Transcript: Joseph Nye on Soft Power and the War on Terror | Jun 12, 2004

Joseph Nye stands on an auditorium behind a wooden podium. He’s in his early sixties, clean-shaven and balding. He’s wearing a blue suit, a white shirt and a dark red tie.

Joseph says I'LL TELESCOPE
THE MESSAGE OF MY FORMAL REMARKS
OVER BY TELLING YOU ABOUT AN
ANNIVERSARY CARD THAT MY WIFE
ONCE SENT ME, WHICH YOU SHOULD
OPENED IT UP FROM THE ENVELOPE
IT SAID, “YOU'RE THE ANSWER TO
MY PRAYERS.”

A caption appears on screen. It reads “Joseph Nye. Harvard University.”

He continues AND YOU OPENED IT
UP AGAIN AND IT, “BUT YOU'RE NOT
EXACTLY WHAT I HAD PRAYED FOR.”

The caption changes to “Soft Power and the War on Terror.”

(Audience laughing)

He continues AND TO SOME
EXTENT, THAT'S WHAT'S BEEN
HAPPENING TO US, IS WE LOOK AT
WORLD AFFAIRS OVER THE LAST
DECADE OR TWO, WHICH IS, WE ALL
PRAYED FOR A SUCCESSFUL END TO
THE COLD WAR, BUT THE WORLD
WE'RE IN IS NOT EXACTLY WHAT WE
PRAYED FOR.
AND IT REALLY TAKES US TO
9 11 AND HOW 9 11
ESSENTIALLY ILLUMINATED
SOME MAJOR CHANGES THAT HAD BEEN
OCCURRING IN THE 20th CENTURY
THAT HAVE COME TO HAUNT US IN
The 21st.
9 11, I'VE USED THE ANALOGY;
IT'S LIKE A FLASH OF
LIGHTING ON THE SUMMER
EVENING, AND WHICH YOU
SUDDENLY SEE A ILLUMINATED A
STRANGE AND DIFFICULT LANDSCAPE,
AND THEN IT GOES DARK AGAIN BUT
YOU KNOW YOU HAVE TO FIND YOUR
WAY ACROSS THAT LANDSCAPE AND
WE'RE STILL PICKING OUR WAY
THROUGH THAT LANDSCAPE.
THE TWO GREAT CHANGES THAT WERE
ILLUMINATED BY 911, UH, THAT
HAD BEEN OCCURRING AT THE END OF
THE 20th CENTURY, WERE UH, THE
DEEPENING AND THICKENING OF
GLOBALIZATION AND THE TREMENDOUS
CHANGE IN TECHNOLOGIES THAT
COULD BE CALLED
THE
INFORMATION REVOLUTION
BUT COULD ALSO MIGHT BE CALLED
THE DEMOCRATIZATION OF
TECHNOLOGY.
LET ME SAY A WORD ABOUT HOW EACH
OF THOSE PROGRESSED.
ON GLOBALIZATION, THERE'S
NOTHING NEW ABOUT GLOBALIZATION,
IT'S AS OLD AS HUMANKIND.
UH, BUT WHAT'S HAPPENED IS THAT
IT'S BECOME QUICKER AND THICKER,
AND IT'S PROVEN TO HAVE MORE
DIMENSIONS THAN WE USUALLY THING
ABOUT IT.
GENERALLY THERE'S A, THERE'S A
TENDENCY TO THINK OF
GLOBALIZATION AS JUST ECONOMIC
INTEGRATION.
BUT IN FACT IT HAS MANY
DIMENSIONS, WHICH INCLUDE
MILITARY, SOCIAL, ECOLOGICAL AND
SO FORTH.
AND IF ONE WERE TO ASK, HOW IS
THIS ILLUMINATED, THIS SPEEDING
UP OF GLOBALIZATION, HOW IS IT
ILLUMINATED ON 9 11?
THERE'S NO BETTER WAY TO
ILLUSTRATE THAT THAN BY THINKING
ABOUT AFGHANISTAN.
UH, IN THE 1990s, IF YOU'D ASK
MORE PEOPLE IN NORTH AMERICA
ABOUT AFGHANISTAN, THEY WOULD
HAVE, “CONDITIONS IN AFGHANISTAN
ARE DREADFUL AND THAT'S TOO BAD
FOR THE AFGHANS.
WHAT DIFFERENT DOES IT MAKE FOR
US?”
AND WHAT 9 11 ILLUSTRATED WAS
THAT DREADFUL CONDITIONS IN A
POOR, WEAK COUNTRY HALFWAY
AROUND THE WORLD, CAN MATTER
VERY MUCH TO US.
THE OTHER CHANGE THAT I THINK
THAT WAS ILLUMINATED BY 9 11 WAS
THIS ENORMOUS CHANGE IN
TECHNOLOGY.
UH, IF YOU LOOK AT ONE DIMENSION
OF IT, THE TREMENDOUS DECLINE IN
THE COSTS OF COMPUTING AND
COMMUNICATION, YOU ILLUSTRATE
HOW DRAMATICALLY THINGS CHANGE.
BUT REALIZING THAT THE COST OF
COMPUTING POWER DECLINED BY A
THOUSAND FOLD OVER 30 YEARS,
FROM 1970 TO 2000, AND IF
THE PRICE OF AN AUTOMOBILE
HAD DECLINED AS RAPIDLY, YOU
WOULD BE ABLE TO BUY A CAR
TODAY FOR 5.00 DOLLARS.

The audience listens carefully.

He continues NOW WHENEVER ANYTHING DECLINES
IN COST THAT DRAMATICALLY, THE
BARRIERS TO ENTRY GO DOWN, WHICH
MEANS THAT IN 1970, FOR EXAMPLE,
IF YOU HAD WANTED TO HAVE
INSTANTANEOUS GLOBAL
COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN TORONTO,
PRETORIA, BRASILIA, AND MOSCOW,
ALL AT THE SAME TIME, YOU
WOULD'VE NEED TO BE A PRETTY
LARGE ORGANIZATION, A
GOVERNMENT, A MULTI-CORPORATION,
A CATHOLIC CHURCH, WITH A PRETTY
HEFTY BUDGET.
