Category: Speaking of Diplomacy

Title: A Make-or-Break Test for American Diplomacy

Author: William J. Burns
Date Published: April 6, 2020

Over the course of my diplomatic career, I learned to be humble about America’s ability to anticipate the consequences of crises like the coronavirus pandemic. I also learned that massive jolts to the international system, like the virus, tend to exacerbate preexisting conditions and clarify future choices.

The post-pandemic world will pose a massive test for American statecraft, the biggest since the end of the Cold War. If policy makers are able to see the landscape before them as it is, and not as they want it to be, and are also able to draw the right lessons from our missteps over the past three decades, recovering a healthy and disciplined foreign policy is still possible. It is also essential to navigating the aftermath of this terrible storm. [Read more]