Countries like India, China and Brazil are gaining influence at the global level due to their economic strength and not because of their armies, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said.
"We recognise that countries such as China, India and Brazil are gaining influence less because of the size of their armies than because of the growth of their economies," Clinton wrote in an oped in 'New Statesman' published yesterday.
"And we have learned that our national security today depends on decisions made not just in diplomatic negotiations and on the battlefield, but also in the financial markets and on factory floors.
"So the US has made it a priority to harness more effectively the tools of global economics to advance our strategic aims abroad," she wrote.
"That might mean finding innovative financial levers to ratchet up pressure on Iran's nuclear programme, or forming new public-private partnerships that put corporate energy and expertise to work on such challenges as climate change and food security.
"We are also focused on boosting our economy at home through a greater emphasis on economic statecraft and what I call jobs diplomacy," she said.
Clinton said new regional and global centres of influence are quickly emerging – and not just India and China but also countries such as Turkey, Mexico, Brazil, Indonesia and South Africa, as well as Russia.
Some of these are democracies that share many of our core values; others have very different political systems and perspectives, she wrote.
"Aligning our interests isn't always easy – we're seeing just how difficult it can be on Syria. But we have also had successes, maintaining broad-based pressure on Iran and North Korea.
"And we have seen the value of engaging not just bilaterally, but in multilateral settings such as the G20, where norms can be shaped and shared," Clinton said.
"For the US, working with these new players in the years ahead, encouraging them to accept the responsibility that comes with influence and ensuring their full integration into the international order is a critical test for our diplomacy," wrote the Secretary of State.
Observing that a zero-sum approach will only lead to negative-sum results, Clinton emphasised on finding areas where the US can work together and strengthen diplomatic mechanisms that build trust and help manage our differences.
"The Strategic and Economic Dialogue with China that brought me to Beijing in May is a good example. The US-India Strategic Dialogue, which we held in Washington in June, is another.
"These wide-ranging talks bring together hundreds of experts and officials from both sides to tackle a long list of common concerns," she said.
"Our aim is to embed expanding bilateral relationships in a robust international order: to strengthen and mature effective regional and global institutions that can mobilise common action and settle disputes peacefully; to build consensus around rules and norms that help manage relations between peoples, markets and nations; and to establish security arrangements that provide stability and build trust," Clinton said.