Instrument of Power Essay

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Ordinary Americans have often been uncomfortable about the art and practice of diplomacy. Frequently, they associate diplomacy and American diplomats either with elitist, pseudo-aristocratic bowing and scraping before supercilious foreigners whose aim is to impinge on our sovereignty and partake of our largesse; or as naÔve country bumpkins whose gullibility allows them to forsake key American goals and objectives; or as ruthless, cynical practitioners of Bismarckian realpolitik whose aims and practices fall far short of our Foundersí noble aspirations, or as liberal, one-worldists whose collective ideology is far from the American mainstream and who seek to undermine the political aims of elected Administrations. These stereotypes go back to our countryís origins and have been reinforced by such traumatic events as Wilsonís perceived failure at Versailles, the Yalta Conference near the end of World War II, Henry Kissingerís role as architect of the opening to China, and the failure to obtain a UN Security Council resolution endorsing the use of force in Iraq. Is any of this true? True or not, does it matter? What is diplomacy supposed to do? Does the U.S. wield diplomacy effectively? Can democracy and diplomacy function harmoniously? How does diplomacy fit in with the protection and furtherance of national security? First, diplomacy is one instrument among many that a government utilizes in its pursuit of the national interest. Among others are: military power, actual or potential; economic power; intelligence-gathering and operations; cultural and information or ìsoft powerî; relative degrees of national unity; and probably others. Diplomacy never functions in isolation from the other instruments of power but may at times be emphasized as the situation warrants. In its simplest, most original form diplomacy is the official means by which one state formally

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