TODAY, ANYBODY CAN DEVELOP THAT
CAPACITY FOR THE PRICE OF GOING
INTO AN INTERNET CAFE.
THAT'S A PRETTY DRAMATIC CHANGE,
IN, WHAT I CAL
THE
DEMOCRATIZATION OF
TECHNOLOGY
OR TO GIVE YOU
ANOTHER EXAMPLE IN THE 1970s,
WHEN I WAS FIRST IN GOVERNMENT
IN THE CARTER ADMINISTRATION,
ONE OF THE GREAT SECRETS WAS
THAT THE UNITED STATES HAD SPENT
BILLIONS AND BILLIONS OF DOLLARS
TO DEVELOP SATELLITES THAT COULD
PHOTOGRAPH VIRTUALLY ANY PLACE
ON EARTH WITH A ONE METRE
RESOLUTION, ABOUT LIKE THAT, AND
INDEED IF I HAD TOLD YOU ABOUT
THAT IN THE 1970s, I WOULD HAVE
BEEN THROWN IN JAIL AND PROPERLY
SO.
UH, TODAY, ANYONE OF YOU CAN GO
UNTO THE INTERNET AND GET A ONE
METRE RESOLUTION PHOTO OF SPOTS
ON THE EARTH FOR ABOUT 79 DOLLARS,
AGAIN A QUITE DRAMATIC CHANGE.
AND THIS DEMOCRATIZATION OF
TECHNOLOGY HAS LED TO
OPPORTUNITIES FOR MANY MORE
PLAYERS TO GET INTO THE GAME OF
WORLD POLITICS.
UH, IF YOU LOOK AT THE INCREASE
IN NONGOVERNMENTAL ACTORS, UH,
THEY BURGEON IN THE 1990s.
NOT THAT THEY REPLACED
GOVERNMENTS, IT'S NOT THAT THE
NATION STATE IS OVER, BUT THE
CROWD GOVERNMENT ON THE STAGE
AND THESE NEW PLAYERS, THESE NON
GOVERNMENTAL PLAYERS IN THE--ON
THE STAGE, UH, RANGE FROM SOME
WHO ARE QUITE BENIGN, WHETHER WE
THINK OF NGOs, LIKE,
HUMAN
RIGHTS WATCH, OXFAM, OR
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL,
WHATEVER.
UH, TO SOME OF THEM THAT ARE
QUITE MALIGN, LIKE TRANS-
NATIONAL TERRORIST GROUPS.
THE MOST DRAMATIC OF WHICH OF
COURSE IS AL-QAEDA AND THIS
AGAIN WAS VERY CLEAR ON 9 11.
IN FACT, IF YOU LOOK AT THE
DEVELOPMENT OF THESE TRANS-
NATIONAL TERRORISTS GROUPS IS
THAT YOU NOTICE TERROR IS NOT
NEW.
I MEAN, WE'VE HAD TERROR FOR
CENTURIES OR MORE.
BUT THE INCREASE IN THE AGILITY
AND LETHALITY OF TERRORISM HAS
BEEN QUITE NEW.
IF YOU THINK
ABOUT TERRORISM IN THE 20th
CENTURY, I THINK THE WORST
TERRORIST INCIDENT WAS PROBABLY
THE SHEIK EXTREMISTS WHO BOMBED
AN AIR-INDIA FLIGHT AND KILLED
329 PEOPLE.
BY SEPTEMBER 11,
TERRORIST KILLED 3,000 PEOPLE,
AND IF ONE THINKS AHEAD AND
IMAGINES TERRORISTS GETTING
THEIR HANDS ON NUCLEAR
BIOLOGICAL MATERIALS, WHICH IS
NOT SCIENCE FICTION, UH, YOU
COULD IMAGINE TERRORISTS BEING
ABLE TO KILL HUNDREDS OF
THOUSANDS OR MILLIONS OF PEOPLE.
UH, THIS IS QUITE NEW THAT A
PATHOLOGICAL INDIVIDUAL
COULD KILL A MILLION PEOPLE,
IT HAS BEEN DONE IN THE 20
CENTURY.
AFTER ALL HITLER, OR STALIN, OR
MIO KILLED MILLIONS OF PEOPLE,
BUT TO DO SO, THEY NEEDED THE
APPARATUS OF A TOTALINE
GOVERNMENT TO BE ABLE TO DO IT.
NOW YOU COULD IMAGINE A
PATHOLOGICAL INDIVIDUAL OR GROUP
KILLING AT THAT SCALE WITHOUT
THE APPARATUS OF GOVERNMENT AND
THAT IS WHAT'S NEW.
THAT'S WHAT I CALL
THE
PRIVATIZATION OF WAR,
ANOTHER WAY OF PUTTING IT IN
PERSPECTIVE IS TO REALIZATION
THAT ON SEPTEMBER 11th, A TRANS-
NATIONAL TERRORIST GROUP WITH
SELLS IN 50 TO 60 COUNTRIES WAS
ABLE TO KILL MORE AMERICAS IN
ONE DAY THAN THE GOVERNMENT OF
JAPAN DID IN DECEMBER 1941.
THAT'S A CHANGE.
NOW IN RESPONSE TO THAT KIND OF
A CHANGE, I THINK THE BUSH
ADMINISTRATION WAS CORRECT IN
CHANGING THE FOCUS OF AMERICAN
FOREIGN POLICY.
IF YOU REMEMBER IN THE YEAR
2000, UH, PRESIDENT BUSH RAN AS
A CLASSICAL REALIST.
UH WE WERE TO GET AWAY FROM
NATION BUILDING.
WE WERE GOING TO GET AWAY FROM
WHAT HE CHARACTERIZED AS
CLINTON'S POLICY OF TREATING
FOREIGN POLICY AS SOCIAL WORK,
AS THE MAJORITY WENT.
UH, WE WERE GOING TO FOCUS ON
THE GREAT POWERS AND TAKE A MUCH
HARD VIEWS ON THE GREAT POWERS.
