|The U.S. Institute of Peace held their seventh Bipartisan Congressional Dialogue last week to answer this very question with:
– Rep. Francis Rooney (R-FL)
Soft power, the appeal of a country’s culture and values to enhance its strength and influence, has a new foe in “sharp power.” As employed by global adversaries like Russia and China, sharp power utilizes information warfare techniques through media initiatives, cyber activities, and cultural exchanges to achieve geopolitical goals and weaken Western influence. Russia’s efforts to subvert the liberal world order and undermine global norms by interfering in democratic processes at home and abroad provides a salient example of sharp power at work.
How can the U.S. respond to this emerging threat? Speaking at USIP’s seventh Bipartisan Congressional Dialogue, Rep. Francis Rooney (R-FL) and Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) discussed the threat posed by sharp power to global stability and how the United States, through bipartisan efforts, could use soft power to counter this threat. Rep. Rooney is the vice chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and former U.S. ambassador to the Holy See. A former U.S. ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein, Rep. Beyer is the vice ranking member of the Science, Space and Technology Committee.
The congressmen underscored the importance of U.S. diplomatic and aid missions around the world, the need to unite in Washington around these critical tools of U.S. soft power and reflected on their experiences as U.S. ambassadors, which allowed them to see firsthand the effectiveness of soft power.
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