“Events, dear boy”: Lessons for US primacy from the Gaza war

Source: Responsible Statecraft
by Anatol Lieven

“The catastrophe in Israel and Gaza demonstrates yet again the truth of a remark by British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan when asked about the greatest challenge for a statesman: ‘Events, dear boy, events.’ Governments make elaborate plans for the conduct of foreign and security policy, only to find themselves scrambling to respond to some unforeseen development. However, events like the Hamas attack on Israel or the Russian invasion of Ukraine do not come out of nowhere. They are the product of human decisions; and if the decisions themselves cannot be predicted in detail, the circumstances that produce them can be studied.” (11/15/23)