Why Calling Countries "Strategically Important" Is Hurting U.S. Foreign Policy

Mitchell, Lincoln A.

In foreign policy discussions, countries are often described as being “strategically important”. But what does this actually mean? The term is far less clear than it should be. In part, it’s because there’s no cost to call a country strategically vital, and doing so makes both the speaker and country feel more important. For diplomats, it is de rigueur to describe the countries where they work as strategically important. To go to a country and then tell its leaders that they’re not all that important would be, well, undiplomatic.


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Academic Units
Harriman Institute
Published Here
September 29, 2011