A Cultural Revolution for the State Department (XIII)
Most costly of all, however, is the factor of delay. By consuming time, diplomacy provides an adversary the most precious of resources, more valuable than any other because it is not for sale. This can involve time for the United States and its allies to grow complacent; time for an opponent to ready defenses or prepare its offenses; time to perfect its weapons of mass destruction; or even just time to think. Nowhere is delay more costly in contemporary terms than in WMD proliferations, where time is often the critical component in determining whether a proliferation effort will succeed for fail. Obviously, diplomacy's benefits in amny contexts will outweigh its costs, but it is a grotesque mistake to believe that diplomacy never has costs.