Hard and Soft Power: The Paradox of "Winning the War of Ideas" in the 21st Century
ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
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The effectiveness with which America communicates its ideas and uses its power is a measure of how U.S. policy makers comprehend and appreciate the embryonic relationship of systems within the new strategic environment. The complexity of the new environment is attributable to the growing interdependencies that have resulted from globalization and the explosion of information technology. These two events, although not exclusively the single factor in this changing environment, have had a profound impact on how the United States uses its influence to shape an international community that can ensure prosperity for itself, its allies, and developing countries seeking to improve their economic viability. However, to achieve this aim America must recognize that the international environment is becoming progressively more interconnected, convoluted, and multidimensional. Therefore, if policy makers propagate a grand strategy that is one-dimensional, then it is less likely to be enduring and could result in a gratuitous expenditure of resources. The purpose of this study is two-fold. The first goal is to discuss how the changing dynamics associated with globalization and information technology complicate the use of power in the international environment. The second is to demonstrate that the most effective way to deal with this new environment is to address it on a three-dimensional basis that allows for the symbiotic combination of hard and soft power in the formulation of strategy.
- Government and Political Science