The Duck of Minerva

The Duck Quacks at Twilight

Quick Question for History Buffs

August 4, 2011

Can any readers here at the Duck direct me to the exact quote of Dean Acheson (I believe it was), who said something along the lines of ‘nine tenths of foreign policy is managing the domestic ability to have a foreign policy’ or something like that. It was his argument that domestic politics and coalition-building was paramount.


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Patrick Porter is Professor of International Security and Strategy at the University of Birmingham. He is also Senior Associate Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, London. His research interests are great power politics, grand strategy, realism, the causes and consequences of major powers’ decline, the Iraq war of 2003, foreign and defence policy in the US and UK, and the intellectual life of major powers and their foreign policy establishments. He has written four books. His book Blunder: Britain's War in Iraq (Oxford University Press, 2018) was shortlisted for the British Army Military Book of the Year Prize, 2019. His most recent book is The False Promise of Liberal Order: Nostalgia, Delusion and the Rise of Trump (Polity, 2020). He also wrote The Global Village Myth: Distance, War and the Limits of Power (Georgetown University Press, 2015) and Military Orientalism: Eastern War through Western Eyes (Columbia University Press, 2009.