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Soft power Backlines A-to Neg Soft Power Args



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Soft power Backlines

A-to Neg Soft Power Args




A-to “Soft power high now” – for Russia Scenario




Aff controls issue-specific uniqueness. Even if Soft power is generally high, it’s too low now in Former Soviet States. Allows Russian influence to spread.



Cooley ‘12

Alexander Cooley is Professor of Political Science at Barnard College. At Columbia University, he is also Deputy Director for Social Sciences Programming at the Harriman Institute, a Doctoral Dissertation Sponsor in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Member of Saltzman Institute for War and Peace Studies, and teaches at the School of International and Public Affairs – “The New Great Game in Central Asia: Geopolitics in a Post-Western World” – Foreign Affairs.com August 7, 2012 – http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/137813/alexander-cooley/the-new-great-game-in-central-asia


The first lesson to take from China, Russia, and the United States' involvement in Central Asia is that it has strengthened the hand of rulers, who have been able to play the suitors off one another to extract economic benefits and political support where possible. Most dramatically, in 2009, President Kurmanbek Bakiyev of Kyrgyzstan, host to the Manas Transit Center, initiated a bidding war between the United States and Russia by threatening to close the base. He extracted hundreds of millions of dollars from both sides, in the form of a Russian assistance package and a renewed lease at a higher rent with the United States. Since 2008, the United States also has paid transit fees, about $500 million annually, to the Uzbek and other Central Asian governments to ship equipment bound for Afghanistan through the Northern Distribution Network. The same dynamic is playing out elsewhere. The availability of alternative patrons has made U.S. strategic engagement more expensive everywhere, both in terms of dollars and politics. In 2008, Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa refused to extend a ten-year lease of the U.S. base at Manta, after having been offered $500 million to upgrade the facility by a Hong Kong port operator. Steven Cook, a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, has observed that in post-revolutionary Egypt the United States has continued to provide assistance in return for overflight rights and access to the Suez Canal, even as U.S. leverage over the country diminishes. And during Pakistan's seven-month fallout with Washington, in which it closed Afghanistan-bound supply lanes, Islamabad publicly demanded an increase in transit fees and courted China. Eventually, U.S. officials reportedly agreed to release $1.1 billion for the Pakistani military from the Coalition Support Fund to get the route back open. The second lesson is that regional multipolarity has eroded Western economic influence. Over the last decade, China has emerged as the leading economic power in Central Asia. Chinese assistance there, as in Africa and other developing regions, is not easy to categorize; it is usually a hybrid of foreign aid, investment, and emergency standby loans. Beijing has skillfully relied on a unique mix of these economic instruments with each of its Central Asian neighbors. In 2009, it signed loans-for-energy packages with energy-rich Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. These loans secured supplies of oil and gas or equity in local producers. Meanwhile, Beijing has undertaken major new oil and gas pipelines to take the Central Asian energy eastward. These packages mirror similar loans-for-energy deals with Angola, Brazil, Ecuador, Russia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Venezuela. In the poorer countries of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, Beijing has become a major investor and development assistance provider, focusing on power generation, transmission, and transport, including roads and railways. Prior to the 2012 SCO Summit in Beijing, the Export-Import Bank of China was already Tajikistan's leading single creditor. Its holdings of the country's overall foreign debt are now projected to reach 70 percent. Most Western commentaries have welcomed Beijing's regional assistance and investment, since Central Asian infrastructure remains in a state of chronic disrepair and Chinese upgrades should improve cross-border regional links and spur regional development. But China's donor role also poses a number of challenges that Western officials seem reluctant to publicly acknowledge. China's lack of monitoring standards, its unconditional aid, and its direct dealings with regimes reduce the transparency of its projects. In Tajikistan, for example, a new private offshore-registered company now charges tolls on the highway linking Dushanbe and Chanak, which was built mostly with Chinese funds, making it practically unaffordable for lower-income Tajiks. Meanwhile, China does not coordinate with other internationals in Bishkek or Dushanbe and its lending and assistance in Central Asia simply dwarfs existing commitments from other international sources. This summer, China announced that it would provide $10 billion worth of financing for infrastructure projects in the region. If enacted, the program will make China the region's leading foreign investor by a wide margin. At the same time, the conditions of U.S. aid, which is now a small and declining source of regional funds, will become less meaningful. New economic patrons are playing similar roles in Africa and the Middle East. In mid-July, at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, in Beijing, Chinese President Hu Jintao pledged an additional $20 billion in loans to Africa over the next three years, seeking to secure new energy supplies. He also pledged to refrain from insisting on conditionality, as Western countries often impose -- something he referred to as "the big bullying the small." As with Central Asia, social and political programs -- training for tens of thousands of African officials; 18,000 new scholarships for African students -- will accompany these economic packages. In the Middle East, traditional international lenders, such as the United States and the European Union, now face competition from Gulf funders, especially from wealthy Qatar, United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia. Doubts remain about these countries' commitment to follow through on their multi-billion-dollar pledges of assistance. Even so, just as Angola and Tajikistan have leveraged Chinese loans to eschew Western lenders' demands for reforms, so, too, have authorities in post-revolutionary Egypt used the prospect of securing funds from the Gulf as leverage against the IMF. Such new forms of assistance are reorienting the region's economic development away from the West, and the United States now lacks the soft power to check the growing power of these new rival patrons. The third lesson is that Central Asian elites have grown increasingly hostile to the West's values agenda -- promoting democracy and human rights -- and are now able to push back against criticism. The war on terrorism gave these regimes cover to build up their security services and clamp down on opposition. China, Russia, and the United States colluded with Central Asian security services to render terrorist suspects, without due process hearings, to and from the region. The United States claimed that the war on terrorism could not be constrained by international law. Russia and China embedded their extraterritorial actions in new regional legal frameworks such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization's Anti-Terrorism Treaty.

