Syria: The Case for Interest-Based Diplomacy
The undoing of the Syria agreement with Russia caps off a rough few weeks for American diplomacy. Historically, though, the United States has enjoyed great diplomatic successes when engaging in smart diplomacy with an eye towards achieving key interests. The peaceful reunification of Germany, the opening of China, and assembling the coalition for the first Gulf War were among the many achievements generated under this interest-based diplomacy.
It is only in the post-9/11 world that the U.S. has treated military power as the preferred and often only tool of statecraft, a policy which has been an abject failure.
Despite vast and prolonged military commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan, we are further from victory today than we were in the early years of those conflicts. Similarly, a massive aerial and drone campaign against terrorists in places like Yemen, Pakistan, and Iraq has not prevented the spread of either Al Qaeda or ISIS.
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