Skip to content

Rautenberg: Soft power means collaboration

December 9, 2010

As the 21st Century continues to unfolds, so too should our commitment to “soft power”. The complexity and diversity of current national security challenges at home and aboard demands a more collaborative, dimensionalized and nuanced approach by America and its allies. In fact, even the notion of allies most be expanded to include traditional rivals, even rouge states and non-state actors. One of our nation’s greatest cultural strengths has been its ability to innovate and collaborate to make positive change possible. In the decades ahead, our strength will be derived from our ability to work and play well with others and less from our unilateral ability to project “hard power” to specific locations to meet potential high conflict situations. We live in an age when governance and management of systems, networks and markets are more important than the behavior or performance of any particular organization, including nation states. In such a world one’s ability to persuade with reason and wisdom will be far more important than one’s ability to coerce another’s behavior through the barrel of a gun. Hard power is still important and will be for the foreseeable future, there are still a handfull of dangerous people in the world. But, soft power is on the move and will become ever more critical to our survival and success as a nation and as a species.

– Tom Rautenberg, Director of Strategy and Development

This is from a series of posts by our staff in response to this question: What role should soft power play in 21st century national security?

%d bloggers like this: