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postwarFINAL - 1 Adam Reed Professor Johnston International...

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Adam Reed Professor Johnston International Organizations February 24, 2005 Paper #1- Soft Power The Role of Soft Power in Post-War Afghanistan Post-war Afghanistan has a very limited soft power opportunity. The nation is in disarray and requires help to re-build. Rebuilding is an excellent opportunity to exercise soft power. However, there are also international concerns that need to be addressed while we are occupying Afghanistan. Terrorism, drugs, and weapons that come from Afghanistan are just a few issues that threaten global security. NATO created a task force to go into the country to assist in post war efforts. The force they set up is the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). ISAF was originally a UN mandate to assist in stabilizing Afghanistan after the war. The main objectives in achieving this stabilization are police training, medical improvements, and building a more secure infrastructure. (History of the International Security Assistance Force 2005) The infrastructure that needs to be rebuilt is one strong soft power source. ISAF is assisting in humanitarian efforts to make Afghanistan more stable. They are improving human necessities such as water, electricity, and shelter. They are also working on more long term efforts such as building hospitals and renovation of schools. (History of the International Security Assistance Force 2005) These long term goals are the ones that will hopefully spread a better view of democracy and create an acceptance of western culture. 1
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Although soft power may be effective to combat issues such as terrorism, it is more difficult to fight things such as drugs and weapons. These issues must be fought with some sort of force. By building schools and sending humanitarian supplies, we may someday be able to reverse the view of western life that prompted terrorist attacks. However, these schools will not stop an international drug trade or take away dangerous weapons. The drug issue surrounding Afghanistan is a significant one. It is the world’s largest producer of Opium and accounts for 75% of the world’s opium. Afghanistan also deal with other types of drugs that need to be eradicated. Afghan drug trade accounts for 60% of their economy. (US Warned Over Afghan Drug Cull 2005) Although the immediate effect of removing these drugs would have a negative effect on Afghan economy, it would be a step in the right direction for the long term.
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