East peace, a naval base in the Persian gulf, stability in oil markets, or cooperation against Al Qaeda terrorists. On the other hand, if he merely supports such governments, he will antagonize those countries’ new information-empowered civil society, thus jeopardizing longer-term stability. Balancing hard-power relations with governments with soft-power support for democracy is like walking a tightrope. The Obama administration has wobbled in this balancing act, but thus far it has not fallen off. Because the Obama administration has used the term “smart power,” some people think that it refers only to the US, and critics complain that it is merely a slogan, like “tough love,” used to sugar-coat American foreign policy. But smart power is by no means limited to the US. Combining hard and soft power is a difficult task for many states – but no less necessary for that. In fact, some small states have proven highly adept at smart-power strategies. Singapore has invested enough in its military defense to make itself seem as indigestible as “a poisoned shrimp” to neighbors that it wishes to deter. At the same time, it has combined this hard-power approach with attractive soft-power activities in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), as well as efforts to use its universities as hubs of regional non-governmental activities. Likewise, Switzerland long used mandatory military service and mountainous geography as hard-power resources for deterrence, while making itself attractive to others through banking, commercial, and cultural networks. Qatar, a small peninsula off the coast of Saudi Arabia, allowed its territory to be used as the US military headquarters in the invasion of Iraq, while at the same time sponsoring Al Jazeera, the most popular television station in the region, which was highly critical of American actions. Norway joined NATO for defense, but developed forward-looking policies on overseas development assistance and peace mediation to increase its soft power. Historically, rising states used smart-power strategies to good avail. In the nineteenth century, Bismarck’s Prussia employed an aggressive military strategy to defeat Denmark, Austria, and France in three wars that led to the unification of Germany. But once Bismarck had accomplished that goal, he focused German diplomacy on creating alliances with neighbors and made Berlin the hub of European diplomacy and conflict resolution. One of Kaiser Wilhelm II’s great mistakes two decades later was to fire Bismarck, fail to renew his “reinsurance treaty” with Russia, and challenge Britain for naval supremacy on the high seas. After the Meiji Restoration of 1867-1868, a rising Japan built the military strength that enabled it to defeat Russia in 1905. But it also followed a conciliatory diplomatic policy toward Britain and the US, and spent considerable resources to make itself attractive overseas. After the failure of its imperialist Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity scheme of the 1930’s (which had a soft-power component of anti-European propaganda) and its defeat in World War II, Japan turned to a strategy that minimized military power and relied on strategic alliance with the US. Japan’s single-minded focus on economic growth achieved its goal, but the country developed only modest military and soft power. In its first decades, communist China built its military strength and simultaneously used the soft power of Maoist revolutionary doctrine and Third World solidarity to cultivate allies abroad. But, after the exhaustion of the Maoist strategy in the 1970’s, Chinese leaders turned to market mechanisms to foster economic development. Deng Xiaoping warned his compatriots to eschew external adventures that might jeopardize internal development. In 2007, President Hu Jintao proclaimed the importance of investing in China’s soft power. Given China’s rising economic and military power, this was a smart decision. By accompanying its growing hard power with efforts to make itself more attractive, China aimed to stem its neighbors’ fears and tendency to balance Chinese power. In 2009, China was justly proud of its success in emerging from the global recession with a high rate of economic growth. Many Chinese mistakenly concluded that this represented a shift in the balance of global power, and that the US was in decline. But such narratives can lead to conflict. Indeed, overconfidence in assessing its power led to more assertive Chinese foreign-policy behavior in the latter part of 2009 and 2010. China miscalculated by deviating from the smart strategy of a rising power and violating Deng’s dictum that China should proceed cautiously and “skillfully keep a low profile.” After Chinese leaders faced international criticism and deteriorating relations with the US, Japan, India, and other countries, they decided to return to Deng’s smart-power strategy. So, as the Obama administration struggles to implement its smart-power strategy in the current revolutionary conditions of the Middle East, it is worth noting that the US is not alone in confronting the difficulties of combining hard and soft power successfully. Smart power is an important strategy for success in world politics, but no one said that it would be easy.


