A Review of Cultural Patterns of Soft War
In a gathering held at the Cultural, Art and Communication Research Center, the question of cultural patterns of Soft War was pondered by Asghar Eftekhari PhD., the Research Deputy of Imam Sadegh University on May 31, 2011
Following is a summary of what was brought up by the speaker about the captioned topic:
Joseph Nye, professor at Harvard University has coined the term "Soft War". Some people are of the opinion that the term soft is not compatible with war and this term should not be employed in reference to cultural and cyber conflicts.
However, Joseph Nye believes that this type of warfare is used to undermine the interests of the adversaries.
According to Nye, players have two categories of power at their disposal: first Hard Power and second Soft Power. In war, in its conventional meaning each side tries to destroy the hardware potentials of the opposite side and in Soft War the software of the enemy are targeted.
Meanwhile, religious texts do not consider the power as a unique concept but classify power into three attributions namely belief, identity and faith.
In religious teachings power and strength are distinguished from each other. In other words strength can be stronger than power. For instance, forces which liberated the Iranian city of Khoramshahr from the occupying Iraqi forces were fewer in number than enemy's forces and did not have much power but enjoyed lots of strength. The religious approach concentrates on the way the individuals are raised and brought up and considers it more important than propaganda and publicity. According to this outlook the society should be constructed in stable manner.
Management of power is also an important factor because power put the available potentials and resources under the disposal of the player but not each player can reap the benefits of power properly. The management methods are either knowledge-based or are an art and skill bestowed in the instinct of individuals.
As the enemy is sensitive about the Soft Power of the Islamic Republic of Iran therefore, concentrate its malicious efforts to target this aspect of the country's potentials. In order to be victorious in Soft War the cultural establishments should form the front line positions. Among them, educational institutions are of vital importance.
The best strategy to confront the Soft War is resorting to the teachings of the Holly Quran. Islam has not limited our information and data to knowledge but applying ethics to management and having piety, refraining from lying and being frank are also taken into account. The share of confronting strategy based on Quranic teachings are as follows:
- Giving priority to Soft Power resources rather than Hard Power.
- Having belief that Soft Power potentials are vital and Hard Power Resources are secondary.
- It should be noted that Quranic teachings are not only designed for afterworld but are applicable in this earthly world and should be used in the best possible manner.