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.

Angel Moss, a Lindenwood University Student, meets with Paul Stares Jan. 24

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.

Paul B. Stares is the General John W. Vessey Senior Fellow for Conflict Prevention and director of the Center for Preventive Action at the Council on Foreign Relations. The author or editor of nine books on U.S. security policy and international relations as well as a regular commentator on current affairs, Stares has worked at leading think tanks and universities in the United States, Britain, and Japan. He lives in the Washington, D.C., area.

Patrick Marten, a student at St. Louis University, meets with Paul Stares.