CHINA, FOR EXAMPLE, WAS TO BE
DEMOTED FROM
STRATEGIC
PARTNER,
CLINTON HAD
CALLED IT
STRATEGIC
COMPETITOR AND IT WAS TO BE A, A
VERY FOCUSED, GREAT POWER
ORIENTATED AMERICAN FOREIGN
POLICY.
OF COURSE, UH, THAT DIDN'T LAST.
9 11 CHANGED IT NEARLY 180
DEGREES.
IF YOU READ THE NATIONAL
SECURITY STRATEGY THAT WAS
ISSUED ON SEPTEMBER 2004, YOU'LL
FIND STATEMENTS LIKE, “WE HAVE
AS MUCH OR MORE TO FEAR FROM
FAILED STATES AS FROM GREAT
POWERS AND WE FACE THE GREATEST
THREATS FROM TERRORIST THREATS
AND WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION
AND NONGOVERNMENTAL ACTORS,
OBLIVIOUSLY, AND WE WILL NOW
TREAT CHINA AS A STRATEGIC
PARTNER, NOT A STRATEGIC
COMPETITOR.”
IT'S QUITE DRAMATIC CHANGE IN
AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY THAT
OCCURS AS A RESULT OF 9 11.
I WOULD ARGUE THAT THE CHANGE
WAS CORRECTLY FOCUSSED, THAT WE
WERE CATCHING UP, I'LL BE'IT TOO
LATE TO THESE DEEPER CHANGES
THAT HAD BEEN OCCURRING IN THE
LATTER PART OF THE 20th CENTURY
THAT HAD MADE SOMETHING LIKE
9 11 POSSIBLE.
I THINK THE PROBLEM WE HAVE
THOUGH, UH, HAS BEEN THAT WE'VE
BEEN AGREED ON THE ENDS OF
FOREIGN POLICY, BUT NOT AGREED
ON THE NEWS MEANS IN WHICH TO
IMPLEMENT IT, AND THERE THERE'S
BEEN A CONSIDERABLE DIFFERENCE
IN THE UNITED STATES ABOUT THE
PROPER APPROACH TO THE
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE NEW
STRATEGY.
UH, ON THE UH, IN THE
ADMINISTRATION, YOU HAVE DEEP
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN, LET'S SAY
THE STATE DEPARTMENT AND THE
DEFENCE DEPARTMENT, IN THE
CONGRESS YOU HAVE GREAT
DIFFERENCES AND IF YOU READ THE
EDITORIAL PAGES OF AMERICAN
NEWSPAPERS, YOU'LL FIND QUITE
SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCES ON THIS.
ONE VIEW HAS BEEN CHARACTERIZED
BY CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, THE
WASHINGTON POST
COLUMNISTS, AS THE NEW
UNILATERALISM AND UH, BASICALLY,
THIS IS A TERM THAT KRAUTHAMMER
USED APPROVINGLY, UM, AND HE
POINTED BEFORE 9 11.
HE SAID, “WITH THE COLLAPSE OF
THE SOVIET UNION, THERE WAS NO
LONGER A BALANCE OF POWER.”
AGAIN SOMETHING QUITE NEW IN
MODERN HISTORY AND THAT MEANT
THAT THE AMERICANS WERE ALONE IN
THE SUPERPOWERDOM AND IF THAT
WERE THE CASE, THEN WE OUGHT TO
DECIDE WHAT WE THOUGHT WAS
RIGHT, LEGITIMIZE IT BY THE FACT
THAT WE, OURSELVES ARE A
DEMOCRACY, DO IT, AND OTHERS
WOULD HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO
FOLLOW, AND RATHER BE HELD BACK
BY A SET OF INSTITUTIONS THAT
WERE CREATED IN A BY-POLL WORLD
IN WORLD WAR II, FOR CONTAINING
AND DEALING WITH THE SOVIET
UNION, INSTITUTION SUCH AS THE
U.N. AND NATO, WE SHOULD GO
AHEAD AND DO WHAT NEEDED TO BE
DONE AND THEN OTHERS WOULD FIND
NO CHOICE BUT TO FOLLOW.
THAT NEW UNILATERALISM WAS A
QUITE RADICAL DEPARTURE FROM THE
TRADITIONS OF AMERICAN FOREIGN
POLICY OR THE MEANS OF AMERICAN
FOREIGN POLICY OVER THE LAST
HALF CENTURY THAT PRECEDED IT.
UH, THE MORE TRADITIONAL VIEW OF
COURSE, ARGUED TO THE EXISTING
INSTITUTION AND THE ALLIES
REMAINED AS IMPORTANT AS EVER, I
THINK THE PROBLEM WITH THE
ANALYSIS OR APPROACH OF THE NEW
UH, UH, UNILATERALIST IS THAT
THEY FAILED TO PERCEIVE THE FACT
THAT POWER DEPENDS VERY MUCH ON
CONTEXT AND IN THE 21st CENTURY,
YOU HAVE QUITE DIFFERENT CONTEXT
FOR FOREIGN POLICY DEPENDING ON
THE ISSUES THAT ARE INVOLVED.
I'VE USED THE
METAPHOR THAT THIS IS LIKE A
THREE-DIMENSIONAL CHESS
GAME.
WE'RE ON THE TOP BOARD OF THE
GAME, THE BOARD OF
MILITARY RELATIONS BETWEEN
STATES, THEY ARE CORRECT.
THE UNITED STATES IS THE ONLY
SUPERPOWER.
THE WORLD IS UNI-POLAR.
UH, I THINK IT'S LIKELY TO STAY
THAT WAY FOR QUITE SOMETIME, A
DECADE OR TWO PROBABLY AND I
THINK IN THAT DIMENSION, THE TOP
BOARD IF YOU WANT, THERE IS
DESCRIPTIONS AND DEPICTIONS OF
THE WORLD ARE QUITE ACCURATE.
BUT IF GO TO THE MIDDLE BOARD OF
ECONOMIC RELATIONS BETWEEN
STATES, UH, IT DOESN'T FIT.
THE WORLD IS NOT UNI-POLAR.
THE WORLD IS MULTI-POLAR.
UH, AMERICAN POWERS BALANCED BY
EUROPE, WHICH IN THIS CASE, ACTS
AS AN ENTITY.
