The author, formerly ambassador to Greece in the early 1980s, has written a lucid and wise analysis of one of the continuing dilemmas for U.S. policy: How to promote a Cyprus settlement that both of our allies, Greece and Turkey, can live with? Analyzing past policy, Stearns draws useful lessons on what might work. He is a believer in statecraft, in attention to nuance, and in an active American role in seeking ways to break the impasse. He has little patience for those who say that the Cyprus conflict is not "ripe" for settlement. This is a compelling call for preventive diplomacy. But his own account of past policy provides ample evidence that his views will not readily be heeded by bureaucrats who only tackle complex problems when crises force them to do so.
Get the best of Foreign Affairs' book reviews delivered to you.