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Hard power returns in international ties

To be sure, governments have used soft power to influence other states, but several instances of brute military force have played out recently, to varying degrees of success.

The John Lennon Wall in Prague has long been a canvas for Lennon- and Beatles-inspired graffiti. This symbol of the hold of Western culture under the former Communist regime was painted over in white last November, but fresh graffiti has since returned.


THE past year has seen marked resurgence in the use of hard power by states in pursuit of national interests.

The US return to military action in Iraq and direct intervention in Syria, Russia's annexation of Crimea and destabilisation of eastern Ukraine and China's assertion