Statecraft, And How To Restore America’s Standing In The World

‘In a word, what is missing from the discussion of American foreign policy today is an understanding of statecraft. What is statecraft? It is the use of the assets or the resources and tools (economic, military, intelligence, media) that a state has to pursue its interests and to affect the behavior of others, whether friendly or hostile. It involves making sound assessments and understanding where and on what issues the state is being challenged and can counter a threat or create a potential opportunity or take advantage of one. Statecraft requires good judgment in the definition of one’s interests and a recognition of how to exercise hard military or soft economic power to provide security and promote the well- being of one’s citizens. It is as old as conflict between communities and the desire to avoid or prevent it. Plato wrote about statecraft. Machiavelli theorized about it. And Bismarck practiced it, never losing sight of his objectives, and recognizing that his objectives should never exceed his capabilities.’ (New York Times article).

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