In September 2019 we introduced you to the Eisenhower Series College Program (ESCP). Though we are approaching life as we remember it pre-COVID, travel limitations significantly limited the ESCP from visiting colleges and universities, interacting with audiences often unfamiliar with members of the U.S. Military. It is our hope at WAR ROOM to bring you a glimpse of what some of those presentations might have looked like via A BETTER PEACE.
In the second episode of academic year 2021 our podcast editor Ron Granieri is joined by War College students and ESCP members Ron Hawkins, Abdul Sami and Kate Sanborn. This time the conversation turns to the concept of soft power versus hard power. What do three War College students have to say about tackling the topic of soft power at the School of Strategic Landpower? Quite a bit. Each with a career’s worth of experience in the Department of State, the Pakistan Army and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, respectively, they have many examples where China has outpaced the United States in recent years. They each offer a hopeful view of how the United States has and must continue to engage nations around the world with diplomacy and all the tools in the soft power tool bag before ever resorting to the use of military force.
Of course, no one wants to use the full force of hard power. No one wants to go to war, and so you’re trying to do everything you can not to go to war, and soft power is a great way…to engage foreign audiences in discussions about sometimes very difficult topics.
Ronald Hawkins in more than 2 decades at the State Department has been a public affairs officer at the U.S. Embassies in Kampala, Uganda, Bucharest, Romania, and Khartoum, Sudan. Before that, he had assignments in Washington DC, Sarajevo, Reykjavik, and Algiers.
Brigadier General Abdul Sami of Pakistan has held various command staff and instructional appointments in infantry and engineer formations across Pakistan, including the Pak Afghan border fencing project before attending the U.S. Army War college, he was chief of staff of an Army Corps in Karachi.
LTC Kate Sanborn is an engineer in the U.S. Army with 19 years of service. She graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 2002 and holds a PhD in civil engineering from Georgia Tech. Her assignments include deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan and before attending the U.S. Army War College she commanded the Honolulu District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Fort Shafter, Hawaii.
Ron Granieri is an Associate Professor of History at the U.S. Army War College and the Editor of A BETTER PEACE.
The views expressed in this presentation are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Army War College, U.S. Army, or Department of Defense.
Photo Description: Popular symbols of soft power from the United States and China
Photo Credit: Flag pictures created by www.slon.pics – www.freepik.com, Giant panda by Gzen92, Confucius by Citizen Mira – user on Flickr.com, Hollywood Sign and McDonalds courtesy of The Jon B. Lovelace Collection of California Photographs in Carol M. Highsmith’s America Project, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division