Diplomacy Description

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Useof diplomacy by US to avoid conflict with Libya

Diplomacyis the act of handling an issue that affects people in a sensitiveway so as to avoid or reduce the level of conflict that would ariseif the issue is mishandled. In this case, the diplomatic ways takento solve issues are usually peaceful means(Bellamy, 2015).Diplomatic ways of solving conflicts have various results. This isfirst seen in the reduction of the conflicts that would arise, say ifthe military option is taken. In this case, the issue is about theUnited Nations, led by the US that tried to solve a conflict thatoccurred in the year 1998. This happened in that, a plane was bombedin Scotland and killed scores of people. Diplomacy in this discussionis seen as a way of solving conflict even though it has variousdisadvantages. The most significant disadvantage is that thediplomacy applied seems to take quite a long time before the impactis felt. Also, at the end of it all, less of the set objectives havebeen found to be achieved by the application of diplomacy.


  • The main cause of the conflict between the United States and Libya was the plane crash in Scotland that was suspected to be conducted by suspects from Libya. Libya, however, under the leadership of Gaddafi had refused to hand over the suspects to the US for trial.

  • The refusal by the Libyan to give out the suspect prompted the United Nations, led by the US to device a mechanism that would force the forwarding of the suspects for trial (Crall, &amp Martin, 2013). Military option was left out as it would have caused more harm to the civilians.

  • The United States government decided to impose trade sanctions against Libya. The sanctions were to prevent the supply of industrial machines into Libya until the Libyan government agreed to forward the terror suspects.

  • For quite some time, the Libyan government refused to hand over the suspects to the US government. This went on exposing the economy of the Libyan country which suffered development derailing.

  • It was not until the year 1999 that the Libyan leader gave in to the demands of the United Nations. He handed over the suspects to the United States. The suspects were found guilty of bombing the plane in Scotland over ten years ago.

  • This is the time that the United Nations uplifted the sanctions that it had placed against the Libyan country.

  • Another main example of a country that has ever faced the sanctions as a way of solving conflicts is South Africa. This country faced various trade sanctions due to the high rate of apartheid that was being exercised in the country.

  • Sanctions were imposed, and this saw the South African country apply all means to avoid further sanctions which were slowing down the development of their country. This is seen to have benefited the South Africans.

Shortfallsof sanctions as a diplomatic way of solving conflicts

  • Sanctions result in various unintended results that occur and are experienced automatically.

  • In the above case, for instance, many people who were involved in the trade of importing the industrial equipment were rendered jobless after the sanctions.

  • The relationship between the countries involved was also affected negatively as they started seeing each other as enemies and rivals who may not walk together in the near future.

  • The impact of the trade sanctions proves to be more of long term than short-term. This is because the impact is felt for a long time and it takes long to reverse the trend.

  • More severe damage is caused by the sanctions. In some countries, more people have been indicated as those who even die out of the sanctions that are imposed.

  • Sanctions are said to be more severe on impact than even the actual war. The sanctions are therefore tough and dangerous cold war.

  • Another major challenge that comes with sanctions is that the poor are the most affected by the sanctions that are imposed (Vandewalle, 2015). The rich are less affected as they can use various avenues to attain what they need in life.

  • The leaders who are in government hence tend to be reluctant in accepting what they are being forced to do by other countries as they don’t directly feel the impact.


Asthe discussion has shown, diplomacy is an alternative way of solvingconflicts that are present amongst those that are in place fordisposal. As compared to the military method of solving conflicts,diplomacy has been seen to be more peaceful in terms of the exerciseinvolved.

Onthe other hand, it has been seen to have various shortcomings whilebeing implemented. This was seen in the fact that the intended goalstake so long before realization(Maness, &amp Valeriano, 2015).The long-term impact of the sanctions has also been seen to be moresevere than even the military action against any country.

Asa recommendation, sanctions ought to be induced where easier ways ofsolving conflicts have been exhausted and proved fruitless. This willreduce the aspect of severity in the application of the diplomaticmethod of solving conflicts.


Bellamy,A. J. (2015). The Responsibility to Protect turns ten. Ethics&amp International Affairs,29(02),161-185.

Crall,D. A., &amp Martin, T. M. (2013). Cool Hand Nuke: Lessons From theQuiet Diplomacy of the Cienfuegos Non‐Crisis.ForeignPolicy Analysis,9(2),189-201.

Maness,R. C., &amp Valeriano, B. (2015). Rivalry Persistence and the Caseof the United States and Russia: From Global Rivalry to RegionalConflict. In Russia’sCoercive Diplomacy(pp. 45-84). Palgrave Macmillan UK.

Vandewalle,D. J. (2015). 5 LIBYA. IsolateOr Engage: Adversarial States, US Foreign Policy, and PublicDiplomacy,140.

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