Over the past decade it has become fashionable in Washington to believe that only when a situation is ‘ripe’—that is, when the belligerents are ‘hurting’—should the United States expend diplomatic capital, and especially the scarcest resource of all, the president's time, to seek a solution. This perspective exhibits common-sense wisdom, but it also harbors a rationale for avoiding tough, complex issues.
America's Middle East Peace Crisis
Augustus Richard Norton is a professor in the departments of anthropology and international relations at Boston University. His last article for Current History, “Rethinking United States Policy toward the Muslim World,” appeared in February 1999.
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Augustus Richard Norton; America's Middle East Peace Crisis. Current History 1 January 2001; 100 (642): 3–9. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/curh.2001.100.642.3
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