Secretary of State John Kerry spoke in Defense of Diplomacy at our Chain Reaction 2017 event in San Francisco on June 5. Here what he said:
"There's really a bigger fight right now that we have to undertake. And I just want to say a word about that. It's a fight on behalf of diplomacy. It's a fight [against]* a view that seems to dominate at this moment in the Administration, that diplomacy is over-rated and the United States can do anything it needs to do all by itself. My friends, I saw again and again as Secretary of State how compelling Madeleine Albright's moniker about the "indispensable nation" really is. Things don't happen if we're not leading. I hate to say it. I saw how instrumental our leadership was in the course of the P5+1 — you don't think negotiating with 7 countries is hard? It's hard. Especially with some of your friends trying to curry favor with some of your other friends, by sawing things down or changing things as you go along. Complicated. But we got it done. That is in the best traditions of everything that we have fought for as a global community, since the end of World War II."
In this clip, John Kerry speaks about the difficulty — and the importance — of diplomacy in solving some of the greatest challenges we face as a nation. He spoke in particular about the Iran nuclear deal, an agreement that Ploughshares Fund was proud to support and in which we had an important role. With the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, together, we stopped a bomb and stopped a new war in the Middle East. We are still working hard to ensure its success against those who would tear it down. This video, and John Kerry's words, are especially important now that we face another challenge, the challenge of North Korea's rise as a nuclear-state. As many experts have stressed, diplomacy is our only way forward with North Korea, as it was with Iran, to ensure a peaceful world. We need to keep events from spiraling out of control while we work on reducing and eventually eliminating the world's stockpile of nuclear weapons. As John Kerry said, diplomacy "is in the best traditions of everything that we have fought for as a global community, since the end of World War II."
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* edit for clarity, in the spirit of his remarks.