The Importance of Maintaining Diplomatic Relations

The Importance of Maintaining Diplomatic Relations
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Vienna, Jan. 16, 2016 ( (Kevin Lamarque/Pool via AP).

The problem with withholding diplomatic relations to punish countries and change their behavior is that it usually doesn't work. In the meantime, the absence of relations robs America of a key diplomatic skill and the ability to intervene in a crisis. In recent years, many American officials have regarded withholding diplomatic relations as a way to punish countries for actions ranging from human rights abuses, to failure to abide by international law, to specific treaty violations and acts of war. But state-to-state relations among nations provide an essential framework for the conduct of foreign relations. Having no relations, and the […]

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