Monday, 21 May 2007

Soft is good, or why ambivalence wins over coercion

America is attacking the symptoms rather than the problem — the source — of terrorism. To explain the faults of America’s counterterrorism policy, in regards to its foreign policy, one must observe what exactly that policy is. To operate in a more stable power balance, the US must employ soft power — which Joseph Nye calls "the ability to get what you want through attraction rather than coercion" — rather than the military coerciveness and saber rattling of hard power.

The origins of terrorism are also an issue to be studied. As far as counterterrorism’s woes go, the fire paradox is a problem and side-effect; soft power might just be part of the solution. Perception is a key element in this soft power, and a component in the fire paradox. The perception of America’s counterterrorism efforts abroad makes them all the more futile.

No comments: