Fighting It– Diplomacy or Other methods?

Dennis Ross’ recent book Statecraft emphasizes diplomacy as a solution for all the world’s ills and accuses the Bush Administration of failing in this regard. Book reviewer Jonathan Schanzer takes another viewpoint when it comes to Radical Islam. Is the failure of other countries to come to the fore to defeat Islamo-fascism a failure of diplomacy, of statecraft, or of the international system as currently organized?:

excerpts: …Admittedly, Ross’s points are well argued. But neither his book nor our discussion could dissuade me from the belief that America now faces a dangerous challenge that was largely absent during Ross’s models of exemplary statecraft in the 1990s. The forces of radical Islam, now growing at an alarmingly fast rate, were mostly dormant during Ross’s heyday of diplomacy. True, al-Qaida attacked America a handful of times, but the problem was not yet full-blown.

Fast forward a decade, and the problem is everywhere. The forces of radical Islam now openly attack America, its allies and its interests around the world.

Unfortunately, America cannot afford to wait for the global community to reach a consensus over how best to deal with this alarming and expanding challenge. As the lone superpower, until our allies understand that this is the beginning of World War IV, the US will be forced to fight the battle alone.

The US is fighting a just war against the forces of radical Islam in Iraq and beyond. The fact that other countries have not joined our efforts does not make our war any less just. Nor does it necessarily mean that our diplomatic skills are failing. It means that the international system, led by an ineffectual United Nations, has failed. Respecting this crumbling system, as neoliberals insist we should, will likely not strengthen the spines of our timid allies, no matter how statecraft is applied…

The writer, a former Treasury intelligence analyst, is director of policy for the Jewish Policy Center. Ambassador Dennis Ross wrote the foreword to his book, Al-Qaeda’s Armies: Middle East Affiliate Groups and the Next Generation of Terror.

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