Diplomacy and Information
Lsn 12
• Strategy is the pursuit, protection, or
advancement of national interests through
the application of the instruments of power
• Instruments of power (DIME)
– Diplomatic
– Informational
– Military
– Economic
Diplomatic Communication
• In pursuing their own
objectives, governments must
communicate with those whose
actions and behavior they wish
to influence
• Communication can occur
informally or indirectly at
banquets or press conferences
• Usually it is done through
formal diplomatic channels or
by direct communication
between foreign ministers and
heads of state
Chinese diplomatic
reception honoring ties with
Diplomatic Communication
• Subjects of communication
– Government objectives
– Rationalizations for those objectives
– Threats
– Promises
– Holding out of possibilities for concluding
agreements on contentious issues
Diplomatic Communication
• Goals of communication
– Partial success: Getting the second
government to see a particular situation as
the first government sees it
– Complete success: Getting the second
government to alter or maintain its actions in a
way favorable to the first government’s
Diplomatic Recognition
• Diplomatic recognition
– Traditionally recognition of a new state
occurred almost automatically once a political
unit obtained a defined territory, permanent
population, and government capable of
entering into diplomatic and treaty relations
– Now it is a much more controversial,
complicated, and political process
Diplomatic Recognition
• Recognition bestows a form
of external legitimacy and
– If the new state seceded from a
parent state by violence or the
new government came to
power by irregular procedures,
recognition may be problematic
– In other cases the international
community has recognized
states before they met the
traditional requirements simply
because without that external
support the state would not be
The United States and the
People’s Republic of China
did not recognize each other
and establish diplomatic
relations until January 1,
Diplomatic Relations
• Even after diplomatic relations
have been established they
can be disrupted
• Disruption serves as a way of
exerting diplomatic pressure
to influence behavior
– Countries may deal only through
a third party
– Countries may downgrade their
– Countries may recall their
Canada called home its
ambassador to China after the
1989 Tiananmen Square
Diplomatic Relations
• The concept of a formal mission
began in Europe in the 15th
– The few number of nation states in
those days made it possible for two
parties to work out affairs with each
other that did not impinge on the
interests of others
• As the number of nation states
grew, bilateral negotiations often
gave way to ad hoc multinational
• Today there are many
permanent multilateral
diplomatic and technical
The Organization for
Security and Cooperation in
Europe is a 55-member
pan-European security
The United Nations
• The purposes of the UN are to
– maintain international peace and
– develop friendly relations among
– cooperate in solving international
economic, social, cultural and
humanitarian problems and in
promoting respect for human rights
and fundamental freedoms
– be a center for harmonizing the
actions of nations in attaining these
The United
Nations came into
being in 1945
The United Nations
• General Assembly
– All UN member states are represented in the General
Assembly which meets regularly and in special
sessions as a “parliament of nations” to consider
global issues an problems
– Each member state has one vote
– The Assembly cannot force action by any state, but its
recommendations are an important indication of world
opinion and represent the moral authority of the
community of nations
The United Nations
• Security Council
– Has primary responsibility for maintaining
international peace and security
– May convene at any time, whenever peace is
– All member states are obligated to carry out the
Council's decisions.
– There are15 Council members
• China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom
and the United States are permanent members.
• The other 10 are elected by the General Assembly for twoyear terms.
