Monday, January 28, 2013

Discernment of a Complex System

"This esoteric strategizing - this misplaced obsession with credibility, this dangerously expansive concept of what constitutes security-which has afflicted both Democratic and Republican administrations, and both liberals and conservatives, is the antithesis of statecraft, which requires discernment based on power, interest, and circumstance. It is a stance toward the world that can easily doom the United States to military commitments and interventions in strategically insignificant places over intrinsically trivial issues. It is a stance that can engender a foreign policy approximating paranoia in an obdurately chaotic world abounding in states, personalities, and ideologies that are unsavory and uncongenial-but not necessarily mortally hazardous."

Benjamin Schwartz, The Real Cuban Missile Crisis, The Atlantic, Jan-Feb 2013

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