One time when hectoring and sanctions were put aside: The US Approach to Soft Diplomacy in Myanmar

A Rare US Approach to Soft Diplomacy – The Irrawaddy, November 15, 2012
…In that piece—directed toward the Bush Administration—Mitchell and Green argued that “in order to participate fully and effectively, the US government will need to relax its strict prohibition on official high-level contact” with the Burmese government. The remedy, according to Mitchell and Green, would be fairly simple: “The president should appoint a special adviser to serve as the coordinator of US policy on Burma.”
One administration and two years later, Mitchell got his wish and was named the first Special Representative and Policy Coordinator for Burma, a position he held from August 2011 until June 2012 at which time he assumed the role of ambassador. What made this posture of engagement, adopted by the Obama Administration, so surprising was that it jettisoned the longstanding US habit of isolating adversarial states…

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