In volatile Gulf, US emphasizes diplomacy as capabilities grow

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by bruno, Sep 23, 2012.

  1. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    Messages:
    3,001
    Likes Received:
    301
    Diplomacy usually has a much greater chance of being successful when backed with a visible demonstration of capability and resolve. I'm sure the Iranians are familiar with our capabilities- not sure they are as cognizant of US resolve. I hope we are projecting a very firm and believable image to them and that there is no doubt in Iran or Israel that we will not allow a nuclear armed Iran- The Iranians need to believe it so they stop their program, and the Israeli's need to feel confident so they don't feel compelled to go to war with Iran. Perilous times

    http://www.stripes.com/news/in-volatile-gulf-us-emphasizes-diplomacy-as-capabilities-grow-1.190497

     
  2. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    Messages:
    2,868
    Likes Received:
    237
    I don't believe that during the current political cycle we will do anything to restrain Iran or overtly support Israel absent a direct attack on US forces. Display of force is wonderful but "display" without resolve is meaningless.
     
  3. Bear-

    Bear- Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2011
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just a thought-

    I'm an avid reader of Business Week and they recently did an article on Iran. The sanctions put on them have been so effective that their economy is 1-2 years from collapse, their currency has depreciated greatly, they can no longer afford to import products and the toughest of sanctions have yet to come. While I agree we need the military resolve in certain situations, this one may be solved diplomatically if we just wait for Iran to implode.
     
  4. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    4,275
    Likes Received:
    606
    The other side of that coin is that if you know anything about their fractious leadership situation, it is just as likely that Iran would explode as implode.
     
  5. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,238
    Likes Received:
    272
    There is nothing quite like the "Rally Around the Flag Effect" to distract a population from domestic issues...

    Destroying an economy could have a lot of negative, unintended consequences.
     
  6. Bear-

    Bear- Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2011
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    0
    Scoutpilot-I'm not sure I understand what that means can you clarify?

    Raimus-I think that destroying the economy is the idea behind the sanctions. I'm only a high schooler so I don't have a great grasp on the situation but the logic that was in the article I read was that you create a large, really angry, poor, unemployed section of the population that forces it's leaders to comply with the regulations, causing the sanctions to be lifted, and this logic seemed pretty sound.
     
  7. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,238
    Likes Received:
    272
    Bear, the risk is that the Iranian people rally behind their leadership and blame us for any problems they face. That makes a VERY aggressive Iran a strong possibility.
     
  8. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Messages:
    8,755
    Likes Received:
    1,004

    So short of doing the oppositive, and investing in Iran's economy, what would you suggest the U.S. do?

    Sanctions are generally supposed to be nasty, scary things. They're supposed to be painful. Yes they may become a rallying point for the Iranian people, but are we so sure that those people will forget the Obama administration hanging them out to dry just a few years ago as they "rose up" against Iranian leadership?

    So, no strike. No nasty sanctions.

    Maybe we should just start saying "please".... because, come on now, who can say no to someone who uses "please"?
     
  9. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Messages:
    4,963
    Likes Received:
    872
    Diplomacy is fine. However; diplomacy without respect or fear, is simply "begging". What I mean is: the opposing side already has a position that they're taking. We, obviously don't like that position. So, we, confront the opposing side.

    Now, why should the opposing side cooperate/compromise their position? They either respect us and WANT to work with us; or they fear us, and are afraid of what we might do in retaliation. E.g. war, embargo, etc...

    Well, I truly believe that the majority of countries in the world no longer respect us like they once did. Especially the countries we would traditionally have opposing positions with. And I feel that because of our actions, there isn't that much fear of us retaliating either through military or economic actions. This is what happens when you apologize for every controversial action. Apologizing because you truly mean it and because you recognize a mistake or injustice has occurred, IS RESPECTED. Apologizing because it's the "politically correct" response to something the opposing side doesn't like, is NOT RESPECTED.

    Bottom line; most countries no longer respect us. And very few fear us. Therefor, any "Negotiations" that happen, will NOT BE DIPLOMACY. It WILL be "Bribery". Simply put; we will ASK the opposing side NOT to do something, and we will buy them off some how. The days of other countries cooperating with us and doing our will because they respected us and WANTED to stay friends and partners with us, are almost over with. I won't be surprised if Israel even tells the U.S. to pi$s off, and that they'll handle matters themselves in the future.
     
  10. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    Messages:
    2,868
    Likes Received:
    237
    And the culture that hates us needs at least one hundred years to catch up to the west. I do think that Israel will soon go it's own way in the Middle East. They can't rely on the US anymore (except for the armaments). We are becoming a Rodney Dangerfield on the international stage.
     
  11. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    Messages:
    3,001
    Likes Received:
    301
    Bear: What Scoutpilot means is pretty straight forward: Why do nations go to war? Principally because they feel that their vital interests are threatened. (And those vital interests may be synonymous with the interests of the state- or it may just be the interests of the leadership depending on how firmly they control the government. In the case of Iran- do you really think that Amadinejhad and the Ayatollahs will just wither away with nothing to do about it?

    Those who push sanctions assume that eventually the pain of those sanctions will cause the subject leadership to modify its position in order to relieve the suffering imposed on them. But with the sole exception of South Africa- (Which was sanctioned for 20 years - during which time Apartheid flourished , before the leadership finally changed enough to eliminate it) I can't think of too many countries where sanctions were particularly effective in detering an activity. (North Korea is a pariah state with economic relations with almost no one- how long has it been "sanctioned"? How long has the population been starving?) Sanctions don't have much of a successful track record IMHO. They are a case of Western democracies applying what we value to places that don't have the same level of intolerance to economic pain and suffereing amongst the general population. So while sanctions might work against the US or Western Europe or Japan- where the government is answerable to the people who presumably will move the government to change if the economic pain level is too great; but in a population where the government is a self directed ruling elite- I don't think that sanctions have anywhere near the effectiveness that the UN and many in the USG would like to portray.


    In the case of Iran- if the leadership decides that they are in danger of losing their position because of the sanctions- I think it's a distinct possibility that they will in fact explode with acts of external aggression or even outright warfare rather than simply self destruct. Or else- they will bet that they can outlast the sanctions until they have Nuclear weapons functional- at which point they are betting that the world will treat them with a great deal more caution and deference than it does now- and I think they are correct in that assumption. We don't dictate to the nuclear armed nations of the world the way we would for a conventionally armed state. So - TIME is a pretty important component in the case for or against sanctions as the principal means of moving the Iranians.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2012
  12. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    Messages:
    2,868
    Likes Received:
    237
    The Islamic Regimes will always use the United States and Israel to divert the hatred of the masses from their own dictatorships. Even the Saudis play the same game. As Bruno states sanctions have never worked against totalitarian governments. When they start to hurt the common people it is the US and Israel that is the problem and the demonstrations continue. Sanctions never hurt the subject leadership or the military. Our values in a democratic western society are not theres. Who would think the French would close their Embassies
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2012
  13. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Messages:
    2,807
    Likes Received:
    444
    Sanctions work only if the rulers care about their people. Some success stories on sanctions working (perhaps South Africa, Libya, Myanmar) and sanctions not working (perhaps North Korea, Iraq).

    National power can be broken down into Diplomacy, Information, Military, and Economy.

    I don't think so far Diplomacy, Information and Economy haven't work against Iran.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2012

Share This Page