Conference room in Berlin, Germany

Executing Foreign Policy

If showing up is 80% of life, as Woody Allen once put it, at least 80% of foreign policy is following up. Smart plans, good intentions, and strong negotiating skills are essential components of diplomacy, but they are never enough – not even close.

NEW YORK – The filmmaker Woody Allen is often quoted as saying that “Showing up is 80% of life.” One can quibble with the percentage, but Allen’s insight is important: You have to get in the game – be a player – to have any chance of obtaining your objectives.