New Millennia Power Shift: A Look at the Change in US-Russia Relations Essay

New Millennia Power Shift: A Look at the Change in US-Russia Relations Essay

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A man who survived interrogation and detainment by the Nazi Gestapo, as well as, living through both world wars, would have a very different opinion of power than someone who has seen the fall of the Berlin wall, the exponential growth in technology, and the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Centers in New York City.1 Former German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer once said, “Without power, one cannot conduct policy. Without power, our words will not be heeded.” Considering what power meant to the world between 1876-1967, and in the context of his life and Germany’s experiences of victory and defeat during world wars, Konrad’s quote is referencing a nations military strength as the source of power. This power in Adenauer’s mind, is what gives a country leverage to conduct policy, to have a voice in the international community, and the key to being a great power. Where this was the world-view in the twentieth century, it is proving false in the twenty-first century. Even Germany has gone about increasing its power through coalition building and not through expansive military development. It has initiated, enlarged and empowered the coalitions it has formed, to pool each nations power resource to develop strategies to deal with international challenges.2 The tide of world power is changing, and is more complex than simply having a capable army to project power. Joseph S. Nye has coined the terminology of the two types of power needed by all great powers, any organization or even individuals wanting to exert the power of policy and influence in this century. “The use of force, payment, and some

agenda setting necessitate hard power while agenda setting (regarded as legitimate by the target), positive attraction, and persuasion are ...

... middle of paper ...

...cold war [with the threat of terrorism].”21 Terrorism is a threat that is not entirely understood, nor can it be predicted to act like a great power. In the twenty-first century, strength will come from the smart combination of hard and soft power. Countries are no longer competing with just each other, they compete with the nations who build relationships, policies, and ties. Power in the international area is a product of multilateralism and the will to posses both hard and soft power. The threat of terrorism coupled with globalization and the accelerated development of technologies has brought the globe into an era where collaboration and mutual benefits are drawn for great powers and secondary powers. States act in their own best interests and it is in the interests of states, western or otherwise, to band together to capitalize on hard and soft power resources.

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