I have been promoting the SOFT POWER and SMART POWER as a key component of both foreign policy and military strategy. (see https://gatesofcity.wordpress.com/2013/05/01/soft-power-hillary-repeats-herself-for-a-reason/ and https://gatesofcity.wordpress.com/2012/12/11/soft-power-smart-power-and-women-in-foreign-policy/)
(Rasmussen — I will not make a joke about his hand movement. AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)
So I would be amiss if I didn’t alert you to NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen’s statements (EUobserver article in full here)
We Europeans must understand that soft power alone is really no power at all. Without hard capabilities to back up its diplomacy, Europe will lack credibility and influence. If European nations do not make a firm commitment to invest in security and defence, then all talk about a strengthened European defence and security policy will just be hot air.
Rasmussen made the comments to the European Parliament’s foreign affairs committee in Brussels yesterday.
He was promoting NATO as part of the solution as “He envisaged EU-level security co-operation with Nato as a mixture of police missions and diplomacy.”
Well, that’s great. But would it work? Could NATO and the EU find a way to cooperate? I am not dismissing this notion, but NATO isn’t doing all that well (llok at Syria: On that issue, Rasmussen told MEPs “there will be no Nato intervention because there is no UN mandate and because the conflict is too “complex.” He also said the only way out is a “political solution.”)
And the EU’s foreign policy post-Barcelona Treaty is also limping.
If what Rasmussen is saying is “speak softly, carry a big stick” (he might be. he was notoriously close to America in his foreign policy as head of the Danish government) then there *is* room for soft power.
But if the head of NATO dismisses soft power off hand send a sad signal. Militray force has not brought about a better world, so it’s time to add new tools to the mix!