2. The Concept of Public Diplomacy
3. What is Military Diplomacy
4. Common Strategy and Tools
5. Selective Case Study of German Armed Forces
Public Diplomacy by the idea was implemented approximately 100 years ago as a purely civilian part of diplomacy, which aimed to inform foreign populations and citizens about the goals of countries foreign policy by the use of information and cultural programs1. In the meaning of the Clausewitz philosophy, that the war “is the continuation of politics by other means”, the military was always linked to the diplomacy but never part of it2. On the other hand Military Diplomacy for a long period was just the business for military attaches and their mission was to be “…the Nation`s eye and ears abroad in the days before satellite photography and sophisticated electronic collection techniques.”3.
Along with the changes in the international theatre, regarding constellation of alliances, goals of foreign policies and threat assumptions, the content of Public Diplomacy has changed and its targeted programs expanded4.
At the same time the understanding and definition of security changed its content since the collapse of the Iron Curtain and the breakdown of the Soviet Union. Nowadays the term of a comprehensive approach marks the definition of security. Security is now an interconnection between civilian and military means and approaches, whilst the use military force remains a last resort. Therefore programs and means from the areas of Military and Public Diplomacy received an increased attention and a more prominent status.
For this reason this essay will try to show the close relation of modern defense strategies, policies and diplomacies. The guiding research question for this essay therefore shall be: Is there in modern Foreign Affairs and Defense Policy a relation between Military Diplomacy and Public Diplomacy, and if so what characterizes this relation? Along that line this essay will try to study the nexus between Public Diplomacy and Military Diplomacy with the assumption that International Relations and Defense Policy’s are aiming on overlapping areas, especially when it comes to diplomacy.
The hypothesis therefore can be encapsulates: without naming it in official policy documents and without a focused strategy, an area developed recently where Public Diplomacy and Military Diplomacy are going along together with a common tool set.
Hereby the special case study of the German Armed Forces are should prove that they are already practicing Public Diplomacy within their military posture since decades.
In a first step a general overview about the idea, definitions and different concepts of Public Diplomacy shall provide the basic background for further observations. In contrary to that, secondly the idea and concept of Military Diplomacy will show the approach from a different perspective. In a third step, common strategies and tools will be highlighted in order to prove overlapping areas and similarities.
Afterwards, by using two several case studies of the German Armed Forces, the hypothesis shall be proven on the foundation of the observations within the first two steps. Finally it all comes together in a summary and conclusion, in order to draw general findings for the relation of Public and Military Diplomacy in our times.
2. The Concept of Public Diplomacy
Public Diplomacy is to some extend part of a traditional branch of diplomacy, that refers to government sponsored programs and initiatives, which aim to influence and inform foreign audiences. These programs are also known as or called international information or cultural programs. Usually these programs are used to transport a certain message regarding foreign policy, political aims, economic cooperation’s or even touristic developments.
It is within the nature of the concept of Public Diplomacy that the addressees of the activities are mainly non-governmental actors. However it should encourage international understanding and engage in dialogue between the involved nations and decision makers. Therefore the traditional Public Diplomacy aimed to create this understanding with information, language and cultural programs. Public Diplomacy was constructed on two columns: first the column of informing can be seen like a PR element; secondly the column of understanding policies and ideologies. Especially the second part constituted a two way process, trying to make populations abroad to understand the own policy but also making oneself understand policies of foreign countries.
Detailed individual actions within this two column constructed stretched for example from common academic programs and exchanges, school exchanges, cultural cooperation, outreach programs, tourism promotion, establishing language institutes up to organizing scientific and art cooperation’s.
In recent years, along with the development of a comprehensive approach for security threats and the changes within the perception of security, Public Diplomacy moved more into focus of Foreign Relations again, as a strategy and a tool to interact, promote the development of interdependences and therefore to support an overall peace enforcement. Therefore a new column was added to the Public Diplomacy construct, which is now the influence on foreign policies. This element is aimed to have an impact on decisions and decision makers in foreign governments5. Even when the actions of Public Diplomacy are mainly originated by governments and governmental bodies, it does not seek to have a direct impact on foreign governments and decision makers. By creating a positive climate amongst foreign populations, the originating countries of Public Diplomacy campaigns try to facilitate the goals and objectives of their foreign policy6.
Was once the ambassador the main player and carrier for actions within the field of Public Diplomacy nowadays the actors involved in such campaigns are widely spread. The ambassador as the senior diplomat remains still the major carrier, but the onsite actions are usually in the responsibility of other governmental funded bodies, multinational organizations, cooperation’s or non-governmental organizations7. Along that line also the military gained recently more responsibility within the area of Public Diplomacy.