INDEED, IF THE UNITED STATES
WANT TO TRADE AN AGREEMENT OR
WANTS TO MOVE FORWARD AN
ANTITRUST POLICY, IT HAS TO HAVE
THE APPROVAL OF THE EUROPEAN
UNION OR OF JAPAN AND CHINA.
IT'S ODD TO CALL THAT
UNIPOLARITY OR ONE SUPERPOWER
WORLD.
BUT YOU GO TO THE BOTTOM BOARD
OF THIS THREE DIMENSIONAL CHESS
GAME, THE BOARD OF TRANS-
NATIONAL RELATIONS THAT CROSS
BORDERS OUTSIDE THE CONTROL OF
GOVERNMENTS, WHETHER IT BE
THINGS LIKE THE SPREAD OF
INFECTIOUS DISEASES, SUCH AS
SARS, WHETHER IT BE UH, BE THE
FLOW OF DRUGS ACROSS BORDERS OR
WHETHER IT BEEN TRANS-NATIONAL
TERRORISM.
UH, ON THAT BOTTOM BOARD, NOBODY
IS IN CHARGE.
NOBODY.
TO CALLED THAT AMERICAN EMPIRE
OR AMERICAN HEGEMONY OR
UNIPOLARITY, MISTAKES THE FACT
THAT'S IT CHAOTICALLY ORGANIZED
AND THAT THE ONLY WAY IN WHICH
YOU CAN MAKE PROGRESS ON THAT
BOTTOM BOARD IS ESSENTIALLY WITH
COOPERATION OF OTHERS.
MY CONCERN IS THAT THE NEW
UNILATERALISTS AND THEIR
APPROACH IS ONE-DIMENSIONAL
THINKING.
THEY BASICALLY FOCUS ON THE TOP
BOARD AND APPLY THOSE CONCEPTS
TO ALL THREE DIMENSIONS OR
CONTEXTS OF POWER IN THE 21st
CENTURY, AND I THINK THAT THE
DANGER OF THAT IS THAT IT LEADS
THEM TO OVEREMPHASIZE THE
MILITARY INSTRUMENT AND NOT PAY
ENOUGH EMPHASIS ON THE OTHERS.
MILITARY INVOLVEMENT CAN BE
REVERENT TO THE BOTTOM BOARD,
BUT IT MAY OFTEN TURN OUT TO NOT
BE EFFICIENT.
IF YOU LOOK AT, FOR EXAMPLE, OF
THE CASE F, OF AFGHANISTAN, IT
WAS ESSENTIAL THAT WE USED
MILITARY POWER TO REMOVE THE
TALIBAN GOVERNMENT, WHICH HAD
PROVIDED A HAVEN FOR AL-QAEDA
TERRORIST WHO HAD STRUT US ON
9 11.
BUT IF YOU LOOK AT WHAT HAPPENED
IN AFGHANISTAN, OUR MILITARY
POWER WAS QUITE EFFECTIVE AT
REMOVING THE TALIBAN GOVERNMENT
BUT WE WRAPPED UP ONLY ABOUT A
QUARTER OF AL-QAEDA IN THAT
EXERCISE AND THE ONLY WAY THAT
YOU DEAL WITH A TRANS-NATIONAL
ORGANIZATION, LIKE AL-QAEDA, IS
BY CLOSE CIVILIAN COOPERATION
ACROSS BORDERS.
INTELLIGENT SHARING, POLICE
WORK, TRACING FINANCIAL FLOWS
AND SO FORTH.
AND I FEAR THAT THE DANGER OF
THE APPROACH OF THE NEW
UNILATERALISTS IS IF BY FOCUSING
SO HEAVILY ON THE TOP BOARD,
THEY NEGLECT THE EFFECTS ON THE
BOTTOM BOARD.
A ROCK WOULD BE AN EXAMPLE OF
THIS.
THERE IS NO WAY THAT THE
AMERICANS CAN BE STOPPED FROM
THEY'RE INVASION OF IRAQ AND IT
WAS DONE VERY SUCCESSFULLY.
3 AND A HALF YEARS IN A SHARP BRILLIANT
CAMPAIGN.
BUT WHEN ONE LOOKS AT THE
AFFECTS OF THE IRAQ WAR, ON THE
TOP BOARD, THERE WAS A BENEFIT
IN TERMS OF REMOVING A VICIOUS
AND DANGEROUS TYRANT.
BUT ON THE BOTTOM BOARD, THERE
WAS A GREAT INCREASE IN
RECRUITMENT BY AL-QAEDA
THROUGHOUT THE ISLAMIC WORLD AND
ESSENTIALLY, THE QUESTION IS
WHERE DOES THAT BALANCE OUT, IS
STILL NOT DETERMINED.
BUT IF ONE TRIES TO ASSESS THE
WHOLE GAME, IT'S CLEARLY
INSUFFICIENT TO LOOK AT THE TOP
BOARD ONLY AND NOT THE EFFECTS
OF THE BOTTOM BOARD.
OR ANOTHER WAY OF THINKING ABOUT
THIS IS IF THE GREATEST THREATS
THAT WE FACE, IS IDENTIFIED BY
OUR NEW NATIONAL SECURITY
CHALLENGE STRATEGY COME FROM THE
BOTTOM BOARD, THEN PERHAPS WE
MADE THINGS BETTER ON ONE BUT
MADE THE ONE THAT IS MOST
IMPORTANT WORSE.
IN THAT SENSE, I WORRY THAT THE
NEW UNILATERALISTS IN THE MEANS
OF AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY ARE
ONE DIMENSIONAL PLAYER IN A
THREE DIMENSIONAL GAME.
IF YOU'RE PLAYING A THREE
DIMENSIONAL CHESS, ONE OF THE
BASIC LESSONS THAT IF YOU FOCUS
ON ONE BOARD ALONE, YOU ARE
GOING TO LOSE.
YOU HAVE TO PLAY VERTICALLY AND
HORIZONTALLY AT THE SAME TIME.
NOW, IF ONE LOOKS AT THE EFFECTS
OF THE, UH, UH, THE IRAQ WAR BUT
ALSO LOOKS AT THE EFFECTS OF THE
NEW UNILATERALISM MORE
GENERALLY, I THINK WHAT YOU'RE
SEEING IS THAT THE COST OF THE
UNITED STATES HAVE BEEN IN QUITE
HIGH IN TERMS OF AMERICAN SOFT
POWER AND THERE I THINK IS THE
DANGER IS THAT UH, WE ARE PAYING
A PRICE WHICH WILL BE HIGHER
THAN WE SHOULD BE PAYING.
UH, SOFT POWER IS BASICALLY
ONE OF THE BASE--THE
ESSENTIAL FORMS OF POWER.
POWER IS THE ABILITY TO
INFLUENCE OTHERS TO GET THE
OUTCOMES YOU WANT OR GET THE
THINGS YOU WANT, AND THERE ARE
THREE SIMPLE WAYS OF DOING IT.
ONE IS TO THREATEN OR COHORTS,
WHICH IS STICKS, A SECOND IS TO
PAY OR INDUCE CARETS AND A THIRD
IS TO ATTRACT OR CO-OPT WHICH IS
SOFT POWER.
AND THAT SOFT POWER, THAT
ABILITY TO ATTRACT, IF YOU HAVE
IT, IF YOU CAN GET OTHERS WANT
WHAT YOU WANT, THEN YOU DON'T
HAVE TO SPEND NEARLY AS MUCH OF
CARETS AND STICKS.
AND IT IS A SIGNIFICANT PART OF
WHAT ONE NEEDS TO MAKE AN
EFFECTIVE FOREIGN POLICY; IT
GROWS OUT OF THREE MAJOR
SOURCES.
ONE IS A COUNTRY'S CULTURE,
WHERE THE CULTURE IS ATTRACTIVE
TO OTHERS.
THE SECOND IS ITS VALUES, UH,
LIKE DEMOCRACY AND HUMAN RIGHTS
WHEN YOU, WHEN WE LIVE UP TO
THEM.
AND THE THIRD IS UM, ITS
POLICIES, WHERE THE POLICIES ARE
FORMULATED IN A WAY, WHICH ARE
CONSULTATIVE IN STYLE AND
SUBSTANTIALLY INCLUDE THE
INTERESTS OF OTHERS, SO THAT
THEY DON'T APPEAR ARROGANT BUT
APPEAR INCLUSIVE.
AND I THINK THAT
THE SOFT POWER THAT THE UNITED
STATES WHEELED SO EFFECTIVELY
DURING THE COLD WAR, IF YOU LOOK
BACK ON THE COLD WAR AND REALIZE
THAT THE UNITED STATES WON THE
COLD WAR, NOT JUST BY HARD
MILITARY POWER,
BUT THE
CONTAINMENT ALSO INVOLVED THE,
THE USE OF OUR VALUES AND
THROUGH EXCHANGE PROGRAMS AND
BROADCASTING AND SO FORTH, THAT
ATE AWAY SOVIET AND SELF-
CONFIDENCE FROM INSIDE.
IF YOU LOOK AT THAT LESSON OF
THE PAST OF COMBINING OUR HARD
AND SOFT POWER, WE'VE NOT BEEN
DOING IT VERY WELL IN THE LAST
COUPLE OF YEARS.
UH, THAT MIGHT SOUND LIKE A
HARSH JUDGEMENT, BUT I THINK IF
YOU LOOK AT THE PUBLIC OPINION
POLLS, I THINK IT'S
SUBSTANTIATED.
UH, MOST OF THE POLLS THAT I'VE
SEEN AND THEY ARE ALL
CONSISTENT, THEN NUMBERS MAY
VARY A LITTLE, BUT THE
DIRECTIONS ARE ALL CONSISTENT,
SUGGEST THAT THE UNITED STATES
HAS DECLINED QUITE DRAMATICALLY
IN ITS SOFT POWER OVER THE LAST
COUPLE OF YEARS.
THE UNITED STATES, EVEN BEFORE
THE IRAQ WAR HAD LOST ABOUT 30
POINTS ON AVERAGE IN EUROPEAN
COUNTRIES, UH WESTERN EUROPEAN
COUNTRIES THAT INCLUDED THOSE
WHO SUPPORTED US IN THE IRAQ
WAR, SO THERE WAS A COST THERE.
BUT THE COST WAS EVEN HIGHER IN
THE ISLAMIC WORLD.
IF YOU LOOK AT THE DECLINE OF
THE ATTRACTIVENESS OF THE UNITED
STATES IN INDONESIA, FOR
EXAMPLE, UH, IN THE YEAR 2000,
THREE-QUARTERS OF INDONESIANS
THOUGHT THE UNITED STATES WAS
ATTRACTIVE.
BUT BY MAY 2003, THAT HAD
DECLINED TO 15 percent, 1-5.
THAT'S A QUITE DRAMATIC DECREASE
IN ATTRACTIVENESS, PARTICULARLY
IN THE LARGEST ISLAMIC COUNTRY
IN THE WORLD, UH, WHOSE HELP
WE'LL NEED TO DEAL WITH AL-QAEDA
OFFSHOOTS LIKE JAMIA ISLAMIA AND
OTHERS.
SO THE DECLINE IN AMERICAN
ATTRACTION IS SOMETHING SERIOUS.
OR TO GIVE YOU ANOTHER EXAMPLE
UH, TAKE PAKISTAN AND JORDAN,
WHICH ARE TWO COUNTRIES OFTEN
DESCRIBED AS FRIENDLY AND WHICH
ARE BOTH CRUCIAL FOR PROGRESS IN
THE STRUGGLE ON AGAINST
TERRORISM.
BUT IF YOU LOOK AT THE RECENT
POLLS THAT (Unclear) RELEASED
ABOUT A MONTH AGO, IT SHOED THAT
MORE PEOPLE IN PAKISTAN AND
JORDAN WERE ATTRACTED TO OSAMA
BIN LADEN THAN GEORGE BUSH;
THAT'S A SOMEWHAT CHILLING
NUMBER GIVEN THE LOCATION AND
THE CENTRALITY OF THOSE TWO
STATES, FOR THE PROBLEMS THAT WE
DEAL IN WITH THE RELATION TO
TERRORISM.
NOW, I THINK WHAT THIS DIAGNOSIS
SUGGESTS THAT WE GO ON ABOUT
IMPLEMENTING OUR NEW STRATEGY IS
FOCUSSED SO HEAVILY ON HARD
POWER AND NOT INVESTED
SUFFICIENTLY ON SOFT POWER, THAT
WE'RE PAYING A VERY HIGH PRICE
FOR IT.
NOW THE SCEPTICS WILL REBUT THAT
AND SAY, “NOT PROVEN, NOT TRUE.”
UH, THEY MIGHT THAT SAY:
“POPULARITY IS A FEMORAL.”
“POLLS ARE MEANINGLESS.”
YOU SHOULD NEVER DEVISE A
FOREIGN POLICY BANK BASED ON
POLLS IN THE FIRST PLACE.
AND WHAT'S MORE, THERE HAD BEEN
TIMES IN THE PAST WHEN THE
UNITED STATES HAD BEEN EQUALLY
UNPOPULAR.
FOR EXAMPLE, DURING THE VIETNAM
WAR AND WE RECOVERED FROM THAT
SO THIS MIGHT BE A SLIGHT ROUGH
SPELL, A BUMP IN THE ROAD, BUT
IT'S NOT TO BE TAKEN TOO
SERIOUSLY AND IT'S CERTAINTY
SHOULD NOT BE A GUIDE FOR
FOREIGN POLICY.
BUT I THINK THIS REBUTTAL IS A,
IS MISTAKEN.
FOR ONE THING, ON THE VIETNAM
WAR, UH, IT'S TRUE THAT WE
RECOVERED OUR SOFT POWER
PROBABLY WITHIN A HALF DOZEN
YEARS AFTER VIETNAM, BUT WE ALSO
CHANGED OUR POLICY.
WE GOT OUT OF VIETNAM.
AND ALSO IT OCCURRED IN THE
CONTEXT OF THE COLD WAR IN,
WHICH THE SOVIET UNION WAS A
GREATER EVIL, WHICH HELPED
PEOPLE TO FOCUS ON RELATIVE
VALUES.
AND I THINK THAT THE NEGLECT OF
SOFT POWER AND PART OF THE
SCEPTICS, ALSO AFFECTS AMERICAN
HARD POWERS TODAY.
FOR EXAMPLE, IF YOU THINK BACK A
LITTLE OVER A YEAR AGO, WHEN THE
UNITED STATES WAS TRYING TO GET
THE PERMISSION OF THE TURKISH
GOVERNMENT TO SEND THE FOURTH
INFANTRY DIVISION ACROSS TURKEY
INTO IRAQ FROM THE NORTH, UH,
IT'S POSSIBLE THAT PRESIDENT
EDWARD WOULD HAVE AGREED TO
THIS.
BUT THE AMERICAN POLICY WAS SO
UNPOPULAR; IT LOOKED SO
ILLEGITIMATE IN THE EYES OF THE
TURKISH PEOPLE IN PARLIAMENT,
THAT THE TURKISH PARLIAMENT
REFUSED APPROVAL, WHICH MEANT
THAT THE FOURTH INFANTRY
DIVISION HAD TO GO DOWN THROUGH
THE CANAL UP THROUGH THE GULF
AND WAS LATE FOR THE WAR, AND
THAT TURNED OUT TO BE A PROBLEM
IN TERMS OF THE NUMBER OF TROOPS
AVAILABLE RIGHT AFTER THE WAR.
SO I THINK THERE'S AN
INSTANCE OF THE NEGLECT OF
SOFT POWER UH, TO UNDERCUT
HARD POWER AND WITH QUITE
IMMEDIATE RESULTS.
WELL THE UNI--UNILATERALISTS OR
THE SCEPTICS MIGHT SAY, “ALL
WELL IN GOOD WILL GIVE YOU THOSE
CASES, BUT LET'S FACE IT, WHAT
YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT WITH SOFT
POWER IS IRRELEVANT TO
TERRORISM.
AFTER ALL, YOU'VE DEFINED SOFT
POWER AS ATTRACTIVE POWER AND
THERE'S NO WAY THAT YOU ARE
GOING TO ATTRACT OSAMA BIN LADEN
OR THE AL-QAEDA OPERATIVES.”
AND THAT'S TRUE.
YOU'RE NOT GOING TO ATTRACT
THESE HARDCORE UH FUNDAMENTALIST
WHO'VE DECIDED TO USE FORCE AND
TERRORISM.
BUT THAT I THINK IS ONLY HALF OF
THE ANSWER.

A woman sits behind a desk near a large screen.

He continues IT'S TRUE THAT YOU HAVE TO DEAL
WITH THIS HARDCORE WITH HARD
POWER, BUT IT'S NOT TRUE THAT
SOFT POWER IS IRRELEVANT IN
TERMS OF THE STRUGGLE AGAINST
TERRORISM.
FOR ONE THING, LET ME TAKE YOU
BACK TO THE POINT THAT I MADE
ABOUT CLOSE CIVILIAN
COOPERATION.
IF YOU'RE GOING
TO DEAL WITH THESE TERRORISTS
NETWORKS TO GET THE COOPERATION
FOR OTHER GOVERNMENTS THAT YOU
NEED TO APPLY HARD POWER AGAINST
THEM, UH...
YOU HAVE TO HAVE
SOME DEGREE OF ATTRACTION TO
OTHER GOVERNMENTS.
YES THEY WILL COOPERATE WITH YOU
OUT OF SELF-INTERESTS BECAUSE
THEY DO NOT WANT TO BE TARGET OF
TERRORISTS OR DO NOT WANT TO UH,
UH, RISK THE IDEA THAT THE
AMERICANS WILL BECOME UH, UH,
TOO AGGRESSIVE TOWARD THEM.
BUT ON THE OTHER HAND, IF THE
UNITED STATES BECOMES SO
UNATTRACTIVE IN ANOTHER COUNTRY,
THAT BEING PRO-AMERICAN IS THE
KISS OF DEATH IN DOMESTIC
POLITICS IN THAT COUNTRY, THEN
POLITICAL LEADERS ARE GOING TO
FIND IT HARD TO MAKE CONCESSIONS
TO COOPERATE AS FULLY.
