United States Contemporary Diplomacy: Implementing a Foreign Policy of "Engagement"
Alan K. Henrikson
This chapter traces and assesses the conceptual foundations and progression of American diplomacy from the Cold War period to the present day through the lenses of three major US policy ideas: containment, transformation, and engagement. It suggests that there has been a shift in the way US foreign policy is originated substantively, not just in the way it's implemented. US diplomats in the field increasingly "engage with" others—with adversaries as well as with allies and friends—in two-way, interactive relationships. The chapter questions the adequacy of dynamic "engagement"—essentially a process, rather than a program or purpose—as foreign policy itself.