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Monday, August 20th, 2007


Via Politics In The Zeros (Hat tip), I learn that netwar theorists Dr. John Arquilla and David Ronfeldt have revisited their 1999 essay “The Promise of Noopolitik” with an updated postrscript. An excerpt:

“As America’s soft power rises and falls, so do the prospects for noöpolitik. And right now, America’s soft power is unusually questionable. America has long stood for vital ideals — freedom, equality, opportunity. America has also stood for ethical ways of doing things: competing openly and fairly, working in concert with partners, seeking the common good, respecting others’ rights, and resorting to war only after exhausting non–military options. By doing so, America built its legitimacy and credibility as a global power in the twentieth century. But lately, due to assorted sorry matters this decade (some but not all involving the war in Iraq), leaders and publics around the world have become increasingly doubtful that America is deeply dedicated to the ideals and practices it professes. U.S. public diplomacy is on the defensive more than ever before. Oddly, China is said to be more effective at soft–power appeals and techniques “

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