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Counter-terrorism, smart power and the United States

Eadie, Pauline

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This article examines smart power, specifically in relation to US counter-terrorism initiatives, focusing on US foreign aid as a soft power instrument. Economic aid and military aid are disbursed under the auspices of USAID and the military is tasked with soft and hard power strategies that have proven problematic to manage as ‘an integrated grand strategy’. Identifying variables that accurately indicate the success or otherwise of smart power as a counter-terror strategy is problematic. Nevertheless a tentative correlation can be drawn between high levels of US aid and low levels of trust in the US in frontline Islamic states. This has led to slippage between hard and soft power and un-smart policy. Consequently a gap has emerged between what the US hopes that the international community will respond to in terms of smart power as a counter-terror initiative and what actually happens. The US has tended to revert to hard power tools in the face of this gap. I argue that foreign aid must not only be soft but ‘sticky’ in order for smart power strategies to succeed.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 17, 2016
Online Publication Date Jul 8, 2016
Deposit Date Jul 9, 2016
Publicly Available Date Jul 9, 2016
Journal Global Power
Print ISSN 1758-5880
Electronic ISSN 1758-5899
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 7
Issue 3
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Eadie, P. (2016), Counter-terrorism, Smart Power and the United States. Global Policy, v. 7(3), which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.


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