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Unformatted text preview: Qaeda to believe that it could strike the United States with impunity ? Does a reputation for resolve keep a country safer? Experienced practitioners and scholars of foreign policy take for granted the notion that actions taken during crises today can affect (and perhaps prevent) the crises of tomorrow . This belief is so widespread and wellestablished that to suggest it is wrong would seem terribly naïve, perhaps even dangerous. But indeed it is wrong – states cannot control the perceptions of others, suggesting that a deep concern with credibility and reputation is misguided. An “eye toward the future,” although understandable and even comforting, often creates profound myopia toward the events of the present. This paper is a reexamination of the credibility imperative as an independent variable in explaining state behavior. It will primarily discuss U.S. foreign policy, because for reasons anchored either in the nature of great power or the American cultural consciousness, the United States seems to exhibit a concern for credibility that is more intense than that of other states. The first section discusses the concept, speculating about its origins, underlying assumpt...
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This note was uploaded on 10/27/2013 for the course DEBATE 101 taught by Professor None during the Summer '12 term at University of California, Berkeley.
- Summer '12