A2 – Soft Power


--Soft power fails – can’t generate results

Adelman 11 former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and arms control director in the Reagan Ronald's administration, now heads (with his wife) Movers & Shakespeares, which teaches executive leadership to corporations and NGOs,

Ken, “Go ahead, Congress, cut away at U.S. foreign aid”, April 18, http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/04/18/not_so_smart_power?page=full,CMR


Besides resting on soft assumptions, emphasis on soft power may lead to soft thinking. Take Clinton's hallmark "three Ds" of defense, diplomacy, and development. While Americans do defense and diplomacy, they don't do development well. The United States can't be held responsible for another country doing what's needed to develop. By now, there's a checklist of how countries can go from poverty to prosperity -- low taxes, private property protected by law, restrained and limited government, solid currency, modern infrastructure, and attacks on corruption. But the State Department simply can't do much to ensure these elements are done well. I wish to end on a positive note, especially because Joseph Nye is such a fine person. He's contributed enormously to the United States, always asking hard questions on conventional thinking. He surely would welcome the same on today's fashionable thinking. All this may boil down to a big difference. I've come to believe that liberals focus primarily on intentions, while conservatives focus more on results. No doubt the soft-power goals of the State Department and USAID on diplomacy, foreign aid, exchange programs, and the like seem wonderful. They're peaceful, caring, intercultural, and so on. They signal the right intentions. The hard-power association with Pentagon budgets, weapons, and soldiers seems quite contrary. They signal the wrong intentions. But looking at the actual results of soft power versus hard power may yield results that make today's fashionable thinking seem soft, if not altogether squishy.
--Soft powers potential is exaggerated

Betts, 7/28/11 Adjunct Senior Fellow for National Security Studies, Council on Foreign Relations

Richard K., “Tightening the Pentagon's Belt”, http://www.cfr.org/defense-policy-and-budget/tightening-pentagons-belt/p25548, CMR]
With all of these potential future cuts, do you see this as a call for an expanded role for U.S. diplomacy and foreign aid, and the use of soft power? Not really, because our diplomacy should have been working up to capacity all along. It's not obvious that there are unexploited options for diplomacy that we haven't taken just because we have relied so heavily on military power. We should want diplomacy to be as active and inventive and effective as it can be, but I doubt there is some sort of new impetus that we could realistically expect diplomacy to provide. And foreign aid is not going to be easy to increase in a time of budgetary stringency. Also, soft power is not something easily wielded as an instrument of policy. If it exists, it exists more in the minds of people who observe what happens in the United States from day to day. Also, I think we overestimate our soft power. Americans understandably like to think of themselves as a model for the world, as a society that other societies want to be like. To some extent, this is true, but we tend to exaggerate the extent to which our soft power really shapes others' policies.

A2 – Soft Power



--American soft power is unworkable – nations don’t believe in benevolent hegemony enough to overwhelm their resentment and fear***
Layne 07 Associate Professor in the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University

Christopher, American Empire: A Debate, 2007, p 68

Doubtless, American primacy has its dimension of benevolence, but a state as powerful as the United States can never be benevolent enough to offset the fear that other states have of its unchecked power. In international politics, benevolent hegemons are like unicorns—there is no such animal. Hegemons love themselves, but others mistrust and fear them—and for good reason. In today's world, others dread both the overconcentration of geopolitical weight in America's favor and the purposes for which it may be used. After all, "No great power has a monopoly on virtue and, although some may have a great deal more virtue than others, virtue imposed on others is not seen as such by them. All great powers are capable of exercising a measure of self-restraint, but they are tempted not to and the choice to practice restraint is made easier by the existence of countervailing power and the possibility of it being exercised." While Washington's self-proclaimed benevolence is inherently ephemeral, the hard fist of American power is tangible. Others must worry constantly that if U.S. intentions change, bad things may happen to them. In a one-superpower world, the overconcentration of power in America's hands is an omnipresent challenge to other states' security, and Washington's ability to reassure others of its benevolence is limited by the very enormity of its power.

A2 – Soft Power – HP OW


--Hard power outweighs and is key to soft power

Adelman 11 former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and arms control director in the Reagan Ronald's administration, now heads (with his wife) Movers & Shakespeares, which teaches executive leadership to corporations and NGOs,

Ken, “Go ahead, Congress, cut away at U.S. foreign aid”, April 18, http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/04/18/not_so_smart_power?page=full,CMR]


To his credit, even Nye admits that the line between soft and hard power is a blurry one, though he generally equates the former with the State Department and USAID budgets and the latter with the Pentagon. Yet the distinction breaks down pretty quickly, especially when you consider that many U.S. military activities have boosted America's reputation and enhanced its influence abroad -- more so than any diplomatic or U.S. foreign-aid event. The U.S. Navy's quick, effective reaction to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, its timely assistance to Cyclone Nargis in Burma, its relief from awful flooding in Pakistan, and now its efforts in Japan have all been superb. What case studies from soft-power budgets that Joe Nye so desperately wants maintained could he use in his Kennedy School of Government classes to match these from the hard-power Pentagon budget?

A2 – Soft Power – X Key Heg


--Soft power cannot maintain U.S. hegemony – Britain circa 1930 has already proven this.

Niall Ferguson (Herzog Professor of History at the Stern School of Business, New York University and a Senior Research Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford) 9/22/2003 “an empire in denial: the limits of US imperialism” Harvard International Review No. 3, Vol. 25; Pg. 64



One argument sometimes advanced to distinguish US "hegemony" from British Empire is qualitative. US power, it is argued, consists not just of military and economic power but also of "soft" power. According to Joseph Nye, "A country may obtain the outcomes it wants in world politics because other countries want to follow it, admiring its values, emulating its example, aspiring to its level of prosperity and openness." Soft power, in other words, is getting what you want without sticks or carrots. In the case of the United States, "it comes from being a shining 'city. upon a hill'"--an enticing New Jerusalem of economic and political liberty,. Nye is not so naive as to assume that the US way is inherently attractive to everyone, everywhere. But he does believe that making it attractive matters more than ever before because of the global spread of information technology. To put it simply, soft power can reach the parts of the world that hard pouter cannot. But does this really make US power so very different from imperial power? On the contrary. If anything, it illustrates how very like the last Anglophone empire the United States has become. The British Empire, too, sought to make its values attractive to others, though initially the job had to he done by "men on the spot." British missionaries, businessmen, administrators, and schoolmasters fanned out across the globe to "entice and attract" people toward British values. These foot-slogging efforts were eventually reinforced by technology. It was the advent of wireless radio--and specifically the creation of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)--which really ushered in the age of soft power in Nye's sense of the term. Within six years, the BBC had launched its first foreign language service--in Arabic, significantly--and, by the end of 1938, it was broadcasting around the world in all the major languages of continental Europe. In some ways, the soft power that Britain could exert in the 1930s was greater than the soft power of the United States today. In a world of newspapers, radio receivers, and cinemas--where the number of content-supplying corporations (often national monopolies) was relatively small--the overseas broadcasts of the BBC could hope to reach a relatively large number of foreign ears. Yet whatever soft power Britain thereby wielded did nothing to halt the precipitous decline of British power after the 1930s. This raises the question of how much US soft power really matters today. If the term is to denote anything more than cultural background music to more traditional forms of dominance, it surely needs to be demonstrated that the United States can secure what it wants from other countries without coercing or suborning them, but purely because its cultural exports are seductive. One reason for skepticism about the extent of US soft power today is the very nature of the channels of communication for US culture, the various electronic media through which US culture is currently transmitted tend to run from the United States to Western Europe, Japan, and in the case of television, Latin America. It would be too much to conclude that US soft power is abundant where it is least needed, for it may well he that a high level of exposure to US cinema and television is one of the reasons why Western Europe,Japan, and Latin America are on the whole less hostile to the United States than countries in the Middle East and Asia. But the fact remains that the range of US soft power in Nye's sense is more limited than is generally assumed.
--Legitimacy is irrelevant to leadership

Kagan 06 senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Jan 15, The Washington Post, http://carnegie-mec.org/publications/?fa=17894



This does not mean the United States has not suffered a relative decline in that intangible but important commodity: legitimacy. A combination of shifting geopolitical realities, difficult circumstances and some inept policy has certainly damaged America's standing in the world. Yet, despite everything, the American position in the world has not deteriorated as much as people think. America still "stands alone as the world's indispensable nation," as Clinton so humbly put it in 1997. It can resume an effective leadership role in the world in fairly short order, even during the present administration and certainly after the 2008 election, regardless of which party wins. That is a good thing, because given the growing dangers in the world, the intelligent and effective exercise of America's benevolent global hegemony is as important as ever.


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