CLINTON CONFIRMATION: Can We Have Some Smart-Power Clarity, Please? « The Washington Independent
“It shouldn’t be an either/or debate” between military force, diplomacy and development, Clinton says, “we want to blend those.” But what does that really mean? Right now it means that soldiers and Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan have to be diplomats and development workers as well. But it’s not clear at all what Clinton means by “smart power [as] one of the tools that we have” and will use in the future. U.N. Ambassador-designate Susan Rice is not going to pull out a gun or a drum of cooking oil on the floor of the United Nations. This stuff shouldn’t be a buzzword.
The term “smart power” was coined by Harvard’s Joe Nye and Richard Armitage, President George W. Bush’s former deputy secretary of state. Read their work and ask yourself if it means more than a blandishment not to rely just on military force, which is an uncontroversial position.