SMART POWER – A SMARTER AND MORE SECURE AMERICA

The US Center for Strategic & International Studies was founded in 1962 by David M. Abshire and Admiral Arleigh Burke. In 2007 its Commission on Smart Power published a report. In it was claimed that America’s image was in decline around the world. Below are excerpts from the report’s executive summary.

To maintain a leading role in global affairs, the United States must move to inspiring optimism and hope.

The United States must become a smarter power by once again investing in the global good—providing things people and governments in all quarters of the world want but cannot attain in the absence of American leadership. By complementing U.S. military and economic might with greater investments in soft power, America can build the framework it needs to tackle tough global challenges.

Specifically, the United States should focus on five critical areas:

Alliances, partnerships, and institutions: The United States must reinvigorate the alliances, partnerships, and institutions that serve our interests and help us to meet twenty-first century challenges.

Global development: Elevating the role of development in U.S. foreign policy can help the United States align its own interests with the aspirations of people around the world.

Public diplomacy: Bringing foreign populations to our side depends on building long-term, peopleto-people relationships, particularly among youth.

Economic integration: Continued engagement with the global economy is necessary for growth and prosperity, but the benefits of free trade must be expanded to include those left behind at home and abroad.

Technology and innovation: Energy security and climate change require American leadership to help establish global consensus and develop innovative solutions.

Implementing a smart power strategy will require a strategic reassessment of how the U.S. government is organized, coordinated, and budgeted.

Comment: Especially public diplomacy and in the Middle East political warfare are important tools in the arsenal. There are already a number of instruments available like the International Republican Institute, National Endowment for Democracy, Radio Free Europe, National Democratic Institute, Radio Liberty and Radio Free Asia. In 2013 a new agency is needed to apply all the means at national command, short of war, to achieve national objectives

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