- By Stephen M. WaltStephen M. Walt is the Robert and Renée Belfer professor of international relations at Harvard University.
A couple of days ago, I posted an entry about the new Kagan/Kristol "Foreign Policy Initiative." After noting that the neoconservative approach to foreign policy had produced a disastrous war in Iraq and undermined America’s image around the world, I wrote that "Neoconservatives also helped derail efforts to reach a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, thereby strengthening Hamas, threatening Israel’s future, and further damaging America’s global position."
Via Christian Brose, I received the following message from Robert Kagan, who writes:
The claim that I worked against a two-state solution in the Middle East is a complete fabrication. I have literally never written or spoken on the subject."
Fair enough. I did not say that Kagan himself opposed a two-state solution, but the juxtaposition was misleading and I’m happy to correct the record.
At the same time, Kagan’s statement raises an obvious question: what are his views on a two-state solution? He has been a prolific commentator on U.S. foreign policy in recent years — including our Middle East policy — yet he has apparently remained silent on one of the most important issues that shapes our entire approach to the region. A two-state solution has been the official goal of the past three U.S. Presidents — Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and now Barack Obama — and I’d be curious to know if Kagan agrees with them. He and his fellow neoconservatives also favor the vigorous use of American power to achieve stated foreign policy objectives. So here’s my question: Does Kagan favor the establishment of a viable Palestinian state, and does he think the United States should use its considerable leverage with both sides to bring that result about?