Paul B. Stares, senior Fellow and Director of the Center for Preventative Action at the Council of Foreign Relations, discussed strategies for preventing global conflict and a framework for meeting the challenges of potential world hotspots during a WAC-STL forum Jan. 24.
Stares, is most recently the author of Preventive Engagement: How America Can Avoid War, Stay Strong, and Keep the Peace
He proposes an innovative and timely strategy—“preventive engagement”—to resolve America’s predicament. This approach entails pursuing three complementary courses of action: promoting policies known to lessen the risk of violent conflict over the long term; anticipating and averting those crises likely to lead to costly military commitments in the medium term; and managing ongoing conflicts in the short term before they escalate further and exert pressure on the United States to intervene.
In each of these efforts, forging “preventive partnerships” with a variety of international actors, including the United Nations, regional organizations, nongovernmental organizations, and the business community, is essential. The need to think and act ahead that lies at the heart of a preventive engagement strategy requires the United States to become less shortsighted and reactive. Drawing on successful strategies in other areas, Preventive Engagement provides a detailed and comprehensive blueprint for the United States to shape the future and reduce the potential dangers ahead.