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Military capacity building government’s core responsibility

Firooz Ahmad Ebrahimi

Part III

In previous parts of the article, I discussed the importance of military power, exceptionally soft power. Soft power, as defined by Joseph Nye, is the ability to influence others through attraction and persuasion rather than coercion. I also discussed how the First World utilizes military power, exceptionally soft power, to impose its demands on the First and Second Worlds. Now, I will discuss another aspect of power, namely hard power. Contemporary thinkers define hard power, a crucial aspect in international politics, as the combination of army, military power, and advanced weaponry. It is not just a tool but a necessity to bolster the success of soft power. In essence, hard power represents a country’s ability to enforce its demands on another through force, a concept that cannot be overlooked in the realm of global affairs. Recent examples of the use of hard power can be seen in the U.S. attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq. These military interventions, justified by the U.S. as necessary for national security, were seen by many as examples of hard power in action. Similarly, U.S. sanctions against Saddam Hussein’s regime, Iran, and North Korea, and the current crises in Palestine and Ukraine are also instances where hard power is being used to influence the behavior of other countries. Smart Power: However, the new discussion that has emerged in the past two decades after the West’s use of hard power overlaps with the concept of smart power. Smart power, a term coined by Joseph Nye, is the combination of hard power and soft power. It involves using a country’s military strength (hard power) and its ability to influence others through non military means (soft power) to achieve its objectives. Of course, the use of the term “Smart Power” in international relations was promoted as a reaction to the aggressive policies of the Republican hawks aimed at constructing a belligerent purpose for America’s unreasonable use of military power. Detractors of the Bush administration argue that the misuse of America’s military power during his tenure led to a loss of international allies and friends. This critique underscores the importance of using military power judiciously, a lesson that remains relevant in today’s geopolitical landscape. According to them, smart power is the proper use of both hard and soft power elements in appropriate proportions and under suitable conditions. They believe that government leadership should be exact in determining the limits and scope of using different types and elements of power at specific times. For example, the mobilization of the military should be entirely clear and rational in its objectives. What goals should be pursued through media advertising campaigns? Is it necessary to accept heavy military casualties in a situation where coercion and encouragement can compel a country to accept demands? Thinkers have termed this type of rational use as smart power. Although the content of this discussion is not new to Muslims, the use of smart power in the political and administrative circles of capitalist countries has sparked a wide-ranging debate and numerous challenges. Meanwhile, numerous instruments of American policymaking are centered on soft power, such as the National Endowment for Democracy, the National Democratic Institute, the International Development Agency, the IRD, and so forth. However, American investments in hard power exceed the expectations of ordinary individuals. Nevertheless, other vital elements of power play a key role in shaping soft or hard power, and a country cannot easily achieve a high level of international politics, economic prosperity, and military advancement without possessing these elements and indicators. These include the education system, geographical extent, geographical location, population, natural and nonnatural resources, and the like. On average, powerful countries are those that possess some of these critical indicators. America has the most extensive gross domestic product, the largest share in international trade, and the largest share in international governmental institutions such as the United Nations, the World Bank, NATO, and so on. There is no doubt that America is unrivaled in the world in terms of military, political, and economic power. Therefore, both of America’s powers, namely soft and hard, terrorize nations worldwide and lead to the alignment and friendship of countries with America for their interests. In international security policy, coalitions and security alliances have emerged to ensure the security of both weak countries and powerful countries through security agreements. This issue is nothing but accepting the leadership of colonialist countries over the destinies of nations. These countries pose threats to coerce weak countries into entering their own security and political umbrella. They have posed India as a threat to Pakistan, North Korea as a threat to South Korea, China as a threat to Japan, Iran and Israel as threats to the Arabs, Pakistan as a threat to Afghanistan, and of course, this list goes on and on. No idea can be achieved unless it is connected to its executive and adaptive institutions. These institutions are military institutions and governmental political organizations that must properly prepare governmental institutions to achieve military power. Otherwise, any desire without a practical method is merely a fanciful philosophy. The underlying message of this article suggests two conclusions. One is that the issue of power is directly related to the establishment of powerful institutions. Therefore, no country is powerful unless it considers advanced military means and a strong, organized military force. Thus, to become independent, military power must be prioritized, and security institutions must be strengthened. Secondly, considering the constituent elements of power in the world, such as large populations, vast geography, strategic resources and routes, large economies, etc., each of the existing capacities must be identified, and efforts must be made to grow them. For example, in the educational system, the government must be vigilant. In determining the annual budget, the government must prioritize the growth of military power and access to weaponry, strengthen the morale of military personnel, and utilize the most optimal geographical areas and facilities for advancing military affairs.

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.