Global Politics

Practicing gunboat diplomacy

(Does this deployment create further instability in the region?) It's hard to know how to create more instability in Lebanon. We're seeing again that US diplomacy is something that can use military force to make its point. (Why the USS Cole, the same ship that was bombed in 2000 near Yemen?) You talk to the Navy and they'll always talk about it being coincidence. I don't think that's the case, I think it's a show of power and surprise. The US has ships in that area all the time. (Is this case any different?) Not really. There are many historic examples of similar shows of power. (Is this a good strategy at this time?) Yes, it shows we can respond to situations at times of our choosing. And this makes the point in subtle and powerful way. (What does a big naval presence in the Persian Gulf mean to the US?) It's an overt response to Iraq but also makes a point to Iran that we have military options in the area. We have issues, we have options, we have interests. (Is it flexing too much muscle? Could there be consequences?) If we put an assault ship over there, yes, but we understand we are at odds with Islamic fundamentalism.