John Brady Kiesling

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  • Born:
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Diplomat, Author, Lecturer









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Quote Topics Cited
Any foreign policy that is formulated in secret intelligence will always get the nation in trouble… secret intelligence always gets it wrong. It is a sample of a small part of the world---a picture of the world that is dramatically skewed. Intelligence, Spying, Espionage & Covert Operations
Anybody who believes that we can democratize Iran, Iraq and Syria by military force is living in a fantasy world. Democracies & Republics
Imperialism is too expensive an option for the United States---whether it is beneficent imperialism … or selfish imperialism…. Any small group of insurgents can make our efforts too expensive. Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism
Most of the time we do not know what we have learned till long after we learned it. Management & Managing Government
Mr. Secretary, I have enormous respect for your character and ability. You have preserved more international credibility for us than our policy deserves, and salvaged something positive from the excesses of an ideological and self-serving Administration. But your loyalty to the President goes too far. We are straining beyond its limits an international system we built with such toil and treasure, a web of laws, treaties, organizations, and shared values that sets limits on our foes far more effectively than it ever constrained America's ability to defend its interests. Detriments & Qualifications ;Public Office: Benefits
People’s political agenda is not clear to themselves in most cases. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Secrets are good in the internal competition of Washington. The Secret war in Cambodia was secret so that the State Department could not object to it. The Cambodians knew there was a war. Secrecy & Transparency ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
Terrorists are dangerous, not because they are immoral or amoral but because they are hyper moral. They justify their behavior in profoundly moral language. Terrorism
The best way you make policy in Washington is by doing it yourself. Policy & Policy Making
The first thing a diplomat has to do is understand the domestic politics of foreign states. Discrimination & Prejudice ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
The policies we are now asked to advance are incompatible not only with American values but also with American interests. Our fervent pursuit of war with Iraq is driving us to squander the international legitimacy that has been America's most potent weapon of both offense and defense ... We have begun to dismantle the largest and most effective web of international relationships the world has ever known. Our current course will bring instability and danger, not security. Miscellaneous
The way you change foreign policy is by raising the domestic political cost of the policy. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs