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New Millennia Power Shift: A Look At The Change In Us Russia Relations

1569 words - 7 pages

A man who survived interrogation and detainment by the Nazi Gestapo, as well as, living through both world wars, would have a very different opinion of power than someone who has seen the fall of the Berlin wall, the exponential growth in technology, and the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Centers in New York City.1 Former German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer once said, “Without power, one cannot conduct policy. Without power, our words will not be heeded.” Considering what power meant to the world between 1876-1967, and in the context of his life and Germany’s experiences of victory and defeat during world wars, Konrad’s quote is referencing a nations military strength as the source of power. This power in Adenauer’s mind, is what gives a country leverage to conduct policy, to have a voice in the international community, and the key to being a great power. Where this was the world-view in the twentieth century, it is proving false in the twenty-first century. Even Germany has gone about increasing its power through coalition building and not through expansive military development. It has initiated, enlarged and empowered the coalitions it has formed, to pool each nations power resource to develop strategies to deal with international challenges.2 The tide of world power is changing, and is more complex than simply having a capable army to project power. Joseph S. Nye has coined the terminology of the two types of power needed by all great powers, any organization or even individuals wanting to exert the power of policy and influence in this century. “The use of force, payment, and some

agenda setting necessitate hard power while agenda setting (regarded as legitimate by the target), positive attraction, and persuasion are the parts of the spectrum Nye includes in soft power”.3 Both are needed because military force is no longer accepted as a legitimate way to solve all disputes, nor is it the only way for a nation to assert dominance and gain allies in the international community. If a nation is going to be effective it needs to combine both hard and soft power resources as ‘smart power’ to create effective strategies in the new new millennia.4
Globalization and the fast and furious development of technology, is something Konrad could never have anticipated in his explanation of power needs. Both help promote the need an importance of soft power. Power and influence in the twenty-first century are not dependent on only military means of assertion; the new millennia prescribes great powers, secondary states, NGO’s, and even individuals, to wheeled both soft and hard power, with an emphasis on the former, as the power tide changes. By looking at the history of two world powers who have competed for power, the Untied States and Russia, and through examining how their relationship has changed in the face of terrorism, will debunk Konrad’s claim that power, influence, and policy on the international stage comes purely from military strength. ...

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