A-to “Soft power high now” – for Energy Transit Scenarios

Aff controls issue-specific uniqueness. Even if Soft power is generally high, Obama needs more political leverage to pull-off ASEAN maritime crime agreement now. Could go either way.



Cheney-Peters ‘14

Scott Cheney-Peters is the founder and vice president of the Center for International Maritime Security (CIMSEC), a graduate of Georgetown University and the U.S. Naval War College, and a member of the Truman National Security Project’s Defense Council. “US, Japan to Boost ASEAN Maritime Security” – The Diplomat – April 30, 2014 – http://thediplomat.com/2014/04/us-japan-to-boost-asean-maritime-security/


But while the TPP’s logjam received its share of publicity, another mooted initiative escaped much attention in the run up to Friday’s U.S.-Japan Joint Statement, except for a tantalizing hint offered by the Yomiuri Shimbun. Citing unnamed sources, the paper said that Japan and the United States had developed a “plan” to help member nations of ASEAN to “strengthen their maritime surveillance capabilities,” in a move “apparently aimed at pressuring China to curb its growing regional ambitions.” The article went on to suggest that this plan would be unveiled during the Joint Statement. In the event, the statement was short on details, stating in the third-to-last paragraph only that: The United States and Japan are collaborating to assist Southeast Asian littoral states in building maritime domain awareness and other capacities for maritime safety and security so that they can better enforce law, combat illicit trafficking and weapons proliferation, and protect marine resources. It appears that the aim is two-fold: “preventing China’s unilateral maritime advance,” as sources in the Yomiuri Shimbun piece suggested, and more generally countering maritime crime, such as piracy and illicit weapons, people, and drug trafficking. At this point we can only speculate as to what the collaboration will entail in concrete terms, but the challenges are no mystery. To the first of these goals, the challenge of providing assistance is largely political. Many ASEAN countries prefer not to risk antagonizing their large trading partner (and militarily powerful neighbor) by accepting overt “counter-China” aid. Two possible exceptions to this practice are the Philippines and Vietnam, both of whom were not surprisingly singled out in the Yomiuiri Shumbun article as the main recipients of U.S.-Japanese maritime surveillance assistance. Meanwhile, many other nations could receive aid ostensibly to boost their efforts against maritime crime. Much of the items under discussion – such as patrol boats and surveillance assets – could be of dual use, and resource protection efforts in the region’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) frequently take on tones of enforcing claims of territorial sovereignty. This is not to say there isn’t a real utility for regional cooperation focused on maritime crime. While incidents of piracy and robbery in the Strait of Malacca are down drastically from highs in the early 2000s, other areas near Singapore and Indonesia are generating record-breaking numbers. Yet, as if to warn against complacency in the former, last Tuesday pirates aboard speedboats hijacked a Japanese tanker in the Straits of Malacca and pumped out approximately 3 million liters of its diesel cargo before fleeing. The details of the incident – three crew members were taken with the cargo – suggest an inside job, illustrating the modus operandi (M.O.) of criminals in the region, who also prefer to target tugs or ships at anchor, in contrast with their headline-grabbing counterparts in East and West Africa. Yet one should not think the M.O.s or geographic hotspots will remain static. As Karsten von Hoesslin emphasizes in his work on Southeast Asian maritime crime, patterns of piracy and seaborne armed robbery are fluid and the crime syndicates are adaptable. In one example of a potential change, Kevin Doherty of Nexus Consulting, a private maritime security company that operates in the region, notes that “when criminals in the region figure [out] how to negotiate with first-world underwriters, the crew will be the prize, not a tug or cargo.” Nor is the need focused merely on Singapore, as last year’s invasion of Borneo by the so-called Sultan of Sulu exposed the porous nature of maritime borders between the Philippines and Malaysia, while illicit resource exploitation afflicts nearly