The United States can ill afford the burden of additional foreign policy challenges. This makes it imperative that the U.S. government find ways to identify, delay, and avert international crises that could harm U.S. interests or even lead to military engagement. The Obama administration has repeatedly affirmed its support for working to prevent future international crises, but it has offered few new solutions in its first months in office. "Enhancing U.S. Preventive Action" provides an actionable road map for how the U.S. government should revamp its existing prevention architecture to make it more effective in dealing with potential crises abroad. Paul B. Stares and Micah Zenko analyze the shortcomings of the prevention capacities within the U.S. government. They provide concrete recommendations for creating new interagency coordinating mechanisms within the National Security Council, improving the delivery of useful and timely early warning mechanisms to policymakers, and strengthening the unique institutional capabilities within the U.S. Agency for International Development and the State Department.
Paul B. Stares is senior fellow and director of the Center for Preventive Action at the Council on Foreign Relations. Micah Zenko is fellow for conflict prevention in the Center for Preventive Action at CFR.