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

Authors: David J. Scheffer, and John Hutson
October 24, 2008

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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 strat­egy with their counterparts who arrive at the table with seemingly unbend­able 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.

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