Realist writing

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Realist writing

January 8,4: Why is a distinguished and well-known approach to foreign policy confined to the margins of public discourse, especially in the pages of our leading newspapers, when its recent track Realist writing is arguably superior to the main alternatives?

I refer, of course, to realism. This situation is surprising insofar as realism is a well-established tradition in the study of foreign affairs, and realists like George Kennan, Hans Morgenthau, Reinhold Niebuhr, Walter Lippmann, and Realist writing said many smart things about U.

Realism also remains a foundational perspective in the academic study of international affairs and with good reason. Similarly, major media outlets have shown little inclination to give realists a prominent platform from which to disseminate their views.

Dutch Realism Style of Painting The Roots of the Realist Tradition 1. Most importantly, he asks whether relations among states to which power is crucial can also be guided by the norms of justice.

The results, alas, speak for themselves. Fast forward to today. Relations with Russia and China are increasingly confrontational; democracy is in retreat in Eastern Europe and Turkey; and the entire Middle East is going from bad to worse. The United States has spent hundreds of billions of dollars fighting in Afghanistan for 14 years, and the Taliban are holding their own and may even be winning.

Two decades of U. Even the European Union — perhaps the clearest embodiment of Realist writing ideals on the planet — is facing unprecedented strains for which there is no easy remedy. All of which raises the following counterfactual: Would the United States and the world be better off today if the last three presidents had followed the dictates of realism, instead of letting liberals and neocons run the show?

The answer is yes. Realists believe nationalism and other local identities are powerful and enduring; states are mostly selfish; altruism is rare; trust is hard to come by; and norms and institutions have a limited impact on what powerful states do.

In short, realists have a generally pessimistic view of international affairs and are wary of efforts to remake the world according to some ideological blueprint, no matter how appealing it might be in the abstract. Had Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama been following the realist playbook, how would U.

First, and most obviously, had Bush listened to Brent Scowcroft, Colin Powell, or some other notable realistshe would not have invaded Iraq in Bush would have focused solely on eliminating al Qaeda, instead of getting bogged down in Iraq.

Thus, rejecting sound realist advice has cost the U. Realists understood that great powers are especially sensitive to configurations of power on or near their borders, and thus experts such as George Kennan warned that NATO expansion would inevitably poison relations with Russia.

This is a textbook combination of both hubris and bad geopolitics. Unfortunately, this sensible approach was abandoned in the idealistic rush to expand NATO, a decision reflecting liberal hopes that the security guarantees entailed by membership would never have to be honored.

Ukraine would still be a mess if realists had been in charge of U.

Goals and Perspective

Had Clinton, Bush, and Obama listened to realists, in short, relations with Russia would be significantly better and Eastern Europe would probably be more secure. Instead of pledging to contain Iran and Iraq simultaneously, a realist would have taken advantage of their mutual rivalry and used each to balance the other.

Dual containment committed the United States to opposing two countries that were bitter rivals, and it forced Washington to keep large ground and air forces in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf.

A realist approach to Persian Gulf politics would have made that attack less likely, though of course not impossible. Had Obama listened to the realists, the United States would have cut its losses in Afghanistan a long time ago and the outcome would be no different than what we are going to get anyway.

Countless lives and vast sums of money would have been saved, and the United States would be in a stronger strategic position today. Fifth, for realists, the nuclear deal with Iran shows what the United States can accomplish when it engages in tough-minded but flexible diplomacy.

Realists repeatedly warned that Iran would never agree to give up its entire enrichment capacity and that threatening Tehran with military force would only increase its desire for a latent weapons capability.

Perhaps not, but the United States could hardly have done worse. Rather, it stemmed from the belief that unconditional U.

Realist writing

Finally, had Obama listened to his more realistic advisors e. Not because Bashar al-Assad should be defended or because chemical weapons are legitimate instruments of war, but because U.

For realists, the overriding task was to end the civil war quickly and with as little loss of life as possible, even if that required doing business with a brutal tyrant. Had Obama listened to realists a few years ago, the Syrian civil war might — repeat, might — have been shut down before so many lives were lost and the country was irretrievably broken.

What is Effective Practice?

In short, had realists been at the helm of U. One might question some of these claims, but on the whole realists have a much better track record than those who keep insisting the United States has the right, responsibility, and wisdom to manage virtually every important global issue, and who have repeatedly urged Washington to take actions that now look foolish.

Realist advice has performed better than its main rivals over the past two-and-a-half decades, yet realists are largely absent from prominent mainstream publications.In the text segment above, it seems obvious that the phenomenon of interest is pain, the causal conditions are arthritis, the action strategy is taking drugs, and the consequence is pain relief.

Woman Holding a Balance () By Jan Vermeer. National Gallery, Washington DC. Dutch Realism (c) Contents • What is Dutch Realism? • What are its Main Characteristics? • What are the Most Important Dutch Realist Paintings?

For a guide to the evolution of painting, sculpture, architecture. Literary realism is part of the realist art movement beginning with mid nineteenth-century French literature (), and Russian literature (Alexander Pushkin) and extending to the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.

Literary realism attempts to represent familiar things as they are. Realist authors chose to depict everyday and banal activities and .

Creating what you see! As a photo-realist painter, I have often been asked why I don't just take a photograph. Goog question, when you consider my paintings look like photographs. Voice What Would a Realist World Have Looked Like? From Iraq and WMDs to Israel and Palestine to Syria and Russia, how the United States could’ve avoided some of its biggest mistakes.

Magic realism: Magic realism, chiefly Latin-American narrative strategy that is characterized by the matter-of-fact inclusion of fantastic or mythical elements into seemingly realistic fiction. Among the most prominent magic realists are Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Jorge Luis Borges, and Isabel Allende.

Political Realism in International Relations (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)