Post by Johnny Bravo
On Sun, 13 Mar 2005 14:05:01 -0800, "Billzz"
Post by Billzz
I attended a seminar on the role of military support to diplomatic
negotiations taught by a former ambassador to an island country. He
explained how strategic positioning worked. He said that during
negotiations he got up from the table and positioned himself next to the
window overlooking the harbor and the sea. In the background, on the
horizon, was a US Navy carrier task force. The F-16s were practicing
take-offs and landings with as much noise as they could make. Everyone in
the room realized that the US was the only country with forces in the area.
And so, he said, negotiations went much faster, and with much better
I have no doubt that this type of story might have been used at a
seminar. Indeed, it is the modern incarnation of "gunboat diplomacy"
of the past, where warships would exercise the guns or run obvious
drills within sight of someone you wished to influence.
Still, if somebody is going to use this approach then a bit of
attention to detail might be nice (F/A-18 vice F-16, a way to address
the fact that CQ within sight of land is not something I've ever seen
documented, etc.) Note that I have seen S-2s and C-1s launched while
at anchor. Never saw a recovery, though. I don't know if you could
shoot a light F/A-18 with 0 wind over the deck.
Still, ain't Sea Stories grand?!?!?!?! ;-)
Well, it was 1979, and I was a student at the National War College, in
Washington, D.C. The speakers are there in a "not for attribution" role so
they can say what they want without being quoted. I don't remember what
island country - and to be honest I don't remember who he was, other than he
was a professional State Department person, not a political appointment. I
took the story at face value, and maybe it was embellished, although we had
US Navy types in the room, including carrier pilots, and they didn't seem to
take offense. He even used the old phrase about the art of diplomacy is
saying "nice doggy" while looking for a stick and the professional State
Department types appreciated going to negotiations with the military stick
available. Anyway, I suppose his story could be examined in detail, but the
teaching point seemed acceptable to the twenty or so O-5s and O-6s from all
the military services that were there.