9/11 and America’s Soft Power
At the heart of the post-11 September world disintegrate several critical issues surrounding US power: its unprecedented primacy, the way in which it is exercised, and how it is perceived and received around the world. These trends will, in the longer term, constrain US hegemonic power by limiting the effectiveness of foreign and security policies. The devastating attacks and their aftermath have replenished Washington's focus on the importance of reaching out to foreign audiences, particularly within the Muslim world, in order to develop support for U.S. values and policies. During the Cold War, U.S. policymakers understood the importance of the tools of public and cultural diplomacy in foreign policy. President Ronald Reagan defined public diplomacy as "Those actions of the U.S. government designed to generate support for U.S. national security objectives. (Pilon, 220)". After 9/11, it seemed that US power was severely damaged, at least in the sense of the key purpose of military power to provide adequate protection to the civilian population. At the same time, the soft power of the US appeared to reach a new climax with the high levels of harmony with America all over the world following 9/11. This depicts liberal hope about the decline in the efficacy of hard military power in a globalizing world, increasing soft power in favor of the US control in world affairs. While strategic communication is a significant facet in influencing foreign populations' opinions of America and to assert its “soft” power, it is equally important to promote bottomless and more apparent diplomatic, anti-terrorism engagement and sustainable development assistance programs in international level. Shortly after 9/11, it became clear that merging the United States Information Agency (USIA) into the State Department in 1999 had damaged overall U.S. public diplomacy efforts by cutting valuable resources for programs and undervaluing the mission of public...
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