every nation in the region and is exacerbated by the competing territorial claims in the South China Sea. So with a continued need for counter-piracy and maritime law enforcement, it’s worth looking at previous efforts to discern the challenges facing Japan and the United States in pursuing this second goal. Here again the barriers to providing substantive assistance are largely political. It bears remembering that several ASEAN members have territorial disputes not only with China but with each other too, and historical sensitivities over “settled” disputes chill the receptiveness towards joint patrols in each other’s territories. Additionally, key nations like Indonesia and Malaysia have been wary of allowing those whom they perceive as “outside” actors to maintain a presence in their waters. When the United States proposed its ill-fated Regional Maritime Security Initiative in 2004, the two nations objected partly on the grounds that it would have brought American “special forces on high-speed boats” participating in joint patrols. The two have also abstained from the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP). Upheld as a model of maritime information sharing, ReCAAP developed as a Japanese-led initiative and involves surveillance and incident-report coordination from 19 countries, including several European shipping states, fed to the purpose-built Information Sharing Centre (ISC) in Singapore. ReCAAP is credited with contributing to the decline in piracy in the Malacca Straits, although some have suggested that incidents may be underreported in order to bolster the ReCAAP’s claims of success. So what would further assistance from Japan and the United States look like? According to the quoted sources, “joint assistance …would include provision of patrol vessels, help with training their coast guard members and other relevant personnel, and assistance with establishing a framework to share information between the countries regarding pirate boats and other suspicious vessels.” Some of this is already ongoing. Japan and the United States have been proactive over the past decade in providing counter-piracy training and equipment to the littoral nations of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. Additionally, Japan agreed to “donate” 10 patrol boats to the Philippines Coast Guard beginning in 2015, doubling its fleet, with a soft loan from Tokyo. Vietnam has likewise asked to procure patrol boats from Japan, although continues rumors of an impending agreement have so far come to naught. As for addressing the “framework to share information,” or coordinated maritime domain awareness (MDA), questions revolve around the intelligence-sharing architecture and facilities. With regards to the architecture, who will provide inputs, how will they provide inputs, who will collate inputs, how will the data be disseminated, and who will receive the data? On one end of the spectrum, Japan and the United States could select and combine several of their own inputs and offer a data stream to any ASEAN state willing to receive it. On the other end, this could be augmented by several of the members’ inputs in a two-way process. One approach could see the initiative develop a framework of tiered partners given access to different data sets depending on their sensitivities and own willingness to share. For the aforementioned political reasons, however, maritime data-sharing is easier said than done, as demonstrated by the United States, Japan, and South Korea’s difficulty in sharing such data among themselves. And this is just at the policy level – intelligence sharing intentions have to be supported by physical links and data protocols, trained personnel, and facilities. The Japan-U.S. initiative could stand up a new intelligence fusion center along the lines of ReCAAP’s ISC, raising questions of staffing, hosting, and of course funding. Or, perhaps in the interests of unity and “breaking down stovepipes,” it would be better to aim to integrate ReCAAP’s existing structure, perhaps with a co-located annex to the ISC, and work to address the concerns of Indonesia and Malaysia so as to bring them on board. In any case, it will be interesting to see what solutions are put forward. While President Obama’s trip will was not without concrete deals with ASEAN members, notably the 10-year defense deal with the Philippines, his trip’s most long-lasting outcome may be what develops from the vague words in the joint statement with Japan.

