Paul Stares on preventive engagement
As the U.S. opens an air war with Syria in the hopes of preventing further chemical attacks by the Assad regime, the question of intervention by the U.S. takes on renewed significance. We spoke for this week’s podcast with Paul Stares, director of the Center for Preventive Action at the Council on Foreign Relations and author of Preventive Engagement: How America Can Avoid War, Stay Strong, and Keep the Peace, to talk about how to engage globally well before military action comes to be seen as a necessity.
About Paul Stares
Paul B. Stares is the General John W. Vessey senior fellow for conflict prevention and director of the Center for Preventive Action at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). An expert on conflict prevention and a regular commentator on current affairs, he is the author or editor of nine books on U.S. security policy and international relations. His latest book, Preventive Engagement: How America Can Avoid War, Stay Strong, and Keep the Peace (Columbia University Press, 2017), provides a comprehensive blueprint for how the United States can manage a more turbulent and dangerous world.
Prior to joining CFR, Stares was vice president and director of the Center for Conflict Analysis and Prevention at the United States Institute of Peace. He worked as associate director and senior research scholar at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation from 2000 to 2002 and was senior research fellow at the Japan Institute of International Affairs and then director of studies at the Japan Center for International Exchange from 1996 to 2000. From 1984 to 1996, he was a research associate and later senior fellow in the foreign policy studies program at the Brookings Institution. He has also been a NATO fellow and a scholar in residence at the MacArthur Foundation’s Moscow office.
Stares has participated in various high-level studies, including the Genocide Prevention Task Force co-chaired by Madeleine Albright and William Cohen, as well as the expert working group on the strategic environment for the Iraq Study Group co-chaired by James Baker and Lee Hamilton. In addition to his most recent book, Preventive Engagement, he has authored or edited numerous books as well as several CFR publications, notably Partners in Preventive Action (Council Special Report No. 62), Managing Instability on China’s Periphery (Asia Security Memorandum), “Enhancing U.S. Crisis Preparedness” (Policy Innovation Memorandum No. 4), “Military Escalation in Korea” (Contingency Planning Memorandum No. 10), Enhancing U.S. Preventive Action (Council Special Report No. 48), and Preparing for Sudden Change in North Korea (Council Special Report No. 42). Stares has a BA from North Staffordshire Polytechnic and received both his MA and PhD from Lancaster University.