Instruments Of Foreign Policy Essay

1183 words - 5 pages

In American foreign policy, security, prosperity, and the creation of a better world are the three most important goals that policy makers try to achieve. To achieve these goals, policy makers use the assistance of foreign policy instruments. The instruments include intelligence gathering, diplomacy, the use of military force, covert action, economic statecraft and cultural and moral influences (18). The instruments fall into two different categories, either hard power or soft power. Hard power is the use of force in the way of military threats and economic incentives or punishments. Likewise, soft power attempts to attain one’s goal without the use of force but instead uses one’s words to get the other country to come to an agreement regarding the goal (28). Each of these instruments is used in different situations and plays their own role in foreign policy. Each instrument of foreign policy is a necessary option, but it is usually unable to achieve the anticipated goal by itself and does need the help of the other instruments. Using multiple instruments at the same time to solve a problem helps policy makers to make more accurate and clear thought decisions on how to deal with a problem, and ultimately can save the United States the lives of their citizens and money and resources.
The instruments that are considered soft power are the gathering of national security intelligence, diplomacy, and moral and cultural suasion. One of the most important instruments of foreign policy is a state’s intelligence capabilities because making reasonable choices from intelligence gains leads to success in international affairs. National security intelligence is the gathering and analyzing of information about global events and conditions. With the use of accurate information that intelligence has gathered, policy makers improve their chances for victory in their international goals. All of the other instruments rely on national security intelligence when making their decisions as well (18). Diplomacy as an instrument relies on talking instead of fighting to achieve the objectives of the United States. Diplomacy is the use of formal and informal negotiations to regulate disputes between nations and factions. There are a few different types of diplomacies such as special missions, summit meetings, shuttle diplomacy, and public diplomacy (21). Moral suasion is the winning over friends abroad by virtue of setting a good example as a vibrant democracy, and cultural suasion is the winning over of friends abroad by way of attractive social attributes (27). According to Joseph S. Nye, a perfect example of soft power is “using moral and cultural suasion to encourage others to follow ones leadership” (28). Each of these instruments is a necessary option in aiding the United States in succeeding in their objectives in international affairs because the intelligence gathered helps to make smarter decisions. Diplomacy helps by negotiating terms instead of using force,...

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