( ) US Soft power in Asia is low now – but gain be revived with the right policies.



Bush ‘9

Richard C. Bush III – Director, Center for East Asia Policy Studies and Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy, John L. Thornton China Center – “On the Eve of Obama's Inauguration: American Soft Power in Asia” – Brookings – January 2009 – http://www.brookings.edu/research/opinions/2009/01/asia-bush


Nor will it be easy or quick to restore the United States to a position where Asian countries will be inclined to accept U.S. proposals on major issues out of respect for what America is and what it has done. When, for example, will Asian economic leaders listen to—much less take—American advice on financial liberalization after the sub-prime mortgage scandal, the credit freeze, and the government takeover of American financial institutions? How long after Abu Ghraib will it be before the Chinese government takes seriously the entreaties of U.S. diplomats that it end torture? Creating influence through attraction is not going to be easy for a while. It will take time to regain the legitimacy to lead through soft power, which is the best way to lead. The United States therefore needs to consider what should be done to restore its soft power. Whether we want to do so is another question that bears on the question of domestic support. I would argue that our stakes in the stability and prosperity of the global system are still too great for us to not play a role in future agenda-setting, whatever other countries do.

A-to “Soft power fails”

( ) US Soft power does solve



Shur ‘13

(Renee Shur – Independent Writing and Editing Professional – “Obama’s accomplishments: The shift to softer power” – Occasional Planet – December 30, 2013 – http://www.occasionalplanet.org/2013/12/30/obamas-accomplishments-the-shift-to-softer-power/)


