Stephen M. Walt

Talking with Hamas, realistically

Last week, I suggested that there were "hints of realism" in Obama’s foreign policy, and I followed up on a smart Roger Cohen column by suggesting that we really ought to consider talking to Hamas. Turns out that more experienced people than me were having similar thoughts. As reported in the Boston Globe, a group ...

Last week, I suggested that there were "hints of realism" in Obama’s foreign policy, and I followed up on a smart Roger Cohen column by suggesting that we really ought to consider talking to Hamas. Turns out that more experienced people than me were having similar thoughts. As reported in the Boston Globe, a group of distinguished "senior statesmen," Middle East experts, and politicians (including Brent Scowcroft, Henry Siegman, Carla Hills, Ted Sorensen, Lee Hamilton, Zbigniew Brzezinski, James Wolfensohn, Nancy Kassebaum, Paul Volcker, Chuck Hagel, etc.), have sent the president a letter advocating precisely this course. According to the Globe, the White House has agreed to a meeting between the president and this group, and the text of the letter will not be released until after the meeting.

I don’t have anything to add at this point, except to say that it will be interesting to see what Obama does.

Stephen M. Walt is the Robert and Renée Belfer professor of international relations at Harvard University.

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