Faking It and Making ItIssue: Spring 1998
Tell Washington insiders that your work is focused on preventing the spread of strategic weapons-instead of reacting to it-and they'll think you're somewhat "intense" or at least unable to hold down a real job. Businessmen generally view this effort with suspicion; like promoting human rights, it is a concern that if taken too seriously might confound the ultimate liberalizing diplomacy of (their) commerce. Executive and legislative officials, meanwhile, might be eager to speak against the spread of nuclear, chemical, biological, and missile-related systems, but are squeamish about doing much about it.
Indeed, for our diplomatic corps, "engaging" the worst proliferators-China, Iraq, North Korea, and Russia-through government-sanctioned handouts or bribes almost always seems more realistic and effective than enforcing existing non-proliferation laws or, in the Iraqi case, mandated UN sanctions.