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Welcome to the new Responsible Statecraft!

Welcome to the new Responsible Statecraft!

Analysis | QiOSK

Welcome to the new Responsible Statecraft website! If you’re a new reader, we’re delighted that you are checking us out and we hope you find the content engaging and enlightening. If you’re a long-time fan of “realism and restraint,” we know you’ll find plenty here of interest. If you’re a skeptic or even a critic of our work, we hope we can persuade you to consider the arguments here for a more sensible and successful foreign policy for the United States.

Here are three reasons why the content you’ll find at Responsible Statecraft is so valuable.

First and foremost, U.S. foreign policy has been underperforming for decades. Instead of pursuing policies that made Americans more secure, more prosperous, and advanced core U.S. values, leaders from both political parties have repeatedly acted in ways that undermined each of these goals. They have waged long, costly, and unsuccessful wars based on dubious justifications and sustained by wishful thinking instead of hard-headed analysis. Ideologically-driven efforts to expand a U.S.-led order without limits have exacerbated great power tensions and unwittingly helped provoke a tragic conflict in Ukraine.

Responsible Statecraft is must-reading because it offers clear alternatives to the policies that have repeatedly failed, based on time-honored principles of realism and restraint.

Second, Responsible Statecraft and the Quincy Institute are committed to restoring a better balance between defense and diplomacy in the conduct of U.S. foreign policy. The United States needs a strong defense, but it also needs well-funded, well-trained, and highly competent diplomatic institutions. Its leaders need to use that capability as often and as seriously as they employ the mailed fist.

Some of America’s greatest foreign policy triumphs — the Marshall Plan, the creation of the Bretton Woods institutions, the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty, the peaceful reunification of Germany, etc. — were won not on a battlefield but across a negotiating table, yet that lesson seems to have been lost on recent administrations. During the “unipolar moment,” U.S. leaders tended to issue ultimatums, ratchet up sanctions, or reach for the sword, instead of engaging in the hard bargaining and empathy that can resolve conflicts without recourse to force.

At RS, we endeavor to showcase the work of staff and outside contributors — journalists, academics, former government officials and military — that seek this alternative vision.

Third, public policy is more successful when alternatives are widely and openly debated. Since the end of the Cold War, the U.S. foreign policy establishment (aka “the Blob”) has embraced a set of orthodoxies that were rarely questioned no matter how often they failed. Those who embrace these ideas are rarely held accountable for the unhappy results that their decisions produced and top officials never seemed to learn from past mistakes. As Walter Lippmann once warned, “when all think alike, no one thinks very much.”

RS and Quincy think differently. We are committed to publishing alternative perspectives on contemporary U.S. foreign policy, grounded in serious scholarship and a realistic understanding of the forces that shape state behavior and global outcomes. RS represents no special interests or political party but exists to give a platform for a wider range of discussion even when consensus remains elusive. Policymakers, pundits, and the public need to know that there are alternatives and be encouraged to weigh the pros and cons carefully. Open and honest debate makes it more likely that we will choose the right approach and makes it easier to identify and revise policies that aren’t working as we hoped.

We now face an unprecedented set of global challenges, all of them occurring at once. We need ideas and approaches that are informed by past experience but are not mired in outdated conventional wisdoms. Responsible Statecraft is dedicated to providing these perspectives. Our impact is growing, requiring the new, dynamic platform you see today. I’m proud to be part of their team, and that’s why you should keep reading. Enjoy!

Analysis | QiOSK
Neocons are melting down over JD Vance

William A. Morgan/shutterstock.com and screen grab via abcnews.go.com

Neocons are melting down over JD Vance

Washington Politics

On Wednesday, an image that went viral on X noted that some of the most prominent Republicans were not taking part in the Republican National Convention.

The names included former President George W. Bush, former Vice President Mike Pence, 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, former Rep. Liz Cheney (Wy.) and 2012 vice presidential nominee and former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.

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Labour's delusions about UK foreign policy

British Labour Party leader Keir Starmer and British Shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy walk in Westminster, London, Britain, February 22, 2022. REUTERS/Tom Nicholson

Labour's delusions about UK foreign policy

Europe

When it comes to foreign and security policy, the new British Labour government has inherited a very bad hand from its predecessors, which it would take great skill to play with any success. Unfortunately, judging by its statements so far, not only does the new administration lack such skill, it is not even sure what game it is playing.

With the partial exception of policy towards the EU, it does not in fact appear that Labour policy will differ significantly from that of the Conservatives. Nor indeed can it differ, if it is determined to go on operating within the very narrow parameters laid down by the British foreign and security establishment. The unconditional allegiance of this establishment to the United States makes even thinking about British national interests difficult, if not impossible.

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Menendez's corruption is just the tip of the iceberg

U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) looks on, following his bribery trial in connection with an alleged corrupt relationship with three New Jersey businessmen, in New York City, U.S., July 16, 2024. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Menendez's corruption is just the tip of the iceberg

QiOSK

Today, Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) became the first U.S. senator ever to be convicted of acting as an unregistered foreign agent. While serving as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Menendez ghost-wrote a letter and approved arms sales on behalf of the Egyptian regime in exchange for bribes, among other crimes on behalf of foreign powers in a sweeping corruption case. An Egyptian businessman even referred to Menendez in a text to a military official as “our man.”

In a statement, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said Menendez was engaging in politics for profit. "Because Senator Menendez has now been found guilty, his years of selling his office to the highest bidder have finally come to an end,” he said.

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Israel-Gaza Crisis

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