What Will Be the Greatest Challenges and Opportunities of Utilizing Smart Power?

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
May 1, 2009
Worker Hoists European and African Flags

Today marks Secretary Clinton's 100th day serving as Secretary of State. Secretary Clinton said, "[F]oreign policy must be based on a marriage of principles and pragmatism, not rigid ideology. …We must use what has been called “smart power”: the full range of tools at our disposal – diplomatic, economic, military, political, legal, and cultural – picking the right tool, or combination of tools, for each situation. With smart power, diplomacy will be the vanguard of foreign policy.”

Looking forward, what will be the greatest challenges and opportunities of utilizing smart power?

Comments

Comments

Rosemary
|
New Jersey, USA
May 1, 2009

Rosemary in New Jersey writes:

Greatest challenge: Using Smart Power without appearing to "bow," as it were, to adversaries. I think Secretary Clinton is exceptionally good at this. It will not be hard for her. She holds her ground very well while knowing exactly how much and where to provide some give.

Greatest opportunity: Defusing threats to the U.S. and our allies and friends.

We have the best and brightest right now as SoS. The smartest girl in the class is the best one to orchestrate Smart Power.

Go Hillary!

RoseParvin
June 24, 2009

Rose writes:

The great challenges and opportunities of Utilizing Smart Power? The challenges of it is that the world is running on one program of war and vilence and bullyism and chovenism and we are running on another one which is wisdom, compassion seeing the larger picture that all come with true Smart Power! That is why we must educate the world to think about us or we too like Jesus Christ who was the smartest power on earth and was crusified will go on the cross for we are swimming against all odds in a different language from others. What we have in the past 12 years so far achieved is that dialogue is significant and that is the smartes action on smart power which is wisdom and listening and mediating and believing in our intuition and diplomacy and other force that we have as the last resort but letting the other side know we have it and we are willing to put it aside if we can together create a safe environment. Thinking the worst and preparing for the worst assuming the best always ends in reaction of the other side that is harmful meaning being too smart for your own good! This is a thesis that if you are interested I can present a seven day semninar on it!

BRUCE
|
Alabama, USA
May 1, 2009

Bruce in Alabama writes:

Never Slack

All the time duty calls
keep your tack and avoid
the flack.
Remember we are all the same
some have reign to fame.
These are the people's choice
who listen and hope that we
all get along.
When we seem to become mad as a glutton
just remember that reset button.

Ron
|
New York, USA
May 1, 2009

Ron in New York writes:

The Challenge and the Promise.....

It is clear that the U.S. must fully actualize the American Dream of Civil Rights at home; if we are to play a credible role in advancing Human Rights globally. Smart Power is theexpression of liberty by living example. Closing the domestic credibility gap is a prerequisite to exporting the best of American values.

Rosemary
|
New Jersey, USA
May 1, 2009

Rosemary in New Jersey writes:

@ Bruce in Alabama -- Cute poem, Bruce! Very clever and creative answer. Thanks.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
May 2, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Fortunately nuclear armed nations have taken it upon themselves to maintain dicipline in keeping each other in check and group together to resolve proliferation, testing, and attitudinal problems within the leadership of nations stepping outside the international rule of law in their use, development, aquisition with ill intent, to blackmail or worse, and recongnise hostile non state actors among the material threats to mankind, should groups such as al-quaida be successful in their quest for genocidal capability.

Such an event would, if one were a betting person, would involve by fair probability the deaths of Muslims, if the current trends in terror related fatalities continue.

This imminent threat to the Muslim unmma as a whole, the vast majority of a religion based upon laws governing human behavior as a matter of being with the all, or against the all...

And Wwhereas it concerns the notion of Jihad, or one who fights in a right minded manner, whether with one's self internally or without in concious action;

The Umma or people of faith if you will, choose how to interpret the threat they face. Whether that be percieved as an angry "West" reacting to an unacceptable threat faced by their citizens of many faiths including Muslims, or a crisis within their own faith, as manifest in practice of it by a small minority.

Thus the key question to winning the WAR on TERROR rests.

Will 1.3 billion Muslims declare holy war on terror???

The how, when, and where's aside, there are commonalities among all faiths, including a few dark ages the forward thinking would soon just as forget about, while it fundementally rears its intolerant ugly head among all at one time or another.

