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Author Topic: Examples of successful diplomacy in armed conflicts
Kent
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I need some help. Does anyone know when diplomacy has solved different nations' armed conflicts without a decisive military victory preceeding the treaty? I could use some specific examples.
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javelin
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Here is one I turned up with Google:

The Measure of Diplomacy

Some things really need to be defined in the question:

1. What is successful?
2. What types of diplomacy? To end a war?

[ July 25, 2006, 12:56 PM: Message edited by: javelin ]

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flydye45
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Almost every armed conflict is ENDED with diplomacy. The question is how many have been avoided by diplomacy.
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javelin
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Okay, now that I reread the title, I guess I can assume the following?:

1. Successful means that the armed conflict stopped and did not resume
2. Diplomacy intended to do #1

Is that correct?

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Kent
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Javelin, thank you for reframing the question. You are correct.

The question is ultimately, has a "peace broker" ever stepped in to an armed conflict resulting in both sides ceasing war against each other? The only treaties I have record of being effective are those signed after a decisive military victory, being imposed on the loser of that conflict.

[ July 25, 2006, 12:59 PM: Message edited by: Kent ]

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Colin JM0397
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I just mentioned the Cuban Missile crisis in another thread.

To be fair, you should also look to the opposite and then, perhaps, compare the amount of incidences of each for a quasi-mathematical proof of which works better than the other.

The opposite being what wars turned out even worse had the diplomats not drawn it out before it began.

Think Chamberlin and "peace in our time". How many could have been saved had they nipped Hitler in the bud in the early 1930's?

On that note, how many have suffered due to diplomatic and "world" pressure limiting a conflict? Meaning, had the stronger party been able to just go in and utterly annihilate the opposing army and end the conflict quickly, would it have ultimately saved lives?

Just thinking out loud here, so to speak.

I guess I wasn't done thinking out loud, more on that:

For examples, what if we deposed Sadam in 1991 instead of the 12 yrs of containing him and all the embargos and such that were, in some cases literally, starving the most needy and poorest in Iraq?

What about N. Korea. Look at the sorry state of those people. How many die monthly, yearly, there - not that anyone in the west knows. How many of those people would be saved by many soldiers losing their lives? Not to mention Seoul getting leveled.

You see, it's never such a clean and easy trade off. You might save the soldiers lives - which I can only thank you since I am still breathing, yet how many of those most needy are getting the shaft so we can sit around patting ourselves on our backs for averting war?

For the low-guy on the totem pole, he's often times just as dead from the diplomatic solution as from the military one. Which one takes longer to kill, by the way?

[ July 25, 2006, 03:50 PM: Message edited by: jm0397 ]

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DonaldD
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There hae been 'draws' in the game of war, where there was no decisive victor, but lasting peace was established. The war of 1813 comes to mind. The Korean war, though not officially ended, is an ongoing diplomatic work in progress. It also was essentially a stalemate.
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hobsen
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Hitler got a lot of rope in the beginning because people saw him as rectifying in part the gross injustices of the Treaty of Versailles which ended World War I.

The flaw in many "nipped in the bud" arguments is that they depend on hindsight. When Fidel Castro began a revolution in Cuba, he was trying to overthrow a government about as bad as he said it was. However he behaved later, he began with considerable popular support. Stamping on popular movements is not the democratic ideal.

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Athelstan
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How about the San Juan Island Pig War.

San Juan Island Pig War

Although how they could find in favour of the US escapes me.

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javelin
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We were cuter - everyone likes babies. [Big Grin]
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Dave at Work
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DonaldD,

I presume that you mean the War of 1812 right? Yes, that appears to be an example where a treaty has resulted in a lasting peace between the beligerants that was negotiated in the best interests of both parties. After a brief refamiliarization it even appears to have been a negotiated settlement not forced by one side having the upper hand over the other, but I haven't dug deeply yet into the details of the Treaty of Ghent and how it came about so I could be wrong.

