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Thursday, December 07, 2006

 

Foreign Policy Realism

- By Thomas E. Brewton

It is said that diplomats must be prepared to negotiate with the Devil, which raises the question whether anything can be gained by negotiating with pure evil. Is it realism to assume that the Devil can be made less than evil?

Release of the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group report puts the doctrine of foreign policy realism in the middle of the table. One implication of that doctrine is that values should play no role in foreign policy; only material national interests deserve consideration.

Yet liberal Republicans and liberal Democrats have been touting the forthcoming report (predictably leaked and already widely discussed by the New York Times) as a counter to the administration's policy. How does diplomatic realism square with the endless barrages of criticism from liberals that the Bush doctrine of preemptive action has squandered the United States's moral capital with the rest of the world?................
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