Selasa, 03 Maret 2009

Hillary’s Smart Power in Its Implementation

Smart power means a policy that combining hard and soft power. Hard power can be implemented through military or other force means and soft power is a power that using trade, diplomacy, aid, cultures to convince and persuade in achieving its purposes.

According to Joseph Nye, a leading exponent of “smart” power as an extension of “soft”, America must “learn to co-operate and to listen” if it is to become a “welcomed world leader”.

At the beginning of her world stage as America’s next top diplomat, Hillary Rodham Clinton said she was to renew U.S. leadership through a “smart power” as her mix policy of diplomacy and defense.

Hillary Clinton endorsed the use of "smart power" to reassert global US influence, telling the Senate foreign relations committee, which is considering her nomination as secretary of state, that the country cannot do everything in isolation.

Mrs. Clinton indicated she would depart from the ideologically driven foreign policy of the Bush administration and forge new alliances around the world, also calling for a just and lasting peace deal for the Middle East.

"America cannot solve the most pressing problems on our own, and the world cannot solve them without America," she said. "I believe American leadership has been wanting, but is still wanted. We must use what has been called 'smart power', the full range of tools at our disposal. With 'smart power', diplomacy will be the vanguard of foreign policy."

Mrs. Clinton's predecessor, Condoleezza Rice, began with a trip to Europe and the Middle East. Miss Rice's predecessor, Colin Powell, first visited the Middle East. Madeleine Albright made her inaugural trip to both Europe and East Asia.

Selection of countries in Southeast and East Asia carries a significant message. It is a sign of renewed U.S. interest in strengthening East-West ties. The secretary herself was widely known in that part of the world even before she accepted her current position, and so will need no lengthy introduction.

Japan

In her Senate confirmation hearings in January she embraced the United States-Japan alliance as the "cornerstone" of America's Asia strategy.

During a visit to Tokyo by US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, agreeing to apply more pressure to force the dictatorship to give up its nuclear weapons programme. "We must advance our efforts to secure the complete and verifiable denuclearization of North Korea," Clinton said, adding that North Korea's threats to test fire a long-range missile would "be very unhelpful."

Washington is committed to dismantling North Korea's nuclear weapons programme and prevention of further proliferation by Pyongyang, Clinton said, referring to President Barack Obama's inauguration address.

The US president said his government would "reach out a hand to those with whom they have differences so long as they unclench their fists." If North Korea abides by the obligations and "verifiably and completely" eliminates its nuclear programme, the US would respond accordingly with a reciprocal response that could include normalized relations, a peace treaty and assistance for its people, the state secretary said.

Indonesia

Clinton said she wanted to deepen cooperation between the two countries on counterterrorism, climate change and security.

"As I travel around the world over the next years, I will be saying to people: if you want to know whether Islam, democracy, modernity and women's rights can co-exist, go to Indonesia," Hillary Clinto said. Her visit to Indonesia is a "harbinger for closer and higher levels of engagement and cooperation between Indonesia and the US".

She announced plans to restart Peace Corps programs in Indonesia that were suspended in 1965 when volunteers were expelled after leftists accused them of espionage. And she said the two countries would cooperate on climate change, trade, education, regional security and a host of other issues, while indicating that more development aid was on the way.

South Korea

Clinton has said the Obama administration backs the six-party negotiations to rid North Korea of its nuclear program. The disarmament process, which began in 2007, has been stalled for months.

In a promising sign, representatives from all six nations involved in the nuclear talks were to meet in Moscow to discuss promoting regional security. The meeting will be North Korea's first official with the parties since Obama's inauguration.

China

China and United States agreed to work more closely in dealing with the global financial crisis, climate change, energy, environment and other issues of common concern. The agreement came out of the talks between Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

This marked the beginning of face-to-face diplomacy between the two countries since the Obama administration took office last month. "During the talks, both sides reached a principled agreement on establishing a strategic and economic dialogue mechanism.

"As we start the new administration of President Obama, we want to deepen and broaden our relationship," Clinton said.

Issues dominated the visits

Hillary Clinton had completed her first overseas trip to Asia as the 67th secretary of state of the United States. The weeklong trip included stops in Japan, Indonesia, South Korea and China. Four fundamental issues had dominated the visit:

(1) Reshaping America's image in the Muslim world.
(2) The ongoing global financial crisis.
(3) Global warming.
(4) Tensions surrounding the two Koreas and Pyongyang's nuclear program.

Mrs. Clinton tried to apply the concept of "smart power" to the Asia diplomacy, not only abandoning former President George Bush's unilateralism but seeking to extend American interests via wide-ranging contacts or engagements with Asian cultural and economic circles.

Beyond any doubt, Hillary's itinerary includes Indonesia for the first time. She capitalized on sentimental factors to get in with Indonesia where President Obama spent part of his childhood, so as to help forge still closer cooperation with this big Muslim nation. Furthermore, the United States attempts to improve its ties with the entire Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and raise or upgrade its image in the Muslim world while going on with its continuous, meritorious services in the global war on terror.

Her East Asia’s visit is held at the time when the U.S is currently beset with difficulties both at home and overseas, and her polite gesture during the trip has been well received wherever she went. Nevertheless, the U.S. currently feels it not easy to accomplish several things as it does not have a fresh spurt of energy as it did before. The remarks on the North Korea nuclear issue she gave in Seoul does not have any new, fresh ideas and, its intended agreement of denuclearization for peace with North Korea alone is hard to attract Pyongyang. Hence, people have come to see that it is a normalcy for the U.S. to seek international cooperation, since it finds itself difficult today to resolve numerous thorny issues alone.
Writer : Alumnus of Faculty of Law of University of Sam Ratulangi Manado

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