I can see no other way for a Bhuddhist to assess it, with equanimity, as percieved within the human condition.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
May 2, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

If only 'lil Kim would stop doing his hair with a nuclear blow drier.....Before he gets "overcharged" by egomania....

The world could possibly get a grip on stupidity.

And I don't intend to wax poetic....(chuckle).

Homie don't play his game.

Qayyum
|
Pakistan
May 3, 2009

Qayyum in Pakistan writes:

The occasion - "100th Day of Hillary Clinton as SoS" - certainly merits copious comments on Clinton's covetable conquests and accomplishments in Foreign Policy, though quite obvious in her case ( a Cannon used in place of a Catapult), but necessitates indepth review of bulk of related material, thus would do later.

Secretary Clinton has succinctly yet comprehensively described the "Smart Power" mentioning the full range of the Tools - diplomatic, economic, military, political, legal, cultural. Cann't the Tool of Technology be added to this list?

Donald
|
Virginia, USA
May 3, 2009

Donald in Virginia writes:

SMART POWER SHOULD INCLUDE HAVING MORE OUTLETS GETTING U.S. PASSPORTS IN THE UNITED STATES.

There is an incredible amount of loss in revenue from people not having access to getting United States Passports.

People who live in the rural parts of America have to wait 3 weeks through the United States Post Office in order to get a Passport.

Why can't the State Department come up with a plan to provide an outlet at the United States Post Office where customers can walk in, fill out the application, show there existing passport, Identifications and birth certificate and get approval, pay the fee and within an hour have one U.S. Passport printed at the Post Office. This would make the system smarter by giving the people a greater availablity in getting a passport. It would also increase revenue because then people would have more access to these U.S. Passports. Keeping within the laws of handling and processing these vital documents is crucial. If we can't trust the United States Post Office, who can we trust? After all we do live in the digital world today.

Best Regards,

Donald

Wendy
|
California, USA
May 4, 2009

Wendy in California writes:

The challenge and the opportunity are really the same -- to remember always that the core of democracy is the partnership of all working in respect together. Internationally in our planetary family, it's really no different -- partnership, not patronizing. Since WWII we've had a tendency to be self-bepuffed because of our immense military strength. This strength of hardware hasn't necessarily translated into strength of heart or breadth of compassion.

Ole Larry King has a smart nostrum -- he says, "I never learn anything when I'm talking." I work on the premise that every single person I meet -- even the really irritating ones -- have something to teach me and it's my wise and sly job to figure out what it is.

Respecting the strengths and ingenuities of others is both the constant challenge and the constant opportunity. So many Best Practices micro & macro to share and discover and nurture and polish. Hip hip yippee. Muy yum.

Chul-hong
|
South Korea
May 4, 2009

Chul-hong in South Korea writes:

We've heard so much that the "Internet" was one of the most conspicuous inventions in the 20th century.

I would like to refer to the "Internet" as the best "Smart Power" in this contemporary world.

In fact, this blog -- DipNote -- is based on the World Wide Web (WWW) service which attracts so many people having interest in U.S. foreign policy.

Thus, the DipNote has been doing positive functions in embodying the principles of democracy by way of congregating public opinions.

Uses of the "Internet" vary from diplomacy to military, from economy to politics, etc.

Therefore, the "Internet" can be compared to the opportunities connecting the whole realms around the world beyond our basic usage at home or workplace.

However, the "Internet" has an adverse function. Although there are not enough evidences, it is well known that China fosters the "Internet" spies and steals the other country's secrets through the "Internet"? That's a kind of the challenges of utilizing "Smart Power, the Internet."

There is a saying that, "Every coin has a front and a tail." So, we must try steadily to utilize the "Internet" for peaceful and rational purposes.

Zharkov
|
United States
May 4, 2009

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

Donald in Virginia's suggestion to handle passports entirely at the post office is a smart one.

A computer connection is all it takes to communicate between post office and State Department, so why not use the technology?

Getting a passport should take less than 3 minutes, not 3 weeks. There is certainly nothing about the passport that makes it cost $100.00 per copy to produce.

Passports serve as evidence of citizenship, and since it is required to travel, there should be only a minimal cost for the document, certainly not $100.00. The U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to travel as a fundamental right, not a privilege for which a license fee can be charged.

Donald
|
Virginia, USA
May 4, 2009

Donald in Virginia writes:

Bravo Zulu @ Zharkov in U.S.A and Thanks!

