What happens if countries threaten to cut diplomatic relations. Why is it a threat?

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What happens if countries threaten to cut diplomatic relations. Why is it a threat?

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Think of international relations like a tool box. Inside are all sorts of various tools countries use when dealing with one another – you’ll have things like diplomacy, trade, foreign aid, and military intervention.

When you sever diplomatic relations, you cut official lines of communication between the two countries. This will usually involve a withdrawal of all embassy and diplomatic staff from the country/countries in question. When this happens, the President of the Republic of Dave can no longer pick up a phone and go “I want to speak to the President (or ambassador) of the Republic of John” if there’s ever a dispute. Without the ability to communicate, this compromises the ability to negotiate things like trade or treaties.

That tool box is now a lot emptier, and the few tools remaining are the generally less pleasant ones (ie – military intervention). And there’s an old saying about when all you have is a hammer, every problem starts looking like a nail…