Diplomats solve problems by talking very slowly, very carefully, and seemingly endlessly. More often than not, talk works.
China agrees to open up their banking system. Mexico won
I’d disagree that diplomats spend a lot of time “discussing issues we
Big, the quality of diplomats is unimportant to the argument.
What is important is their professional worldview.
That “never understand” bit was a bit of typically over-the-top VP hyperbole. The fact that that statement hardly conformed to much bigger argument that diplomats are just people, should have tipped you off. You’ve been reading here long enough to know my “voice.”
Bloody good stuff. after all, More of the same will get you more of the same”.
“To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”
Diplomats negotiate, soldiers break things and kill people. The task of political leaders is to control both of them and make sure their services are used in the right circumstances, in the right manner, and for the right purposes. Diplomacy is not an end in itself, it is one of the methods used in international relations. To make it an end in itself, as so many diplomats and some others do, is to mistake the ends for the means.
To paraphrase Clausewitz :
“Diplomacy is war carried out by other means”.
(interesting bit of trivia: if you ever need to lookup von Clausewitz ‘s name, do a google search on “Karl von war”.)
Scowcroft also chose Gorby (stablity) over Boris the Drunk (not stablity). Hmmm, potential freedom for the peasants we’ve always said we cared so much about or “compssionate Communism.” Tough call for someone of his training, which was basically the military’s version of the diplomatic service: Prof of Russian History at West Point, Asst Air Attache in Belgrade (good parties at the Embassy!), Head of Political Science Dept at US Air Force Academy, Office of Secretary of Defense Internatl Security Assistance, Special Asst to Director of Joint Chiefs of Staff, Military Assistant to President Nixon. So, he’s not only zero for Iraq, but he was also incorrect on one of the biggest diplomatic decisions of the 20th Century. Not a news flash when one considers his training.
You said “Blundering about the South Atlantic with the 5th Fleet, threatening Argentina with bomber strikes on Buenos Aires if they don