3. What is Military Diplomacy
Parallel to the definition of Public Diplomacy, the term of Military Diplomacy or often also named Defence Diplomacy was and is still very closely linked to the position and the job of the military attaché8. The attaché as the counterpart of the ambassador is a diplomat in uniform with a full diplomatic status whose duty was once to observe and assess the military development in a foreign country as well as to keep a close relation to the foreign military elite. This practice emerged as part of the nineteenth century European diplomacy and continued nearly unchanged until the mid-eighties of the twentieth century9. An important shift in the nature and the purpose of international military relations took place together with the fall of the iron curtain. With the change in the perception of security towards the comprehensive approach and enhanced security the role of the military attaché and his duties expanded also. Additionally he is no longer anymore the only military actor performing in the area of Military Diplomacy. The term and modern perception of Military Diplomacy could be defined as follows: “To provide forces to meet the varied activities undertaken by the Ministry of Defence to dispel hostility, build and maintain trust and assist in the development of democratically accountable armed forces, thereby making a significant contribution to conflict prevention and resolution”10.
The traditional role of armed forces was defined by the capability and preparedness to use force and pose a threat for the purpose of defence, deterrence, compellance or intervention11. Military Diplomacy nowadays is a more peacetime activity and became one major task for armed forces and their superior ministries. It is framed by cooperation amongst allies and other foreign countries, esp. those undergoing a process of transition towards post-conflict and democratic societies as a tool for modern foreign and security policy12. Under the umbrella of a comprehensive approach towards security Military Diplomacy is today one of the supporting pillars.
Individual activities summed up under the concept of Military Diplomacy from a US perspective are: (1) creating bilateral and multilateral contacts between senior military and civilian defence officials; (2) appointment of defence attaches; (3) bilateral defence cooperation agreements; (4) training activities for foreign military and civilian defence personnel; (5) providing expertise and advice on the issues of democratic control of armed forces, defence management and military technical areas; (6) exchanges between military personnel; (7) providing military support and aid with material and equipment13. This extract compares very much to the major tasks and individual missions identified by the UK Ministry of Defence in their Policy Paper No. 1 – “Defence Diplomacy”, published in
December 2000. With this paper the United Kingdom government took the lead by emphasizing the increased role of Military Diplomacy as a main duty for the armed forces. The named major tasks in this paper are: (1) arms control, non-proliferation and confidence and security building measures; (2) outreach activities and (3) other activities covering military assistance not covered under outreach14. Under these tasks the following detailed missions have been identified: (a) training courses and education programs; (b) providing personnel for training, loan services as well as civilian and military advisers; (c) visits by ships, aircrafts and other military units; (d) visits by ministers and by military and civilian personnel at all levels; (e) staff talks, conferences and seminars to improve mutual understanding; (f) exchanges of personnel and (g) exercises15.
Overall it can be observed that Military Diplomacy changed towards a tool in crisis prevention, early warning and post-conflict rebuilding in the huge area of foreign and security policy. It is aimed in creating stability and security by changing the attitudes and perception of conflict parties; therefore it “is this ‘disarmament of the mind’ that characterizes…” Military Diplomacy16. The central aim for the further development of security for this reason can simply be described as building partnership and partnership capacity.
1 Roberts, Walter R., What is Public Diplomacy? Past Practices, Present Conduct, Possible Future, in: Mediterranean Quarterly, 18:4, 2007, Page 37.
2 Clausewitz, Carl von, On War, Chapter 1, Para. 24, in: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/1946/1946-h/1946- h.htm
3 Cited Shea, Timothy C., Transforming Military Diplomacy, in: Joint Force Quarterly, Issue 38, Page 50, 2005.
4 Roberts, Walter R., What is Public Diplomacy? Past Practices, Present Conduct, Possible Future, in: Mediterranean Quarterly, 18:4, 2007, pp. 46-52.
5 Roberts, Walter R., What is Public Diplomacy? Past Practices, Present Conduct, Possible Future, in: Mediterranean Quarterly, 18:4, 2007, Page 45.
6 Ibid. Page 46.
7 Ibid. Page 50.
8 Shea, Timothy C., Transforming Military Diplomacy, in: Joint Force Quarterly, Issue 38, Page 50, 2005.
9 Cottey, Andrew / Forster, Anthony, Introduction to Reshaping Defence Diplomacy: New Roles for Military Cooperation and Assistance, in: Reshaping Defence Diplomacy: New Roles for Military Cooperation and Assistance, Routledge Chapman & Hall, 2004.
10 Cited UK MoD, Defence Diplomacy, MoD Policy Paper 1, Page 2, 2000.
11 Cottey, Andrew / Forster, Anthony, Introduction to Reshaping Defence Diplomacy: New Roles for Military
Cooperation and Assistance, in: Reshaping Defence Diplomacy: New Roles for Military Cooperation and Assistance, Routledge Chapman & Hall, 2004.
13 Ibid, Table 1.
14 UK MoD, Defence Diplomacy, MoD Policy Paper 1, pp. 5-14, 2000.
15 See UK MoD, Defence Diplomacy, MoD Policy Paper 1, pp. 4-5, 2000.
16 Cited Ibid. Page 4.