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Should the United States maintain hard or sharp power in a "sticky power" world? Find a current issue that deals with these power considerations and report on them.

In a "sticky power" world, the US cannot simply maintain the distinction between hard and soft power. The US's strategy thus far has been a combination of hard power, maintaining the world's largest military presence and budget, and of soft power, spreading its cultural influence through Hollywood and big commercial brand names. Harnessing sticky power is the only way for the US to prevent armed conflict with China and maintain international influence even after the US is no longer hegemonic.

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Mead refers to sticky power as the US's economic institutions and policies. The US has spearheaded global economic integration after World War II, when it founded the Bretton Woods system. In July 1944, in New Hampshire, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund were created. Even after the Bretton Woods system was abandoned in 1970, these institutions continue to be instrumental in maintaining the global economy today. Said organizations, along with the World Trade Organization and the United Nations Economic and Social Council, help the US to maintain its superpower status. It is allowed to lead the global economy and set its agenda and rules.

The US-led institutions attract nations who want to join them and follow the US's economic model of free trade. Some liberal scholars contend that it is through these institutions that the US is able to retain its status on the international stage while preventing wars with rising powers. For instance, Germany and Japan were able to grow economically without going to war with the US precisely because both nations were part of the US-created system. The US's strategy was to open its markets to exports from all nations, stimulating production and consumption in the rest of the world and the leading to the prosperity of other countries.

Sticky power is argued to prevent war with China because of the institutions which settle trade disputes constructively and allow all nations to grow economically. Similarly, some scholars believe that even when China surpasses the US fully on a material level war will not occur because China will uphold the US-created system.

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