Operational Diplomacy: Rebuilding the Diplomatic Warrior   [open pdf - 434KB]

From the thesis abstract: "Operational Commanders are charged with directing military operations in an increasingly complex geopolitical environment. Traditional borders are yielding to the networking effects of globalization, greatly expanding the movement and reach of people. Citizens of the proletariat are empowered to influence both markets and nation-states to a degree unparalleled in history. Therefore, commanders at the operational level of war are challenged with building and understanding relationships with individual members of foreign societies, rather than focusing merely on their governing or military elite. In turn, the U.S. Navy must actively develop tools to integrate the diplomatic and military sources of national power at the operational level; it must develop the skills of Operational Diplomacy. The Navy Officer corps enjoys a rich tradition of diplomacy. However, this skill set has been assumed away, replacing engagement as envisioned in the National Security Strategy with mere presence. With an increasing reliance of foreign powers in both peace and combat operations, the Navy must rebuild the diplomatic warrior. Modern technology may link interagency and coalition systems, but personal relationships are required more than ever to truly integrate coalition partners. Three immediately actionable recommendations are presented for the Navy's consideration: 1) Expand State Department integration in naval training and exercises. 2) Develop public diplomacy as a core competency of Commanding Officers. 3) Mature Foreign Area Officers into a separate restricted line community."

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