I just believe it would be a cost savings to the State Department because then they could reduce the amout of Federal Buildings they operate around the country, overhead expenses, plus it would give the people a wider ability to get passports without having wait or drive 200 miles to get one in person. It would also benefit the State Department because then the Post Office would inherit the processing of these passports which would reduce the amount of processing done by the Federal Buildings across the country. It would also make people happier since they could get it in a shorter period of time. This would also generate a cash flow for the Federal Post Office as well. I'm sure the State Department can communicate with the Postal General and work out some kind of contract that would allow this to happen, and everyone wins. The passport itself should still be processed within the laws of the country and safeguarded as such, which all can be done at your local Post Office. How many people in the United States have had to travel hundreds of miles just to get a Passport so they can go on business trips or on vacation, when it should not be this difficult. Especially, if we are American Citizens and have the money to purchase the Passport.

Best Regards,

Donald

joe
|
Tennessee, USA
May 4, 2009

Joe in Tennessee writes:

Viewing the AIPAC meetings which aired on CSPAN this weekend and this morning, it seems to me that Past CIA director Woolsey has the right ideas. Finding methods to dismantle the power of oil, economically, will have a much better long range effect on WMD and bringing everyone to the table than the use of military might in the long run, provided we can do it quick enough.

I say this as not mentioned was the fact that this is already realized by countries as Iran and perhaps the entire Middle East, whose exports are directly related to oil and their power premised on the economic value of such. None needing anything else of power. In effect it is the reason for Iran?s push to obtain and lever the powers associated with a WMD. We showed our hand too quickly I?m afraid. While some changes do reflect an improvement in the future, they may also bring about a defensive posture for others. This must be realized and the ideology of outspending other countries or ideologies will not necessarily have a productive output if not a concerted effort.

Additionally, the meeting does show is the fact Israel wants peace, the acknowledgement of everyone concerned wanting peace and a very good view of the reasons for the separation of Church and State presented by past Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. The fact that all religions have peace as a premise and that all means to achieve it must be met.

Things as a truthful free press is as important as a military maneuver. It is a tool which has been improperly used for personal, political and profit ideologies. A Free Press is not supposed to be identified with unjust or untruthful. I fear the Smart Power of the future will be in the rendering of truth for peace above all things.

Today the United States does initiate the use of an extended military for peace and rebuilding. Our forces are indicative of the new wave of restructuring for peace, so even in our military use, there is change.

Another problem seems in developing countries having the independence to remain free to direct their future, yet somehow plug into the international community productively. United, yet independent. Communal culturing is a very problematic situation.

What I am trying to say is: Its not just about THINGS, its about PEOPLE...

This could go on forever and books are written on opinion by people much more educated than myself...ask Carlin..LOL

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
May 4, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Or Donald, if you had a DoS window at the local Dept of Motor Vehicals office where you could process the paperwork for a passport in person, present ID, and get your photo taken for the passport, as a one stop event, and it's mailed to you, then it would save the federal government money to utilize the resources of an already existing system of processing identification.

DMV's already hardwired to NCIC, and other databases.

So really the expense is in the personel hired, which may or may not be offset by public demand.

Should streamline the current process though, and assure security from fraud.

John
|
Greece
May 4, 2009

John in Greece writes:

NEGAT Bravo Zulu @ Donald in VA and Zharkov in U.S.A.

100$, or whatever a passport costs to be "produced", in any country, has nothing to do with paper, booklet or ink costs, but security, technology and staff required to work for this proceedure.

No money-no honey. I would even say: No money-No SECURITY!

"The U.S. Constitution guarantees you the right to travel", Z, but in order to guarantee this, FIRST of all, expensive security platforms MUST guarantee that you will always have "Uncle's" guarantee for keeping your right "to travel".

I mean that if 5000 "new terrorists" illegally get a U.S. passport, who cares about the 10, 50 or 100$ fee?

You won"t travel anyway! You'll be dead -- keep your 100 for the "upper level"!

In 3 minutes you cannot even have a pizza.

Donald
|
Virginia, USA
May 5, 2009

Donald in Virginia writes:

I concur with Eric in New Mexico and John In Greece, that DMV would make a good place to do the Passports as well, I was steering away from DMV simply because it was a State Funded Program. Where as the United States Post Office was a Federal building. Streamling the system is a great idea, ofcourse security will always be neccessary to process these vital forms. The cost I doubt will get cheaper, but it's the price we all must pay if we want to travel abroad and do great things for our country. A true diplomat is an American citizen who enters foreign soil, abides by the rules and laws of the host country and does the job needed.

