Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: ‘Anticipatory diplomacy’ aimed to help US to better deal with crises

Diplomacy is about avoiding crises as much as solving them. Once a crisis is here, there is no choice but to deal with it in real time. A better way would have us foresee problems further in advance, give us more time to discuss them and develop a consensus around them, more flexibility in dealing with them, and a greater chance of ensuring resilience in the international system. An updated model for diplomacy — anticipatory diplomacy — would make it possible to confront global crises before they burst upon us. This approach means researching the years ahead to identify potential crises; engaging earlier and more often multilaterally to discuss the problems and shape consensus before crisis; partnering diplomacy with science to shape solutions; and using America’s power as convener to move issues from discussion to agreement. American diplomacy now must cope with a number of major issues: the war in Ukraine, climate change, the effects of the pandemic, migration, energy supply, food security, economic recovery, and the unconstrained explosion of activity in outer space. Reactive diplomacy — that is, responding when the crisis hits — no longer will suffice in many instances. (https://thehill.com/opinion/national-security/3496422-anticipatory-diplomacy-would-help-us-to-better-deal-with-crises/) Businesses, organizations, academic institutions, NGOs do forward-planning as a core function. The Department of Defense intentionally, and in detail, researches the future to plan for protecting the country. American diplomats should do the same.

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