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Thread: Military Diplomacy

  1. #1 Military Diplomacy 
    Time Lord
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    I wonder what difference it would make if the military had officers who were specifically trained as diplomats. I'm guessing they probably have something directed to this already, but I don't know anything about it. If anyone feels like bringing it up, I'd be very interested to know where I could read more about it.

    I'm thinking that there's this massive disconnect between the politicians in Washington, the diplomats in places like the UN, and US military officers on the ground in Iraq/Afghanistan. Each group has different needs, and often the Military is the one who ends up having to pick up the slack for having everyone else get what they want by having their hands tied.

    What if the military had its own internal diplomacy division, and this division had command level authority? Not advisor authority, but outright command authority. Their job would be to tailor all military activities so that they serve a diplomatic purpose, and serve that purpose as efficiently as possible. No large op would ever be approved without their say-so, but they are military officers, so they're not in an adversarial relationship with other soldiers.


    I think this is part of the goal that was meant to be served by making the President Commander in Chief. A politician knows best how to make a gun useful (because without their insight, a gun is purely destructive), a soldier knows best how to fire it. The ideal would be somebody who both knows how to fire it, and how to make it useful.


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  3. #2  
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    Your post reminds me of the discussions about whether the Department of State should have it's own military arm specifically to handle things like nation building after stability is established by a more conventional force.

    All officers are trained in rudimentary low level diplomacy, though we don't call it that. I've been training the Iraqi Army and Department of border enforcement for the past year and had to do more negotiations with Iraqi generals, tribal members and other town and provincial level representatives and outside agencies and businesses than I ever imagined I'd do during my first 22 years of service.

    Becoming a force that considers the softer measures and tools that convince a population to support us took years and many lives. We had the luxury during the cold war of being primarily focused on the hard "killing" military side. But a review of history, going all the way back to the American Revolution shows war, even for the worlds best militarizes, almost always involves convincing a population not to fight you or support your enemy; it's a lot more complicated than understanding maneuver, weapons capabilities and logistics.


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  4. #3  
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    they do have officers specially trained as diplomats they are actually the millitaries boss they are called the goverment unfortuantly thay aren't very good.
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  5. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Your post reminds me of the discussions about whether the Department of State should have it's own military arm specifically to handle things like nation building after stability is established by a more conventional force.
    Those would be interesting threads to read.


    All officers are trained in rudimentary low level diplomacy, though we don't call it that. I've been training the Iraqi Army and Department of border enforcement for the past year and had to do more negotiations with Iraqi generals, tribal members and other town and provincial level representatives and outside agencies and businesses than I ever imagined I'd do during my first 22 years of service.
    It seems like the large scale stuff is what always gives us the black eyes, though. Everyone is afraid that if you charge into a human shields situation, the UN will turn around and pass some kind of resolution. I think it would be nice to have people on the ground who know how to tailor the military's activities around the likelihood of things become international incidents. (Maybe even planning them so as to create productive international incidents.)

    I am often impressed, however, when I read about the skill that some military officers have developed at making alliances with local leadership to get things done. I wish Washington thought more like them.


    Becoming a force that considers the softer measures and tools that convince a population to support us took years and many lives. We had the luxury during the cold war of being primarily focused on the hard "killing" military side. But a review of history, going all the way back to the American Revolution shows war, even for the worlds best militarizes, almost always involves convincing a population not to fight you or support your enemy; it's a lot more complicated than understanding maneuver, weapons capabilities and logistics.
    "almost always involves convincing a population not to fight you or support your enemy" -- That is a very interesting point. I guess a war only ends when somebody surrenders, right?

    The only issue where I disagree is that I think we also need hard measures and tools to convince the population. When they're used, they have to be used skillfully. The simple fact we're being harsh isn't going to make people back down to us on its own. It has to be carefully targeted harshness.
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  6. #5  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
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    "I am often impressed, however, when I read about the skill that some military officers have developed at making alliances with local leadership to get things done. I wish Washington thought more like them. "

    Indeed it is useful for warmongering occupation armies to pacify an invaded region by using local traitors and opportunist collaborators, the Nazi also understood this. Even having a puppet government or an occupation friendly one helps to grab on to imperial hegemonic for a while longer, it should be in the fascist guidebook on page 12. :wink:
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo
    "I am often impressed, however, when I read about the skill that some military officers have developed at making alliances with local leadership to get things done. I wish Washington thought more like them. "

    Indeed it is useful for warmongering occupation armies to pacify an invaded region by using local traitors and opportunist collaborators, the Nazi also understood this. Even having a puppet government or an occupation friendly one helps to grab on to imperial hegemonic for a while longer, it should be in the fascist guidebook on page 12. :wink:
    In all honesty Ice, I think following the Nazi handbook would be a step up from what we've been doing, which is: going in there with no plan at all.

    You can't define a successful plan on the basis of just "what not to do". It's got to consist mostly of "what yes to do." We don't have a lot of "yes" statements in our plan, so we look really incompetent and ineffective to most of the citizens who live in these countries.
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