Can America balance diplomacy and the use of force?

Arlen Specter: Well I believe that the military option should be the very last resort; and then only when it is in our vital, national interest. I think had we known that Saddam did not have weapons of mass destruction we would not have gone into Iraq. Once there, we don’t want to leave it in a destabilized situation. I think we have not pursued diplomacy with near the intensity we should with Iran. Finally, we did have bilateral talks with North Korea and those have borne fruit. We’re not exactly sure in the long run how North Korea will respond, but we straightened out the $25,000,000, got that released, and now we’re all on the path perhaps to defusing the nuclear threat with North Korea. I long advocated dialogue with Syria and dialogue with Iran. I believe that we do not approach four nations with sufficient respect. Treat them with sufficient dignity so that the diplomatic approach should be pursued much more intently. If we would do more ourselves, I think we could get more cooperation as we have to from Russia, and China, and European countries if we’re to have sanctions or turn Iran away from developing nuclear weapons.

Recorded on: 7/4/07

Diplomacy first, use of force last.

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