soft power

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is sworn in at the White House in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 1, 2017. (Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images)

There’s No Happy Ending for Rex Tillerson

The secretary of state has held on for a year, but it’s too late for his tenure to end well.

North Korea's all-female Moranbong band perform in Pyongyang on May 11, 2016. (Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images)

How a Girl Band May Unify Korea

How to solve the Korean crisis through the power of kitschy, hyperpatriotic pop music.

U.S. President Donald Trump at Yokota Air Base near Tokyo, Japan on November 5, 2017. (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

Trump Is the Worst Salesman America Has Ever Had

The United States is more unpopular than ever before, and that’s no accident.

CORRECTION - US President Donald Trump (C), President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker (R) and French President Emmanuel Macron walk to the Hotel San Domenico during the Summit of the Heads of State and of Government of the G7, the group of most industrialized economies, plus the European Union, on May 26, 2017 in Sicily.
The leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the US and Italy will be joined by representatives of the European Union and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as well as teams from Ethiopia, Kenya, Niger, Nigeria and Tunisia during the summit from May 26 to 27, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Filippo MONTEFORTE / The erroneous mention[s] appearing in the metadata of this photo by Filippo MONTEFORTE                   has been modified in AFP systems in the following manner: [President of the European Council Donald Tusk] instead of [President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker]. Please immediately remove the erroneous mention[s] from all your online services and delete it (them) from your servers. If you have been authorized by AFP to distribute it (them) to third parties, please ensure that the same actions are carried out by them. Failure to promptly comply with these instructions will entail liability on your part for any continued or post notification usage. Therefore we thank you very much for all your attention and prompt action. We are sorry for the inconvenience this notification may cause and remain at your disposal for any further information you may require.        (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

America’s Not First. It’s Third.

The United States slips behind France and the U.K. in this year’s soft-power ranking.

A freight train transporting containers laden with goods from the UK, departs from DP World London Gateway's rail freight depot in Corringham, east of London, on April 10, 2017, enroute to Yiwu in the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang.
The first-ever freight train from Britain to China started its mammoth journey on Monday along a modern-day "Silk Road" trade route as Britain eyes new opportunities after it leaves the European Union. The 32-container train, around 600 metres (656 yards) long, left the vast London Gateway container port laden with whisky, soft drinks and baby products, bound for Yiwu on the east coast of China. / AFP PHOTO / Isabel Infantes        (Photo credit should read ISABEL INFANTES/AFP/Getty Images)

China’s Continent-Spanning Trains Are Running Half-Empty

Beijing's funding dozens of new rail routes as part of its global ambitions — and losing money on every one. So what's the long game?

SEOUL, REPUBLIC OF KOREA:  Members of a traditional dance troupe perform during a ceremony celebrating Confucius and his instructions in Seoul, 09 March 2006. The ceremony was held at Sungkyunkwan, the state college of Korea's old kingdom for the last 500 years. AFP PHOTO/LEE HOON-KOO  (Photo credit should read LEE HOON-KOO/AFP/Getty Images)

American Universities Are Welcoming China’s Trojan Horse

A growing number of Confucius Institutes are importing Chinese censorship into U.S. campuses.

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 1:  (AFP OUT) Rex Tillerson attends a ceremony at which he was sworn in as 69th U.S. secretary of state in the Oval Office of the White House on February 1, 2017 in Washington, DC. Tillerson was confirmed by the U.S. Senate earlier in the day in a 56-43 vote.  (Photo by Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images)

To Save the State Department, Rex Tillerson May Have to Break It

Bad habits and stale thinking have subordinated Foggy Bottom to the Pentagon and NSC. Here’s what needs to change.

The new headquarters of the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) is pictured shortly after the official opening of RFE/RL's new headquarters on May 12, 2009 in Prague. AFP PHOTO/MICHAL CIZEK (Photo credit should read MICHAL CIZEK/AFP/Getty Images)

Don’t Gut America’s Voice and Turn It into Propaganda

The United States’ international broadcasters work because they produce real journalism, not government spin. That could change — just in time for Trump.

BAGHDAD, Iraq:  A Iraqi boy shakes hands with a US soldier during the Food Distribution Mission operated by Alpha Company, 425th Civil Affairs Company and 304th PYSOP Company of Task Force 4-64 Armor in Baghdad's Janain area, 29 August 2005.  AFP PHOTO/LIU Jin  (Photo credit should read LIU JIN/AFP/Getty Images)

Killing the Islamic State Softly

Military power will win battles in Syria and Iraq, but only soft power can win the war.

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