Concerning the Korean War cease fire, there have been many incidents both on the border and in the waters off the coastlines in the decades since. There still exists a technical state of war, though with the exception of those incidents it has not been a shooting war since the cease fire was put in place. While South Korea has moved on and flourished socialy and economically, North Korea has never moved on and its people are still paying the price. Did the negotiation of that cease fire effectively condemn the inhabitants of North Korea to generations of privation? I don't know if things would have been different had the war gone on to a military conclusion. In this case the negotiated settlement, while stoping the shooting conflict for decades so far, did not resolve the underlying issues and thus there is constant tension and great potential for it to boil up again. Plus the people of North Korea have been paying the price for their governments paranoia ever since.

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DonaldD
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1813??? Who the heck put the "3" key beside the "2" key? [Mad]

[Embarrassed]

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Dave at Work
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Don't worry about it. Typos happen. I didn't take the time to think and just typed war of 1813 into google to get a refresher and got references to the Creek Indian War of 1813--1814 before I realized that you probably meant the War of 1812 and just typed 1813 by accident.
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RickyB
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And also, that war has as much right to be called "of 1813" as it does "1812". 14 and 15 too...
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Dave at Work
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Yes, but most Americans learned about it as the War of 1812 in our high school and College U.S. History classes. I saw it referenced as the War of 1812--1814 when I was quickly refreshing my memory about the basics earlier today, but that is the first time I have heard it called anything but the War of 1812.
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DonaldD
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Up here, we like to call it "the war of American aggression, until we opened up a can of whup-ass on 'em"
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Brainard
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quote:
Originally posted by DonaldD:
Up here, we like to call it "the war of American aggression, until we opened up a can of whup-ass on 'em"

Oh yeah, well 54'40" or fight!!!
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pickled shuttlecock
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quote:
Originally posted by Dave at Work:
While South Korea has moved on and flourished socialy and economically, North Korea has never moved on and its people are still paying the price. Did the negotiation of that cease fire effectively condemn the inhabitants of North Korea to generations of privation? I don't know if things would have been different had the war gone on to a military conclusion. In this case the negotiated settlement, while stoping the shooting conflict for decades so far, did not resolve the underlying issues and thus there is constant tension and great potential for it to boil up again. Plus the people of North Korea have been paying the price for their governments paranoia ever since.

This is the first I've ever heard of the cease-fire being responsible for Kim Jong-Il's utter madness and North Korea's Orwellian society and attendant poverty.

I mean, the fortelling of Kim Jong-Il's birth by a swallow, the double rainbow, and the new star in the heavens (according to the official biography) is strange enough, but to blame North Korea's problems on the cease-fire terms rather than Mr. Wacky Man Himself on the Throne and totalitarian communism is going way too far, in my not so humble opinion. Exactly what kind of kaleidoscope are you seeing this stuff through?

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Rallan
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It could also be argued that the Korea ceasefire saved South Korea from communist rule, or that it saved mainland China from a US-led invasion and possible nuclear war. Playing "what-if" games with history is a fun exercise, but I think Dave at Work's pushing it a bit if he's trying to claim that crazy-ass insane dictators who rise to power decades after a war are a result of the diplomacy that ended the war. After all, getting taken over by communists doesn't automatically mean the place'll end up ran by a James Bond supervillian with a penchant for nuclear weapons research and filming his own monster movie.
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Kent
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Does anybody have any examples where the US was not involved?
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Wayward Son
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Part of the answer depends on what is meant by "decisive military victory."

Most wars of independence do not hinge on one nation taking over another, but on wearing the colonial nation down to the point where they decide it's not worth the fight anymore. That is a "victory," but I would not categorize it as "decisive."

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Dave at Work
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Clearly, writing and editing posts hastily between tasks at work has lead me to fail to communicate clearly what I meant. Rallan and pickled both commented that I said that the ceasefire was the cause of the privations of the North Korean people. That is neither what I think nor what I thought I wrote, but since two people have read it that way I will take the time after work this evening to carefully review what I wrote and clarify it. I won't try to do it now since my workload today is even heavier than yesterday and I want to avoid a similar miscommunication this time around.
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