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African Research Review

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Utility of Military Strategy as an Instrument of Foreign Policy

SEN Ebaye

Abstract


In the pursuit of foreign policy objectives, states adopt different strategies, one of which is military strategy. This research has taken a critical appraisal of state actors in the international system, and the utility of military power as an instrument of foreign policy. The paper asserts as Osgood did, that one of the main prerequisite of a credible state actor is to develop the military compatibilities and political will, to back its diplomacy by force when necessary. For the use of force is considered as the ultimate tool of international relations following the Clausewitzian conception of war as the continuation of politics by other means. However, as Klaus Knorr rightly concluded in his typology, in either case, whether used defensively or offensively, military power lends a measure of international freedom of action to the state involved (Knorr in Bassey 2005:26). Thus, affirming the political theory of war which argues basically that, in a world system of competing states, the basis of diplomacy, and of all contractual obligations beyond the boundaries of the state rest on the capacity to use (the diplomacy of) violence, both to protect the state, and to protect one’s interest in the face of opposition from other states.



http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/afrrev.v4i1.58221
AJOL African Journals Online