– Decisions of the Council require nine yes votes
– Permanent members have veto authority
Diplomatic Communication
• Purposes
– Exchange views, probe intentions, attempt to
convince other governments that certain actions
would be in their interest
• No hard bargaining in this type of communication
– Stall or create the illusion that a government is
seriously interested in bargaining, even if they aren’t
– Make propaganda
• Designed to undermine the bargaining position of the other
government, especially in the eyes of the outside public
Formal Negotiating Process
• Setting
– Open vs closed meeting
– Bilateral vs multilateral meeting
– Crisis situation or not
– Open or closed time schedule
– Mediator or direct participants only
Formal Negotiating Process
• Rules
– Place (city)
– Parties and size of
– Languages
– Seating
– Press coverage
Seating arrangements at the Vietnam
Peace Conference had to be changed
to accommodate the Viet Cong,
whose presence the US did not want
to legitimize as being independent
from Hanoi
Formal Negotiating Process
• Substantive Bargaining
– Presentation of positions (original objectives of
– Presentation of demands or conditions
– Symbolic acts or signals (may create new alternatives
or revisions of maximum and minimum conditions)
– Persuasion
– Promises
– Threats
– Commitments
– Concessions
Formal Negotiating Process
• Possible
– Treaty or
– Postponement of
– Ending
negotiations and
leaving problem
Signing of the Paris Peace Talks
Case Study
North Vietnam
First Indochina War
• The First Indochina War was a communist
military victory, but the peace negotiations were
disappointing to Ho Chi Minh
• On the very day that Dien Bien Phu fell,
delegates from the former Indochina, France,
the United States, Russia, China, and Britain
met in Geneva, Switzerland to conduct peace
• The French decided to relinquish all claims on
Vietnam, but in the midst of the Cold War, the
United States was not about to surrender
Vietnam to communist control.
First Indochina War
• Instead, after two and a half months of peace
negotiations, the delegates decided to “temporarily”
divide Vietnam at the 17th parallel.
• Ho Chi Minh’s communist forces were only to take
control of the North, while the South was placed under
the control of United States-backed Vietnamese
nationalists, led by Emperor Bao Dai.
• According to the stipulations of the partition, Vietnam
was to be divided for a period of two years until elections
could be held to reunify peacefully the country under a
single government
Second Indochina War
• In the Second Indochina War (the one involving the US),
the communists would prove to be very astute
• Confident that US domestic support would eventually
crack, the North Vietnamese knew time was on their side
when it came to negotiating.
• As early as 1962, North Vietnamese Premier Pham Van
Dong had predicted, “Americans do not like long
inconclusive wars—and this is going to be a long
inconclusive war.”
• Dong was exactly right, and North Vietnamese
negotiating tactics supported his prophecy.
Second Indochina War
• One aspect of the Maoist doctrine used by the
North Vietnamese was the well-orchestrated
interaction of political and military operations.
• Especially after the military defeat at Tet, the
North Vietnamese maximized the classic
“fighting while negotiating” strategy.
• Closely coordinated military, political, and
diplomatic moves were all designed to apply
various pressures on the United States and
exacerbate differences between the American
and South Vietnamese allies.
Second Indochina War
• The North Vietnamese showed little
interest in substantive negotiations and
certainly were not sincere about any real
• They rejected US demands for reciprocity
and refused any terms that would limit
their ability to support the war in the South
while leaving the US a free hand there.
Second Indochina War
• Throughout all negotiations, the North Vietnamese
remained keenly aware of US domestic politics, including
election cycles.
– For example, when President Johnson made a focused attempt
to reach a negotiated settlement prior to the November 1968
national elections, the North Vietnamese knew they had the
upper hand.
– On October 31, on the basis of informal, unwritten
“understandings” that the North Vietnamese neither officially
accepted nor rejected, the United States completely halted its
– Having achieved the desired objective, the North Vietnamese
then proceeded to ignore the “understandings.”
Second Indochina War
• Later, when President Nixon tried to
negotiate through intermediaries in the
summer and fall of 1969, the North
Vietnamese merely dragged out the
negotiations in order to buy time to recover
from Tet and to pressure the United States
to make concessions.
Second Indochina War
• The North Vietnamese also proved to be masterful in
manipulating the “blue-chips” held by each side in the
negotiating process.
• For the North Vietnamese these blue-chips were
infiltration and prisoners of war, and they guarded these
• The United States on the other hand was excessively
generous in compromising with its blue-chip of the
bombing campaign.
• Even when the North Vietnamese were willing to make
token concessions, infiltration and bombing were always
an unequal trade because of the ease in which bombing
could be monitored versus the difficulty in detecting
Second Indochina War
• The North Vietnamese also recognized
prisoners as their major bargaining
weapon and tied their release exclusively
to an American withdrawal.