My concern was how to make these passports more available to the public so we all can get them maybe a bit quickier, then weeks in the U.S. Mail or having to drive hundreds of miles when they could setup a network from the State Department to all the United States Post Offices across the country and process these Passports. I would almost say if they went with this idea, they would see a substantial gain on profits, people like to be able to get important documents quick and realiable, almost like ordering a pizza, it's all about customer service to the public. I believe that is what makes people happy :)

Zharkov
|
United States
May 5, 2009

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

@ John in Greece, the custom in America, which has been reaffirmed by numerous court decisions, is that officials cannot charge more for official documents than they reasonable cost to produce. People already pay taxes to fund employee salaries and buildings, so charging an excessive fee is in effect a double tax. This is why our courts have held that the public can be charged only the actual cost to produce a document.

If the employees are already being paid out of tax money, there would be double counting to pay them again out of fees for documents.

Double taxation is not particularly a problem for Europeans, but American has always been different because we have a federal constitution and 50 state constitutions, and double taxation is usually found to offend one or more constitutional provisions. Some states may have no prohibition against double taxation, but most find it violates due process of law to tax the same transaction more than once. This is why we have tax treaties with foreign countries, to avoid double taxation of income; tax laws to prohibit double taxation of inheritances; and one can argue that the Due Process Clause protects against arbitrary fees and charges where no specific constitutional guarantee affords protection.

For example, once the U.S. Supreme Court holds the right to travel is a fundamental right (as it has), it may become unlawful to take away that right without that procedural due process required by the 5th and 14th Amendments. An excessive fee for a passport may constitute "a taking" of the right to travel unless an appeal process is provided for those who cannot afford the fee.

John
|
Greece
May 5, 2009

John in Greece writes:

@ Zharkov in U.S.A. -- Fair answer Z. You have some good points concerning the issue. I really did not know these parameters, but this is what I like in DipNote: each day you learn things!

Although I won't engage in this "federal-constitution/courts" discussion, because I do not know the "area", I feel like highlighting 2-3 points. Please consider them as simple notes.

QUOTE: officials cannot charge more for official documents than they reasonable cost to produce END OF QUOTE.

The problem is how do you decide if a cost is "reasonable"? I do not know how much is the cost for the new tech passports with the special security features, we have previously discussed in this forum, to be produced. Of course, in this cost analysis you cannot just judge the practical cost per printed item, but also the technology and security know-how you use. If anyone can help me with this: Welcome! I mean it's like the New Money. (http://www.moneyfactory.gov/newmoney/index.cfm?site=1) Printing itself may be very economical at the very end (some printers-paper-ink -- that's it), but know-how, research, features and technology cost a lot in order to secure your money.

QUOTE: so charging an excessive fee is in effect a double tax END OF QUOTE.

It is a problem for Europeans too! I can assure you!

Of course I understand the difficulties of any Federal system, but you should also appreciate and love this American miracle called U.S. Federal system. Most people cannot understand how difficult it is for U.S.A. to "operate" 50+ States, in fact "different countries" -- in terms of population or geo scale, as one, ideologically united free and successful.

Concerning the "double tax issue", I have a complicated approach of what a double tax is. This does not mean that I have a clear opinion on this. But, just a thought: VAT is a double tax too!

QUOTE: An excessive fee for a passport may constitute "a taking" of the right to travel END OF QUOTE.

Although I found your points extremely interesting and healthy for debating, I STRONGLY DISAGREE WITH THIS ONE! on the ground that you -once again- intellectually "dated" your "Big Brother fears"
(LOL).

You know that America's political and ideological "concrete cement" is believing, respecting and protecting FREEDOM!

Donald in VA is absolutely right: "A true diplomat is an American citizen who enters foreign soil, abides by the rules and laws of the host country and does the job needed." There is no Big Brother who works on a secret, conspiracy, mysterious plan to make Americans not able to travel abroad. They always did travel, they will always have this right to do so!

What I think you fear is what the Soviets did for many decades to their people. You know better than me that they did not allow a family to travel abroad joined together, unless some members of the family -- usually the kids -- remained back, in order for the communist party to be sure that their parents will return back to "mother Russia". They ended -- politically dead. Do you think that even if there is a "Big Brother mechanism" would be such an idiot? Why to do that? Why to prevent Americans from traveling abroad?