SO THEY'LL BE SOME DEGREE OF
COOPERATION, BUT COOPERATION IS
THE MATTER OF DEGREE.
IF YOU THINK OF THE CASE LIKE,
UH PAKISTAN, WHERE GENERAL
MARSHARAF HAS TO WALK A
TIGHTROPE BALANCING HIS
CONCESSIONS TO THE AMERICANS
AGAINST HIS OWN DOMESTIC
OPINION, WHICH HAS A STRONG
ANTI-AMERICAN STRAND TO IT.
OBVIOUSLY THE MORE UNPOPULAR THE
AMERICANS, THE HARDEST IT IS FOR
HIM TO STAY ON THAT TIGHTROPE
WITH THE FEWER CONCESSIONS, THE
HAS TO MAKE WITH THE AMERICANS.
SO ONE REASON THEN FOR BEING
CONCERNED ABOUT THE, THE
AMERICAN SOFT POWER AND THE
STRUGGLE AGAINST TERRORISM, IS
IN TERMS OF THE DEGREE OF
COOPERATION YOU'LL GET FOR THE
APPLICATION OF YOUR HARD POWER.
BUT THE OTHER REASON MAY BE MORE
IMPORTANT, WHICH IS, THE WAY WE
THINK ABOUT IT THE STRUGGLE
AGAINST TERRORISM SHOULD NOT BE
IN THE MODEL OF WHAT MY
COLLEAGUE SAM HUNTINGTON CALLS,
“A CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONS, ISLAM
VERSUS THE WEST.”
BUT RATHER A CLASH WITHIN
ISLAMIC CIVILIZATION BETWEEN A
SMALL EXTREME GROUP THAT IS
TRYING TO USE FORCE TO IMPOSE
THEIR VERSION OF WHAT THEY SEE
AS A PURE VIEW OF THEIR RELIGION
UPON OTHERS AND A MAJORITY WHO
ARE BASICALLY INTERESTED IN SOME
OF THE SAME THINGS THAT MOST OF
US ARE INTERESTED IN.
BETTER LIVING CONDITIONS, JOBS,
EDUCATION FOR THEIR CHILDREN,
BETTER HEALTHCARE, AND A SENSE
OF DIGNITY.
AND IN THAT STRUGGLE BETWEEN THE
EXTREMISTS AND THE MODERATES,
THE CRITICAL QUESTION IS THAT WE
WILL WIN UNLESS THE MODERATES
WIN.
IN OTHER WORDS, WE CAN KILL AND
DETER ANY NUMBER OF TERRORISTS,
BUT IF THE TERRORISTS ARE
CONTINUALLY ABLE TO RECRUIT FROM
THE MODERATES, TO REPLENISH
THEMSELVES, PARTICULARLY IN
INCREASING NUMBERS, THEN WE LOSE
IN THE LONG RUN AND THAT
QUESTION, WHICH IS, HOW ARE WE
DOING, IN TERMS OF OUR
ATTRACTIVENESS TO THE MODERATES
IS NOT ENCOURAGING.
WE'RE NOT DOING AS WELL AS WE
NEED TO BE.
SO WITH THOSE TWO REASONS, I
THINK IT'S CRITICALLY IMPORTANT
THAT WE THINK OF THE STRUGGLE
AGAINST TERRORISM AS DEPENDING
ON VERY HEAVILY, NOT JUST ON OUR
HARD POWER, WHICH WE HAVE USED
EFFECTIVELY, BUT ALSO ON A MUCH
GREATER MEASURE OF SOFT POWER.
ANOTHER WAY OF THINKING ABOUT
THIS, THAT IN THE INFORMATION
AGE, IT'S NOT JUST--POWER IS NOT
JUST A QUESTION OF WHOSE ARMY
WINS, IT'S ALSO ABOUT WHOSE
STORY WINS, AND IN TERMS OF
GETTING OUR STORY OUT AND
WINNING WITH IT, WE HAVE NOT
BEEN DOING VERY WELL.
IN SOME WAYS, IT'S KIND OF
IRONIC THAT THE COUNTRY WITH THE
GREATEST COMMUNICATIONS CAPACITY
IN THE WORLD IS OFTEN OUT
COMMUNICATED BY PEOPLE LIVING IN
CAVES AND THERE IS A, A QUESTION
OF, WHY COULD THIS BE THE CASE?
WELL I THINK THERE IS A
STRUCTURAL REASON AND AS WELL AS
A RECENT POLICY REASON.
THE STRUCTURAL REASON IS WHEN
THE COLD WAR ENDED; MANY
AMERICANS WANTED A PEACE
DIVIDEND.
THEY WANTED TO BASICALLY HAVE
SOMETHING TO SHOW FOR THE FACT
THAT THEY HAD STRUGGLED IN THE
COLD WAR; THEY WANTED THIS NOW
FOR A DAY-TO-DAY CONSUMPTION.
AND UH, THAT MEANT NOT MERELY
CUTTING BACK ON MILITARY
EXPENDITURE, BUT ALSO CUTTING
BACK ON THE RESOURCES FOR PUBLIC
DIPLOMACY.
SO THAT WHEN THE UNITED STATES
WRAPPED UP THE U.S. INFORMATION
AGENCY AND ROLLED IT INTO THE
STATE DEPARTMENT, WHICH WAS A
GREAT MISTAKE IN 1999, IT HAD
ONLY THAT AGENCY ONLY HAD ABOUT
HALF OF THE PERSONNEL IN IT THAT
IT HAD HAD IN THE HEIGHT OF THE
COLD WAR.
AND SIMILARLY IF YOU LOOK AT THE
INVESTMENTS THAT WE MADE IN
EXCHANGE PROGRAMS, OF BRING
FOREIGN LEADS, FOREIGN STUDENTS
TO THE COUNTRY, WE CUT THAT BY
ABOUT ONE-THIRD.
UH, OR IF YOU LOOK AT
BROADCASTING IN THE COLD WAR,
70 percent OF EASTERN EUROPEANS
LISTENED TO RADIO FOR EUROPE,
VOICE OF AMERICAN.
