The Fight Against Extremism in the Trans-Sahel: The Utilization of Soft Power by the Department of State to Establish, Develop, and Strengthen Potential Partnerships
AIR WAR COLLEGE MONTGOMERY United States
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Terrorist activity in Trans-Sahel region of Africa remains a challenge to U.S. national security. Under the Obama administration, soft power became a core principle of his foreign policy strategy. The question I present in this thesis is how the U.S. government, specifically the Department of State, infuses soft power into the foreign arena to achieve its strategic goals and under what conditions can public diplomacy be an effective instrument of U.S. power. A countrys soft power rests on its resources of ideas, values, and policies. The soft power methods available to the Department of State are limited if one utilizes a traditional definition of soft power. I propose that if one modifies the traditional definition of soft power to include training and foreign aid, the Department can and does effectively utilize soft power in the Trans-Sahel region of Africa. By reinforcing existing, and implementing new soft power plus programs e.g. the use of influence, training and foreign aid in the Trans Sahel, the U.S. will continue to effect long-term substantive changes and build potential partners in the region thus effectively countering extremist ideology and accomplish its foreign policy objectives.
- Government and Political Science
- Unconventional Warfare