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Start of the war..... Salami slicing


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Yes, interesting. But flawed conclusions.

"The best way to avoid disaster is to refrain from coming up with a limited military move and to instead look for diplomatic solutions."

Appeasement was a diplomatic solution. Didn't work, did it?

He cites the Cuban Missile Crisis; however, the "diplomatic" solutions worked because there was genuine fear of going to total war. (As Freedman points out). But that is the second flaw in his conclusion. Diplomacy only works when backed up with credible deterrence. That's the best way to avoid disaster; make the other guy sure that any limited military move is only a warning that you'll go all the way if necessary.

Of course, diplomacy can't work if the other side has already made a military move - for example Iraq invading Kuwait; diplomacy was not going to get Saddam to withdraw after he'd already sent the Republican Guard across the border. Crimea being annexed by Russia is the current example. Does anyone really think diplomacy will reverse that move?

Oh, and what about groups like ISIS? Or Hezbollah? I don't see their ambassadors in Washington, Brussels, London, Paris, Berlin, Cairo, or Tel Aviv.

The more valid conclusion is that diplomacy is only one tool in the kit of a national leader. Information, military, economic are the other elements of national power. All must be used at the right time, in the right measure, in conjunction with each other to achieve solutions. I might even add legitimacy to the pile - a nation must use its national power in concert with other like-minded nations.

These type of guys even forget Clausewitz; war is an extension of politics by other means. Until the pundits realize that talky-talky doesn't work, we'll have half-@** solutions.

As for salami, he's right. We can't just slice ourselves a thin sliver and think the other guy won't do anything. We need to hack off a huge chunk before the other guy runs away with the whole thing. Best to start the hacking by taking off his hand.

Edited by IrishGunner
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