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US Foreign Policy

US Foreign Policy (3rd edn)

Michael Cox and Doug Stokes
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date: 07 December 2023

p. 1118. The twenty-first century and smart powerlocked

p. 1118. The twenty-first century and smart powerlocked

  • Joseph S. Nye Jr.


This chapter examines US foreign policy as ‘smart power’, a combnation of hard and soft power, in the twenty-first century. The beginning of the twenty-first century saw George W. Bush place a strong emphasis on hard power, as exemplifed by the invasion and occupation of Iraq. This was evident after 9/11. While the war in Iraq showcased America’s hard military power that removed a tyrant, it failed to resolve US vulnerability to terrorism; on the contrary, it may have increased it. The chapter first considers the Obama administration’s reference to its foreign policy as ‘smart power’ before discussing Donald Trump’s ‘America First’ policy, the role of power in a global information age, soft power in US foreign policy, and how public diplomacy has been incorporated into US foreign policy.

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