Lee Hamilton is President and Director of the Woodrow Wilson Center, and former member of the House of Representatives for Indiana.

The demise of Communism and the deflation of tension between east and west created the illusion of a world at peace. What has emerged is a new wave of violent conflict spawned by ancient hatred, ethnic rivalry, poverty and religious oppression. For both humanitarian and strategic reasons a response to this spate of warfare is called for. That in turn raises complex questions about intervention in conflicts that are often civil wars. Obviously, the best response to all of this is the prevention of conflict before it starts. Lee Hamilton outlines strategies for preventive diplomacy and preventive defense.