I've seen and keep on seeing hundreds of millions of people willing to enter the U.S. even illegally -- NEVER MET AN AMERICAN WISHING TO LEAVE THE NEW WORLD with exception to this psycho basket ball player that became Russian. Anyone who abandons a U.S.A. passport to get a Russian one needs psychological help. Anyway, Nobody does! Nobody will.

QUOTE: an appeal process is provided for those who cannot afford the fee. END OF QUOTE.

On this basis Z, anyone who cannot afford to pay for the air-tickets should get a Federal financial aid. Give me a break.

Thank you very much for your reply Z. Best Regards!

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
May 5, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Interesing sidetrack, but there's a lot more pressing needs like feeding several million starving, sound energy production so as not to have an ecological disaster beyond what any may wish to define that as in today's world, and crisis upon crisis costing lives and livelyhood...

Wonder we're still around to debate it.

ilia
|
Puerto Rico
May 6, 2009

Ilia in Puerto Rico writes:

United States has always been brilliant in diplomacy with foreign nations. President Obama is engaged in talks with President Hamid Karzai and President Azif Ali Zardari, the challenge is there for those two men to protect their nations' security and assure their people relief of victory against terrorism in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Is a great opportunity to show the world they are committed to efectively resolve the continual difficulties facing their nation and even the world.

Unites States, Pakistan and Afghanistan are a significant and progressive unification aiming to defend democratic values to contain and oppose worldwide terrorism.

Pakistan's best solution is to ally resolutely with the Western Powers: Unites States and Britain in protecting his country against the atrocities of religious extremist.

Is one of the best solution in achieving a stable democracy.

Zharkov
|
United States
May 6, 2009

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

The cost to produce a document would be the out of pocket expense to produce the document, including any RFID chips inside. If chips cost $100 each, then the utility of the RFID chip should be revisited. Is a computer record of every single person's border crossing really necessary?

American citizens, prior to the Bush Administration, could travel to Mexico and Canada by bicycle or by automobile without a passport and re-enter the United States without a passport.

Today, we need a passport even if we walk across the border, and this seems unnecessary. News reports say that most of the 19 terrorists who attacked on 9/11 had valid passports. So we have 19 guys with valid passports complicating travel for 300 million Americans?

The Bush Administration passport requirement did not stop the 9/11 attack, and the lack of a passport won't stop the next attack if there is one. If a terrorist wants a fake passport, they can buy one, but most of them get real passports without a problem.

As long as swine flu can cross our borders with or without a passport, I see no reason why U.S. citizens should be forced to have passports to re-enter the United States from either Mexico or Canada. To travel to Mexico costs less than $10 from San Diego, but requires $100.00 cost to re-enter the U.S., which I think is absurd.

Federal law enforcement agencies are already linked to state motor vehicle records and driver photos, and it is already a crime to give a false statement to a federal officer, so what more does a passport add to that?

Has any terrorist aborted his mission because he couldn't get a passport from his home country? I don't think so.

John
|
Greece
May 6, 2009

John in Greece writes:

@ Zharkov in U.S.A. -- Although Eric in NM is right: "we talk about a small parameter of the topic", I cannot fight giving a last opinion, concerning passports, since you continued this.

QUOTE: To travel to Mexico costs less than $10 from San Diego, but requires $100.00 cost to re-enter the U.S. END OF QUOTE.

Thank God, now, you understand that there is no BIG BROTHER "blocking" the way out for Americans, but a SECURITY BROTHER ensuring that whoever enters the States is "clear".

You see Zharkov, previously, anyone could say that he/she traveled to Mexico, but after arriving at Mexico, he/she could have "visited" Venezuela, Cuba etc., and then he could return back home with "presents". Do you like "gifts"? Same with Canada! Do you remember the "IRA" movie with Bruce Willis? The river was clear -- the "port" had no "pass-control" -- if you understand what I mean? I watch too much movies. (LOL) But, sometimes, movies are real life!

QUOTE: If a terrorist wants a fake passport, they can buy one END OF QUOTE.

Sure! We agree! That's why passports MUST be Clever! Secure! Difficult to copy! No matter how much the chip or the production costs, of course within logical limits.

This way, we do AT LEAST WHAT WE CAN DO to protect ourselves.

Anyway?

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