Coercive Naval Diplomacy
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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Throughout history, naval forces played a prominent role in supporting foreign policy objectives. Navies can support political objectives through cooperative diplomacy and the use of soft power, or they can support them through coercive naval diplomacy, often referred to as gunboat diplomacy. Although in recent years, the United States Navy is increasingly focusing on the role of soft power in the prevention of war coercive diplomacy is still an effective way in which to leverage naval power in support of foreign policy. The mobility, flexibility and combat potential of navies remain an effective coercive instrument of foreign policy. However, it is no longer possible to coerce a nation into doing ones bidding by simply stationing a man-of-war off the coast. The availability of modern naval weapons grants lesser maritime powers the ability to inflict significant harm on the most powerful navies. Furthermore, the importance of domestic and international public opinion must be considered before using naval forces for coercion. Coercive diplomacy can achieve tangible foreign policy objectives however it requires a fusion of political, diplomatic and naval skills for success.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics