* By Lounge Lizard
Many people of goodwill assert that, in Churchill's words, "to jaw-jaw is always better than to war-war."
In one sense that's perfectly true. People are killed in wars. But I'm sure that Churchill didn't have in mind that force should never be on the table, that our military should never be used.
Mere talk accomplishes little. Diplomacy of itself doesn't solve anything. All the other factors have to be in place.
Indeed, done badly, 'jaw-jaw' can increase the likelihood of 'war-war'.
Kennedy's 'jaw-jaw' with Khrushchev in 1961 was one such case. Khrushchev was so pleased with these discussions that he felt encouraged to go ahead and build the Berlin Wall and later try to install missiles in Cuba.
A good discussion of these issues may be found in an article by Joshua Muravchik entitled Obama’s “Talking” Cure in the September issue of Commentary Magazine. Richard Fernandez discusses this article and the issues generally here.
Right now, the Europeans are attempting to resolve the nuclear problems with Iran with diplomacy and Danegeld with, I suggest, an entirely predictable result, unless the Iranian regime collapses for other reasons in the mean time.
We should beware of replacing rigorous thinking with fantasy.