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Instruments of Foreign Policy

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In American foreign policy, security, prosperity, and the creation of a better world are the three most important goals that policy makers try to achieve. To achieve these goals, policy makers use the assistance of foreign policy instruments. The instruments include intelligence gathering, diplomacy, the use of military force, covert action, economic statecraft and cultural and moral influences (18). The instruments fall into two different categories, either hard power or soft power. Hard power is the use of force in the way of military threats and economic incentives or punishments. Likewise, soft power attempts to attain one’s goal without the use of force but instead uses one’s words to get the other country to come to an agreement regarding the goal (28). Each of these instruments is used in different situations and plays their own role in foreign policy. Each instrument of foreign policy is a necessary option, but it is usually unable to achieve the anticipated goal by itself and does need the help of the other instruments. Using multiple instruments at the same time to solve a problem helps policy makers to make more accurate and clear thought decisions on how to deal with a problem, and ultimately can save the United States the lives of their citizens and money and resources.
The instruments that are considered soft power are the gathering of national security intelligence, diplomacy, and moral and cultural suasion. One of the most important instruments of foreign policy is a state’s intelligence capabilities because making reasonable choices from intelligence gains leads to success in international affairs. National security intelligence is the gathering and analyzing of information about global events and conditions. Wi...

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...ng the soft powers as a first attempt and then having to use hard power to force a resolution if all else fails the creation of a better and peaceful world is always the end goal. The instruments alone cannot be as helpful to policy makers as they could be if used all together. The instruments all rely on one another to live up to its full potential. The best solution to solving problems in international affairs is to use national intelligence to gain accurate information about the problem and the actors participating, coming up with multiple different strategies to solve this problem, such as negotiations, peace treaties, embargoes, and leaving military force and threats as a last resort.

Works Cited

Johnson, Loch K. 1942-. American Foreign Policy and the Challenges of World Leadership.
Power, Principle, and the Constitution. New York: Oxford UP, 2015. Print.
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