Cómo recuperar el

Estados Unidos necesita redescubrir cómo ser un "poder inteligente". Esa fue la conclusión de una comisión bipartidaria que recientemente copresidí junto con Richard Armitage, el ex subsecretario de Estado de la administración Bush. La Comisión de Poder Inteligente, convocada por el Centro para Estudios Estratégicos e Internacionales de Washington, estaba conformada por miembros republicanos y demócratas del Congreso, ex embajadores, oficiales militares retirados y directores de organizaciones sin fines de lucro. Llegamos a la conclusión de que la imagen e influencia de Estados Unidos había decaído en los últimos años, y que Estados Unidos debe pasar de exportar miedo a inspirar optimismo y esperanza.

No somos los únicos. Recientemente, el secretario de Defensa, Robert Gates, instó al gobierno norteamericano a comprometer más dinero y esfuerzos al "poder blando", que incluye diplomacia, asistencia económica y comunicaciones, porque el ejército solo no puede defender los intereses de Estados Unidos en todo el mundo. Gates señaló que el gasto militar asciende aproximadamente a medio billón de dólares anualmente, comparado con el presupuesto del Departamento de Estado de 36.000 millones de dólares. Gates reconoció que una súplica de parte del director del Pentágono de más recursos para el Departamento de Estado era extraña, pero estos no son tiempos normales.

El poder inteligente es la capacidad de combinar el poder duro de la coerción o el pago con el poder blando de la atracción hacia una estrategia exitosa. En términos generales, Estados Unidos logró esta combinación durante la Guerra Fría; más recientemente, en cambio, la política exterior norteamericana tendió a confiar demasiado en el poder duro, porque es la fuente más directa y visible de fuerza estadounidense.

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