Ten Commandments of Statecraft: on Foreign Policy


Nixon’s Ten Commandments of Statecraft

    A President needs a global view, a sense of proportion and a keen sense of the possible. If I could carve ten rules into the wall of the Oval Office for my successors in the dangerous years ahead, they would be these:
  1. Always be prepared to negotiate, but never negotiate without being prepared
  2. Never be belligerent, but always be firm
  3. Always remember that covenants should be openly agreed to but privately negotiated
  4. Never seek publicity that would destroy the ability to get results
  5. Never give up unilaterally what could be used as a bargaining chip
  6. Never let your adversary underestimate what you would do in response to a challenge
  7. Always leave your adversary a face-saving line of retreat
  8. Distinguish between friends who provide some human rights and enemies who deny all human rights
  9. Do at least as much for our friends as our adversaries do for our enemies
  10. Never lose faith. Faith without strength is futile, but strength without faith is streile.
Source: Ten Commandments of Statecraft, by James Humes, p. 9-13 Jul 2, 1997

  • The above quotations are from Nixon's Ten Commandments of Statecraft, by James Humes.
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Page last updated: Feb 05, 2014