In other words, Obama has been living up to that first day’s pledge. And at least some of that course correction looks like it’s working. Case in point: Syria. Diplomacy and the threat of military force successfully maneuvered Syria/Russia into disclosing Syria’s stockpiles of chemical weapons for the first time ever and into allowing U.N. inspectors to monitor the destruction of those weapons. Second case in point: Iran. Isn’t that the world’s pariah that’s finally sat down at the negotiating table after years of economic sanctions to talk with the U.S. and the international community without the shock and awe of airstrikes by the U.S. or Israel? Maybe I’m missing nuances available only to the cognoscenti, but the easing of tensions with Syria and Iran certainly look like foreign-policy successes to me. Not all of Obama’s foreign-policy decisions have been so successful. Most prominent is the policy of drone strikes that has taken the lives of far too many innocents along with the lives of intended terrorist targets. The drone program must surely be judged a failure based on “collateral damage” alone. I’m not alone in predicting that this cornerstone of Obama’s national-security program will surely be judged harshly by history. However, progressives who slam Obama and his tenure in office should take a moment to reflect soberly on the contrast between Obama and the previous administration. Have some of us forgotten how flat-footed and belligerent foreign policy was during the Bush era? Remember how countries were labeled evil as if we and the world were living inside an adolescent’s dream video game? Remember how just talking to adversaries was verboten in the neo-con playbook of Cheney and Rumsfeld? (Recently, that bit of stupidity made an encore following Nelson Mandela’s funeral when conservative media manufactured a brouhaha over President Obama’s handshake and exchange of politesse with Cuba’s Raul Castro. How dare he, they snarled.) Observing Obama’s appointments at the State Department and the Defense Department, it seems the President has quietly committed in an incremental fashion to a rebalancing toward the use of soft power, a concept first articulated by Harvard professor Joseph Nye, that refers to an approach that encourages parties to acknowledge shared goals through dialogue and exchange. Who could have predicted that it would be Robert Gates, former Secretary of Defense in Obama’s first administration and a holdover from the Bush administration, who first articulated Obama’s step away from the prevailing emphasis on hard power—that is, military force, the threat of military force, or coercion—that gripped Washington during the Bush years. Gates was the first to call for enhancing soft power when he called before Congress for a “dramatic increase in spending on the civilian instruments of national security—diplomacy, strategic communications, foreign assistance, civic action, economic reconstruction and development.” From Robert Gates to former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton—who traveled the globe tirelessly in support of civil-society activists and understood the power of women’s rights for advancing economic development and peaceful societies—to Secretary of State John Kerry to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, it’s clear that Obama’s appointment of those individuals represents a commitment to the use of soft power on the international stage. And now, as we enter the sixth year of the President’s time in office, it’s becoming ever clearer that Obama’s turning of the unwieldy American ship—particularly in the foreign-policy realm—was more than just a metaphorical flourish that defined the speech of his life. It turns out it may indeed be a promise kept.

( ) Soft power works – hard power alone won’t cut it.



Nye ‘9

Joseph Samuel Nye, Jr. is an American political scientist and former Dean of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He currently holds the position of University Distinguished Service Professor at Harvard University[1] where he has been a member of the faculty since 1964 – “The U.S. can reclaim 'smart power'” – LA Times – January 21st – http://www.latimes.com/la-oe-nye21-2009jan21-story.html


The Pentagon is the best resourced arm of the government, but there are limits to what hard power can achieve on its own. Promoting democracy, human rights and the development of civil society are not best handled with the barrel of a gun. The effects of the 9/11 terrorist attacks threw America off course. Terrorism is a real threat, but over-responding to the provocations of extremists does us more damage than the terrorists ever could. Success in the struggle against terrorism means finding a new central premise for U.S. foreign policy to replace the "war on terror." A commitment to providing for the global good can provide that premise. America can become a smart America -- a smart power -- by again investing in global public goods, providing things people and governments of the world want but have not been able to get in the absence of leadership by the strongest country. Development, public health and coping with climate change are good examples. By complementing U.S. military and economic might with greater investments in soft power, and focusing on global public goods, the U.S. can rebuild the framework that it needs to tackle tough global challenges.

A-to “Civil Society, not government, is key to soft power”




( ) Government policies – not civil society – are the key factor in soft power.



Nye ‘9

Joseph Samuel Nye, Jr. is an American political scientist and former Dean of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He currently holds the position of University Distinguished Service Professor at Harvard University[1] where he has been a member of the faculty since 1964. “Get Smart” Foreign Affairs, Jul/Aug2009, Vol. 88, Issue 4 Obtained via the Political Science Complete Database


The major elements of a country's soft power include its culture (when it is pleasing to others), its values (when they are attractive and consistently practiced), and its policies (when they are seen as inclusive and legitimate). Over the past decade, public opinion polls have shown a serious decline in the United States' popularity in Europe, Latin America, and, most dramatically, the Muslim world. Poll respondents have generally cited the United States' policies, more than its culture or values, to explain this decline. Since it is easier for a country to change its policies than its culture, U.S. President Barack Obama should focus on choosing policies that can help recover some of the United States' soft power.

