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Military 'Soft Power': The Impact of Military Exchange Activities
 
International officers on Fellowship at the US Army War College participate in a role-playing strategic crisis negotiation exercise (Photo: CSL-OGD, USAWC)  

 

DOES SOFT POWER MATTER?
A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF STUDENT EXCHANGE PROGRAMS 1980-2006

Carol Atkinson
Department of Political Science, Vanderbilt University

The views expressed in the document are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the U.S. Army War College, the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.

 

SUMMARY

The author of this Foreign Policy Analysis article compares military and civilian educational exchanges and concludes that such programs are an effective mechanism whereby citizens of nondemocratic states' experiences subsequently actually may impact the political institutions and influence political behavior in their home countries. She further argues that evidence supports military exchanges were more effective than their civilian counterparts, and that foreign states that sent their military officers to study at military institutes in the United States are likely to be associated with improved human rights environments.

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