UH, BY 2000, ONLY 2 percent OF ARABS
WERE LISTENING TO VOICE OF
AMERICA.
THIS IS, THIS IS PERHAPS BEST
ILLUSTRATED BY A STUDY THAT WAS
DONE BY A MASTER ED DORIGGIAN ON
PUBLIC DIPLOMACY TOWARD THE
ISLAMIC WORLD, WHICH CAME OUT
LAST YEAR.
IN WHICH HE SAID, THAT THE TOTAL
AMERICAN EXPENDITURES ON PUBLIC
DIPLOMACY TOWARD THE ISLAMIC
WORLD IN THE YEAR BEFORE HAD
BEEN 150 MILLION DOLLARS.
150 MILLION DOLLARS IS ABOUT 2
HOURS OF THE FRENCH BUDGET.
UH, OR ANOTHER WAY OF LOOKING AT
THAT SAME SET OF NUMBERS IS TO
REALIZE THE UNITED STATES HAD
BEEN SPENDING ON PUBLIC
DIPLOMACY, BY WHICH I MEAN, ALL
THE EXCHANGE PROGRAMS OUT OF THE
STATE DEPARTMENT, PLUS ALL THE
BROADCASTING THAT WAS DONE,
RADIO AND TV.
UH, THE UNITED STATES HAS BEEN
SPENDING AT ABOUT BILLION
DOLLARS A YEAR ON PUBLIC
DIPLOMACY, THAT'S ABOUT THE SAME
AS SPENT BY BRITAIN OR FRANCE,
AND YET WE ARE 5 TIMES LARGER
THAN THEY ARE.
OR ANOTHER WAY YET OF LOOKING AT
THIS IS TO SAY THAT IF YOU USE
THE MILITARY BUDGET AS A
SURROGATE FOR HARD POWER AND USE
PUBLIC DIPLOMACY BUDGET AS A
PARTIAL SURROGATE FOR SOFT
POWER, UH, WE'VE BEEN SPENDING
400 TIMES AS MUCH ON HARD POWER
AS ON SOFT POWER.
NOW NOBODY WOULD SUGGEST YOU
SHOULD SPEND AS MUCH ON PUBLIC
DIPLOMACY IS ON THE MILITARY,
BUT A RATIO OF 400:1 DOES SEEM A
BIT EXCESSIVE.
AS NEWT MINOW HAS PUT IT, IF THE
UNITED STATES WOULD PAY 1 percent OR
SPEND 1 percent OF IT'S MILITARY BUDGET
ON LAUNCHING IDEAS INSTEAD OF
BOMBS, IT WOULD MEAN QUADRUPLING
OUR BUDGET FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY,
AND YET WE HAVEN'T DONE THAT.
BASICALLY, THE UNITED STATES HAS
BEEN, UH, FOCUSSED SO HEAVILY ON
OUR HARD POWER INSTRUMENTS THAT
WE HAVEN'T INVESTED IN OUR SOFT
POWER INSTRUMENTS ADEQUATELY.
NOW, JUST INVESTING IN
GOVERNMENT BROADCASTING WON'T
SOLVE THE PROBLEM.
NO MATTER, UH, HOW GOOD THE
ADVERTISING, IF YOU HAVE A LOUSY
PRODUCT, GOOD ADVERTISING CAN'T
SELL IT.
SO ESSENTIALLY WE HAVE TO LEARN
SOME OF THE LESSONS FROM
VIETNAM, WHICH WAS THAT IT
REQUIRES CHANGES IN POLICY, AS
WELL AS WAYS TO INVOLVE OTHERS
TO FEEL MORE CONSULTATIVE OR
MORE INVOLVED IN POLICY, AS WELL
AS WAYS IN WHICH WE COULD
ADVANCE OR EXPRESS THOSE
POLICIES AS WE DID DURING THE
COLD WAR.
UH, IN THAT STEP, WE HAVEN'T YET
COME TO.
WE HAVEN'T YET GOTTEN TO THE
STAGE OF LEARNING HOW TO COMBINE
OUR HEART AND SOFT POWER TO BE
EFFECTIVE IN THIS CURRENT
STRUGGLE AGAINST TERRORISM.
SO I HAVE IDENTIFIED NEW
CHALLENGE THAT WAS ILLUMINATED
BY 9 11 PROPERLY, BUT WE HAVE
YET TO FIND THE RIGHT
COMBINATION OF INSTRUMENTS AND
HOW TO USE THEM TO BE MOST
EFFECTIVE IN DEALING WITH IT.
I'M NOT SAYING THAT SOFT POWER
SHOULD REPLACE HARD POWER,
CLEARLY THAT'S NOT THE CASE.
YOU NEED HARD POWER.
BUT I'M SAYING THAT SOFT--HARD
POWER WITHOUT SOFT POWER CAN
OFTEN BE COUNTERPRODUCTIVE.
FOR EXAMPLE, IN
THE COLD WAR, THE SOVIET UNIONS
HARD POWER CONTINUED TO INCREASE
THROUGHOUT THE 70s AND EVEN INTO
THE 80s.
AT THE SAME TIME ITS SOFT POWER
DECREASED AFTER THE INVASION OF
HUNGRY AND CZECHOSLOVAKIA.
THE
ATTRACTIVENESS THAT IT HAD
ESSENTIALLY WENT DOWN WHILE ITS
HARD POWER WENT UP, AND PARTLY
ONE BECAUSE OF THE OTHER.
SO THE SECRET TO SUCCESS IN
WORLD POLITICS IS TO LEARN HOW
TO COMBINE THESE TWO
INSTRUMENTS, TO COMBINE HARD AND
SOFT POWER.
THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT THE UNITED
STATES DID IT ONCE BEFORE DURING
THE COLD WAR, AND IN PRINCIPLE
THAT MEANS WE SHOULD BE ABLE TO
DO THAT AGAIN.
AND WHEN WE LEARN HOW TO
COMBINE HARD AND SOFT POWER
PROBABLY, THEN WE WILL BE A
SMART POWER.

[Applause]

Watch: Joseph Nye on Soft Power and the War on Terror