( ) Civil society not key – government policy best shapes soft power.



Goldsmith ‘12

(et al – Benjamin, Professor Gov University of Sidney – July – “In Search of Soft Power: Does Foreign Public Opinion Matter for US Foreign Policy?” World Politics, Vol 64 No 3, p 555-585, ProjectMuse)


We argue that it is the public views about current foreign policy— rather than underlying public affinity—that are directly relevant in shaping international outcomes. For the case of US soft power, foreign decision makers today care about their public’s potential reactions to specific foreign policy choices, such as signing a treaty or going to war, rather than the popularity of Nike goods, admiration for the US Bill of Rights, or opinions about the Vietnam War. Culture, values, institutions, and (past) policies—the four currencies of soft power—are important latent or underlying factors, public perceptions of which play a role in how views about current foreign policy are formed, but on their own are relatively indeterminate, as Nye himself suggests.17

A-to “Soft Power resilient”




( ) Resiliency misses the point – soft power isn’t set in stone. It can ebb too low – and new policies can reverse trends.



Nye ‘9

Joseph Samuel Nye, Jr. is an American political scientist and former Dean of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He currently holds the position of University Distinguished Service Professor at Harvard University[1] where he has been a member of the faculty since 1964 – “The U.S. can reclaim 'smart power'” – LA Times – January 21st – http://www.latimes.com/la-oe-nye21-2009jan21-story.html


When poll respondents are asked why they report a decline in American soft power, they cite American policies more than American culture or values. Because it is easier for a country to change its policies than its culture, this implies that Obama will be able to choose policies that could help to recover some of America's soft power. Of course, soft power is not the solution to all problems. North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il likes to watch Hollywood movies, but that is unlikely to affect his nuclear weapons program. And soft power got nowhere in attracting the Taliban government away from its support for Al Qaeda in the 1990s. That took hard military power in 2001. But other goals, such as the promotion of democracy and human rights, are better achieved by soft power. A little more than a year ago, the bipartisan Center for Strategic and International Studies' Commission on Smart Power concluded that America's image and influence had declined in recent years, and that the U.S. had to move from exporting fear to inspiring optimism and hope. The commission was not alone in this conclusion. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has called for the U.S. to commit more money and effort to soft-power tools, including diplomacy, economic assistance and communications, because the military alone cannot defend U.S. interests. He pointed out that military spending totals nearly half a trillion dollars annually -- excluding Iraq and Afghanistan -- compared with a State Department budget of $36 billion. In his words: "I am here to make the case for strengthening our capacity to use soft power and for better integrating it with hard power." The Pentagon is the best resourced arm of the government, but there are limits to what hard power can achieve on its own. Promoting democracy, human rights and the development of civil society are not best handled with the barrel of a gun. The effects of the 9/11 terrorist attacks threw America off course. Terrorism is a real threat, but over-responding to the provocations of extremists does us more damage than the terrorists ever could. Success in the struggle against terrorism means finding a new central premise for U.S. foreign policy to replace the "war on terror." A commitment to providing for the global good can provide that premise. America can become a smart America -- a smart power -- by again investing in global public goods, providing things people and governments of the world want but have not been able to get in the absence of leadership by the strongest country. Development, public health and coping with climate change are good examples. By complementing U.S. military and economic might with greater investments in soft power, and focusing on global public goods, the U.S. can rebuild the framework that it needs to tackle tough global challenges. Style also matters. In 2001, columnist Charles Krauthammer argued for what he called "a new unilateralism," which recognized that the United States was the only superpower and was so strong that it could decide what was right and expect others to follow because they had little choice. But this style turned out to be counterproductive. Insensitivity to style and the perception of others can undercut soft-power efforts. Obama faces a difficult international environment, but previous presidents have managed to employ hard, soft and smart power in equally difficult contexts. In 1970, during the Vietnam War, America was viewed as unattractive in many parts of the world, but with changed policies and the passage of time, the United States managed to recover its soft power. It can happen again.



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