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RL diplomatic protocols

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2002 4:23 pm    Post subject: RL diplomatic protocols Reply with quote

okay, folks. there's been a massive incident on EU server inwhich a GM uses a reference to "diplomacy" to explain how a certain ultimatum (hinted at being not as OTT as MG could code) was supposed to be taken as a beginning in a hoped for Liaison that involved eventual compromise.

Irregardless of the subject matter, let's take a look at real world diplomatic protocols in the hopes that mistakes made in the TRI-OV *IC* incident can be brought to light by illustrating RL protocols that weren't met.
  1. Diplomatic and consular law
  2. organization of foreign service
  3. diplomatic negotiations; language of diplomacy
  4. diplomatic correspondence
  5. diplomatic reception
  6. basics of diplomatic savoir-vivre

for illustration of this stuff there's a nice page i found which has some funny and insightful things to say.
TheWashingtonDiplomat wrote:
If "Arts of Power" is a tightly argued mediation on diplomacy, Freeman’s second book, "The Diplomat’s Dictionary" is a fun, breezy compendium of diplomatic lore.

Freeman said he had always been surprised that there wasn’t a modern book that compiled the lore of diplomacy and statecraft.

"The Diplomat’s Dictionary" contains hundreds of observations about diplomacy, which are arranged alphabetically from A (abruptness) to Z (zeal). It is packed with ruminations on diplomacy from such notables as Abba Eban, Napoleon Bonaparte, Harold Nicholson, Sophocles, Tacictus, Lord Palmerston, Henry Kissinger, Prince Metternich, Charles De Gaulle, Will Rogers and George Kennan.

The dictionary also includes a number of Freeman’s observations that he jotted down over the years. For example:

* "Beware of men who can speak a dozen languages and are able to think in none."
• "Peace negotiations are the war after the war."
• "The usual response of international organizations to crises passes through predictable phases: they ignore the problem; they issue a statement of concern about it; they wring their hands while sitting on them; they declare that they remain seized of the matter; they adjourn."
• "If you want someone to deliver your mail to a foreign government get a postal clerk. If you want to communicate effectively, appoint an ambassador in whose professionalism and discretion you trust."
• "Like war, diplomacy is too important a subject to be left to blundering amateurism.... Diplomacy is too portentous to be entrusted to the politicians, but it is too political to be left to the generals. Those who may be fatally affected by diplomacy’s failures have every reason to demand that only its most skilled, professional practitioners represent their interests."
• "A diplomat is someone who never unintentionally insults another person... Enemies should be made on purpose and not by inadvertence."
• "A camel is a horse designed by a committee. A platypus is a bird put together by bureaucrats. An elephant is a mouse built to military specifications. A shrimp is a fish conceived in the legislative process."
• "A diplomatic reception is like a mousetrap baited with big cheeses, cigars and canapés. When you are outside you want to get it, and when you are inside the mere sight of other mice makes you want to get out. Still the purpose is to trap mice, and it works."
• "Sanctions usually come too late to deter the misbehavior of the nations on which they are targeted but just in time to save the domestic reputations of the governments that impose them."
• "What is wrong with summits is insufficient preparation, lack of clear purpose, inflated expectations and too much ballyhoo. In short, summits are magnificent entertainment, but are they diplomacy?"

Freeman said he is concerned that diplomacy is going through a difficult transition period especially in the United States where it is often devalued.

"The American style is to inappropriately sleight politics and diplomacy as a way of dealing with national security issues and to overemphasize military and coercive measures," he said.
Freeman noted that American diplomacy has changed because the United States is no longer in a Cold War struggle with the Soviet Union.

"There is no clear set of principles that is at stake, no set of interests that are challenged. Things are less fun, and part of it is because what’s at stake is less great. And among the foreign service there has been a loss of a sense of believing it is an elite unit—a sense that only the Marine Corps possesses now," he said.

In order to peice together the core concept of what diplomacy is i'm going to throw my weight behind that bit i bolded, hoping that a casual phrase betrays better insight than lists, graphs, charts and raw data...Other than that, i have only read stuff on diplomacy by Tom Clancy, and i don't think i have an idea where he talks about how diplomacy really works, so i'll paraphrase:
muffy paraphrasing clancy wrote:
those summits you see on TV where everyone's sitting at a round table smiling and/or standing around at some memorial shaking hands and signing agreements isn't where negotiations are made or even treaties settled. The real place where negotiations are undergoing constant flux is the diplomatic receptions where informal comments aren't all chitchat and where points of contention are debated in a more relaxed and less public forum. It's done this way to avoid anyone losing face. In the public forum of roundtable discussion it's actually quite laborious that probably looks alot like lawyers slowly changing the wordings on a deal as the clients wait long hours to conclude a deal.

DISCLAIMER: do please note i'm not a real fan of Tom Clancy's RL political views. he's a bit of a nutter, actually. crude, rude and all that the world fears America is at it's worst. (ie. nobly trampling down the peasants for their greater good, etc) What he does do, at least in his earlier books (haven't read anything but his first six books actually) is get into the nitty gritty and give us the skinny on stuff. he's good at that dirty under the fingernails stuff

Okay, from this and reading about the current EU scandal it's plain to see how the lack of informal "receptions" have led to a very untenable situation where MG expects OV to do exactly what you're not supposed to do in RL. (expect your opponent to lose face)

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