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Diplomacy

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An ideal government would be limited to those functions which protect the individual rights of its citizens from violation. The typical line I've read around here is that means government should be limited to military, police, courts, prisons, and some way to make laws. And I think that covers it on the domestic front, but I'm not sure that is sufficient in the international arena.

None of those institutions could adequately handle diplomacy, which has been essential to national security (think Cuban Missile Crisis). Rationally, a government must speak softly as well as carry a big stick if it is to do its job of protecting its citizen's rights from violation by foreign nations and individuals properly. With that in mind, would some sort of diplomatic corps like the State Department also be proper for a government to encompass, in order to do the soft speaking?

Edited by Rudmer
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I think you answered your own question. There is a saying that War is diplomacy by other means, well the reverse is true as well. For those things that concern the security of the nation diplomacy is definitely an extension of the government's proper role of defence. Where it is not required is to negotiate trade treaties or to "grease the wheels" as it were.

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There is a saying that War is diplomacy by other means, well the reverse is true as well.

I agree, let your military handle diplomacy. Which, by the way, is what happened during the Cuban Missile Crisis, the diplomacy there was handled by the Navy.

Let your friends know they are friends and treat them accordingly. Let your actions speak for what happens to aggressive enemies.

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For those things that concern the security of the nation diplomacy is definitely an extension of the government's proper role of defence. Where it is not required is to negotiate trade treaties or to "grease the wheels" as it were.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who has thought of it. I've just never heard diplomacy mentioned as a proper role of government around here, so I was kinda worried that I had missed something significant.

I agree, let your military handle diplomacy. Which, by the way, is what happened during the Cuban Missile Crisis, the diplomacy there was handled by the Navy.

So the naval officers were the ones actually handling the diplomacy with Russia? That's new info for me. Why would they do that, and not use the diplomats from the State Department stationed at the embassy in Moscow? Would you mind citing a source?

It perplexes me so much because, as a military brat, I think it's a pretty bad idea to let the military handle diplomacy. The military should have only one job -- waging war. It's their primary purpose, and training for it takes up 100% of their time, so to charge them with something else like diplomacy (or nation reconstruction, as is the case now) is counterproductive. Doing so makes them less effective at waging war, and they aren't naturally suited for it because they're warfighters, not diplomats.

So to get to the point: making the big stick also do the soft speaking is a bad idea. A separate institution, devoted solely to diplomacy, would be a much better course of action, IMHO.

Edited by Rudmer
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So the naval officers were the ones actually handling the diplomacy with Russia?

Yes. I think it is called gunboat diplomacy.

It perplexes me so much because, as a military brat, I think it's a pretty bad idea to let the military handle diplomacy. The military should have only one job -- waging war.

I'm sorry, I was hoping my facetiousness would be evident after what I said to Zip. I agree with your identification of the military's purpose. I do not believe in the kind of diplomacy you are talking about. The only diplomacy I accept as legitimate is what occurred aboard the USS Missouri, September 2, 1945 and its aftermath.

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Yes. I think it is called gunboat diplomacy.

I'm sorry, I was hoping my facetiousness would be evident after what I said to Zip. I agree with your identification of the military's purpose. I do not believe in the kind of diplomacy you are talking about. The only diplomacy I accept as legitimate is what occurred aboard the USS Missouri, September 2, 1945 and its aftermath.

**facepalm** Can't believe I missed that. Sometimes text is a really poor way to communicate.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Diplomacy is a proper means of protecting the rights of the citizens, both by doing what one can to prevent aggression AND to secure free trade.

I go a step furter than most Objectivists (as far as I know), and believe that the government should take CAUTIOUS steps to include a larger geographical area under it's authority. Why? Because I think that freedom won't be perfect until there is a single PROPER government.

Again, this must be an incredibly cautious process. For obvious reasons, it would be foolish currently for the US to annex China (as an example), even IF it were a plausible task to undertake.

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