Strategy for U.S. Engagement with the International Criminal Court Print

Strategy for U.S. Engagement with the International Criminal Court, by David Scheffer and John Hutson | Download PDF

The first paragraph of this document:


"We know from our own professional experiences that there are
risks in both diplomatic initiatives and military operations. The
most logical negotiating position, strongly supported within the
Washington bureaucracy, sometimes can be challenged so successfully by
other governments during international talks that a search for compromise
may emerge as the wiser course. American diplomats employ the same strat-
egy with their counterparts who arrive at the table with seemingly unbend-
able instructions—and yet, eventually, common ground is usually found. The
greatest sin during negotiations is succumbing to dogma from extremists back
home that American interests can only be protected by taking unyielding and
exceptionalist positions. These may reflect politically attractive opinions (how-
ever misinformed they may be), but spell doom for achieving worthy aims and
keeping the United States constructively engaged on the world stage. In the
long run, critical national interests risk being sacrificed if American negotiators
remain foolishly rigid and unbending."