• In nearly every aspect, the North
Vietnamese proved to be far superior
negotiators than the Americans.
Case Study
• Jean-Bertrand Aristide
was elected president
of Haiti in December
• Lieutenant General
Raoul Cedras
deposed Aristide in a
coup in September
• Cedras’s authoritarian rule motivated thousands
of Haitians to flee to the US in fragile boats and
the US became increasingly concerned with
both human rights issues and regional instability
• While preparing to invade Haiti with 20,000
troops, President Clinton also dispatched a
negotiating team consisting of former President
Jimmy Carter, Senator Sam Nunn, and General
Colin Powell to Haiti in a last ditch diplomatic
effort in September 1994
• Carter
– Former president with
strong negotiating
credentials such as the
1978 Camp David
Accords between Israel
and Egypt and
monitoring elections
– Reputation as a nonpartisan peacemaker
– Had foreign policy
difficulties of his own as
president, but was very
active and much more
effective as a former
• Powell
– Represented the
military capability of
the United States
– Status as a black
American of
Caribbean ancestry
also gave him
credibility in Haiti
• Nunn
– Senator from Georgia with 20
years legislative experience
including Chairman of the
Armed Services Committee
– Represented the role Congress
would play in any US invasion
as well as America’s
commitment to the democratic
• An eleventh-hour
breakthrough in the
negotiations occurred only
after US television reports
showed paratroopers from
the 82nd Airborne Division
departing from Fort Bragg,
North Carolina en route to
• Cedras agreed to leave
power by October 15
(offered asylum in
• Over 20,000 US forces
deployed to Haiti to
enforce the agreement
and supervise the
Practical Exercise
China and Taiwan
Communist China
• After World War II, civil war in China resumed between
nationalist and communist forces
• The communist forces prevailed and the national
government under Chaing Kai-shek withdrew to Taiwan
where it continued to proclaim itself the legitimate
government of China
Communist China
Chaing Kaishek
• At the same time,
Mao Zedong,
chairman of the
Communist Party,
proclaimed the
establishment of
the People’s
Republic of China
on Oct 1, 1949
Mao Zedong
Communist China and the USSR
• At first Mao set out to imitate Soviet socialism, to
include implementing a Five-Year Plan that
emphasized expansion of heavy industry at the
expense of consumer goods
• Beijing recognized Moscow’s undisputed
authority in world communism in exchange for
Russian military and economic aid
• Soviet diplomats initiated a campaign to transfer
the Chinese seat in the United Nations Security
Council from Taiwan to the People’s Republic of
China, a move that finally occurred in 1971
China and Taiwan
• In 1971 the UN General
Assembly passed
Resolution 2758 which
recognized “that the
representatives of the
Government of the
People’s Republic of
China are the only lawful
representatives of China
to the United Nations”
Taiwan’s Position
• A broad popular consensus has developed in Taiwan
that the island currently enjoys sovereign independence
and - whatever the ultimate outcome regarding
reunification or independence - that Taiwan’s people
must have the deciding voice
China’s Position
• China considers Taiwan its 23rd province
• In 2007, the Solomon Islands and a few other countries
proposed that the UN General Assembly consider
Taiwan for UN membership
– Chinese UN Ambassador Wang Guangya responded in a letter
to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that called the proposal “a
blatant attempt to clamor for and create ‘Taiwan independence’"
and characterized it as “absolutely preposterous”
– Wang said the proposal “wantonly tramples on the purposes and
principles” of the UN Charter and “seriously violates China’s
sovereignty and territorial integrity, gravely intervenes in China's
internal affairs and seriously hurts the feelings of the 1.3 billion
Chinese people”
Hypothetical Situation
• A new government is elected in Taiwan which campaigns
on a platform to establish Taiwan as a sovereign nation
and enter the UN
• Taiwan then holds a referendum in which 75% of the
population votes to seek UN membership
• Roleplay the diplomatic negotiating process as each
party begins to establish its position
• Instruments of Power: Military and

Alternatives to Realism and Idealism