Chapter IV. Work with Others to Defuse Regional Conflicts
Section C. The Way Ahead - 1. Conflict Prevention and Resolution
The most effective long-term measure for conflict prevention and resolution is the
promotion of democracy. Effective democracies may still have disputes, but they are
equipped to resolve their differences peacefully, either bilaterally or by working with
other regional states or international institutions.
National Security Strategy 15
In the short term, however, a timely offer by free nations of "good offices" or outside
assistance can sometimes prevent conflict or help resolve conflict once started. Such
early measures can prevent problems from becoming crises and crises from becoming
wars. The United States is ready to play this role when appropriate. Even with outside
help, however, there is no substitute for bold and effective local leadership.
Progress in the short term may also depend upon the stances of key regional actors. The
most effective way to address a problem within one country may be by addressing the
wider regional context. This regional approach has particular application to Israeli-
Palestinian issues, the conflicts in the Great Lakes region of Africa, and the conflict