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Alfred Thayer Mahan, and naval power.

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Alfred Thayer Mahan expressed, that naval power, is a means to projecting national interest globally.

Would one want to project national interest globally, and by diplomatic means, through naval power?  In the past, navies were the diplomatic means open to nations separated by oceans and seas. These nations, who could not communicate by any other means, communicated diplomatically through the navy. Today, there are other means of communication, and shared interests are not primarily of a military nature for those nations not in a diplomatically uncertain neighborhood. Western Europe comes to mind, in such a scenario, and so does North America.

How exactly, can the navy project national interest globally? The navy is an exercise of military might. Can any navy hope to override the military function by the diplomatic function? Would any navy want to engage diplomatically, a friendly nation, when other channels of diplomacy are open? The United States has experienced, that having the most effective military in the world, cannot make a nation at peace with herself, if she is engaged in military conflict, in different regions of the world. Does it help a nation to engage diplomatically other nations, distant to her in nautical miles, when these nations may disagree diplomatically with her?

The question begs to be asked, which is,  is economic power a salve on diplomatic disagreements, which may exist between my nation, and another nation? What is the aim of existence? If only two individuals existed, then would the material used by the two be of interest to one, in relation to the other? The material needs of a human being are not satiated by wanting to use more and more material.

What then, does diplomacy through naval power achieve, in an organic manner, without the influence of time, in relation to history? I  regret to express, that naval diplomacy does not promote peace, because peace is not associated with the military, when there is no war. Navies around the world, bring into conjecture, their abilities in the matter of warfare, and perhaps, the abilities and limitations of the navies, become common knowledge, to even laypersons like me. There are, no doubt, well kept secrets in the various navies of the world, but only in the particulars, not in the general information.

I feel, I cannot elaborate on the topic further, as there is nothing left to elaborate for me.


Written by discussionofviews

December 15, 2011 at 11:54 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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