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Had Power v. Soft Power
11/11/08 at 21:20:44
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Hey Guys,

I was wondering if anyone here has studied hard and soft power. For anyone who doesn't know, hard power is basically foreign policy coercion through military might or through sanctions. Soft power is achieving foreign policy objectives through attraction. It can include cultural attraction, diplomacy, international legitimacy, propaganda, foreign aid, and education in other countries. The cold war is a famous example of where the US used both hard and soft power. We had a strong military force that acted as a deterrent. Meanwhile, we used propaganda and culture (music, movies, ect.) to try convince the masses that democracy and freedom were to be valued. For example, American television ads would run in the USSR, and the people would see that Americans owned cars and could order pizza any time they wanted. They started to realize how terrible their government was, and the USSR lost some support.

I've mainly studied hard and soft power by reading Joseph Nye. In my opinion, we need a good mix of both, but hard power is probably more important. Republicans tend to emphasize hard power, and Democrats tend to focus on soft power.

What are your thoughts on the two types of power? Are both necessary? Do we overemphasize one of them right now? Will Obama have a good balance? News and Analysis from a 17-Year-Old
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