Tuesday, October 4, 2011

healing, floating, humanitarian

The USS Comfort, pictured above, is a hospital boat deployed by the US Navy to aid civilians in places of war or natural disaster. Its mission goes beyond just healing the sick, as it is also an example of medical diplomacy, a form of soft power. This persuasion is openly acknowledged. Giving foreign aid is often much more than simply a kind gesture to humanity, it is also an expression of power. For better or worse, aid is an important form of diplomacy.

1 comment:

  1. I've been interested in this example for sometime now mostly because of the many variables or levels of diplomacy and power that are represented. Thinking about the ship (any ship) and how the international boarders surrounding coasts is an invisible barrier that typically can only be seen on the radar with computer generated lines. Funny how an intangible line can have so much effect on a ship with 8,000 horsepower and weighing around 3,000 tons. I was also intrigued by how the USS Comfort, as you described it, is an expression of power, to whom that power is tied to, and how it can conceal its level of authority or threat from others by the fact that it is a ship for aid. A lot of it has to do with the universal symbol of aid painted all over the port, starboard, bow of the ship.