Florida senator, 2016 Republican presidential hopeful and all-around busy man Marco Rubio has been moonlighting — at least until very recently — as an adjunct professor on the Miami campus of Florida International University.
A course syllabus obtained by The Daily Caller shows that one of the three books Rubio assigned in his “Contemporary International Politics” class was written by Joseph S. Nye, Jr., a former aide in the administrations of both Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton and the man who coined the term “smart power,” which Hillary Clinton has made the centerpiece of her foreign policy.
Nye’s 2011 book is entitled “The Future of Power.”
Rubio’s course description for “Contemporary International Politics,” describes the class as an exploration of the “challenges and opportunities that the United States faces” “in the post-Cold War world.” Is U.S. power “in decline?” What are the contemporary issues that are shaping American foreign policy?”
Clinton spoke about Nye’s theories of “smart power” during the 2009 Senate confirmation hearing prior to her appointment as President Barack Obama’s first secretary of state.
“I believe that American leadership has been wanting, but is still wanted,” Clinton told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “We must use what has been called ‘smart power’: the full range of tools at our disposal — diplomatic, economic, military, political, legal, and cultural — picking the right tool, or combination of tools, for each situation.”
“Smart power” means that military power must frequently take a backseat to negotiation, the ambitious former first lady explained.
“With smart power, diplomacy will be the vanguard of foreign policy,” Clinton told her former fellow senators. “This is not a radical idea. The ancient Roman poet Terence, who was born a slave and rose to become one of the great voices of his time, declared that ‘in every endeavor, the seemly course for wise men is to try persuasion first.’ The same truth binds wise women as well.”
Nye explained in a 2009 essay in Foreign Affairs that he created the term “smart power” to “counter the misperception that soft power alone can produce effective foreign policy.” The phrase means a combination of “both hard and soft power,” he wrote.
In her own book about herself, “Hard Choices,” Clinton elaborates on her use of “smart power.”
“Beyond the traditional work of negotiating treaties and attending diplomatic conferences, we had to — among other tasks — engage activists on social media, help determine energy pipeline routes, limit carbon emissions, encourage marginalized groups to participate in politics, stand up for universal human rights, and defend common economic rules of the road,” Clinton wrote. “This analysis led me to embrace a concept known as smart power, which had been kicking around Washington for a few years. Harvard’s Joseph Nye, Suzanne Nossel of Human Rights Watch, and a few others had used the term, although we all had in mind slightly different meanings.”
In 2011, Nye wrote a hagiographic paean about Clinton in Time magazine’s list of “the most influential people in the world.” Nye called Clinton “tough.” With an eerie, world-historical lack of foresight, he praised Clinton’s action in Libya by saying: “[W]hen Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi threatened to massacre civilians in Benghazi, she was key in building support in the U.N. for the multilateral military action that is helping to protect those civilians.”
A little over a year later, Islamic militants attacked a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, slaughtering an American ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and another American official.
Nye, the former dean of Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, served in the Carter administration in two different foreign policy roles. From 1993 to 1995, he served in the State Department under Bill Clinton as Chairman of the National Intelligence Council and in another capacity as well.
The other two book Rubio assigns students in his FIU course are “The World America Made” by liberal interventionist foreign policy historian Robert Kagan and “No One’s World: The West, the Rising Rest, and the Coming Global Turn” by Georgetown University School of Foreign Service professor Charles A. Kupchan.