Author: Patrick Blannin
One of the most dominant security issues of the twenty-first century has been the US led battle against transnational terrorism – the aptly named Long War. Over the past fifteen years the Long War has been examined using multiple perspectives. However, one central mechanism is missing in current Long War analyses: defence diplomacy. Defence diplomacy enhances the diplomatic and security capacity of a state, providing the only link between executive office and the ministries of foreign affairs and defence, two vital institutions in the Long War. Using a case study of US defence diplomacy in Afghanistan from 2001 to 2014, the paper argues simply that the practice of defence diplomacy far outweighs current theories on what it is, how it works and why it matters. The paper aims to generate a more nuanced understanding of defence diplomacy, as well as identify it as a key component of the US CT/COIN strategy to achieve their Long War policy objectives.

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Patrick Blannin, PhD candidate (comp. 2018), conducts research and publishes in the discipline of International Relations across the fields of Terrorism Studies, Diplomacy and Strategic Studies on issues such as 21st century counter-insurgency, Middle East terrorist organisations, counter-terrorism strategy and tactics, counter-financing and the role of soft-power in counter-terrorism.
Defence Diplomacy in the Long War
Patrick Blannin
 Diplomacy: A Timeless Existential Phenomenon
 Defence Diplomacy: Diplomats in Uniform
 Defence Diplomacy in the Long War
The manuscript will be interest for anyone interested in viewing one of the most important global security issues of the 21st century through a new and distinct lens. It will particularly be of interest to both scholars across the discipline IR and to civilian and military practitioners engaged in the vitally important yet misunderstood political-military union of defence diplomacy.