Posted by: bklunk | April 18, 2007

Strangely, Stephen Colbert Noticed This Too

It is interesting to see politicians using academic arguments in the intersection of foreign policy and domestic politics. Not only were the arguments similar to Richardson’s, but the discussion of the the importance of soft power is usually reserved for lecture halls and seminar rooms.

So, not really the EU, but interesting nevertheless « International Politics

This article was about how Great Britain is criticizing Bush’s use of the phrase “war on terror” because it only serves to strengthen extremists. Apparently, this is not used in the United Kingdom because “we can’t win by military means alone and because this isn’t one organized enemy with a clear identity and a coherent set of objectives.”

According to the international development secretary for the Blair government, it would be better for the US to use “soft power,” perhaps not exclusively, but at least in addition to the military.

Although this may be true (and it probably is since the United States has mishandled many aspects of the “war on terror”), the article also comments on this as a political move inside of Britain. Blair’s support of Bush and his policies has been largly unpopular in Great Britain, and this is one way to put some distance between his ideas and what people could want for the futur. Apparently, the British government has been more reserved when talking about Islamic extremists. Part of this is due to the Pakistani-British who live in Britain (and who were against Blair’s policies about the War in Iraq).

This ties in with What Terrorists Want; summarized in the chapter “Why the War on Terror can never be won.” In it, the author describes the key mistakes made by the Bush administration, namely that they ruined the opportunity to garner international support and educate the American public about the realities of terrorism.

This article was interesting to see how internal politics and public opinion sway international politics. It was also interesting to see the differences of approach from country to country (namely between the United States and Great Britain).

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