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).
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).
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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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