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For other uses, see Ultimatum (disambiguation).

An ultimatum (; Latin for 'the last one') is a demand whose fulfillment is requested in a specified period of time and which is backed up by a threat to be followed through in case of noncompliance (open loop). An ultimatum is generally the final demand in a series of requests. As such, the time allotted is usually short, and the request is understood not to be open to further negotiation. The threat which backs up the ultimatum can vary depending on the demand in question and on the other circumstances.[citation needed]

The 1853 negotiations between Russian envoy, Prince Menshikov, and the Turkish Sultan about the protection of Orthodox Christians in the Ottoman Empire involved a series of ultimata. On 31 May, Russia threatened that the vassal states of Moldavia and Wallachia would be occupied if Menshikov's note was not accepted within seven days. This Punch cartoon satirises rejection of the ultimatum.

The word is used in diplomacy to signify the final terms submitted by one of the parties in negotiation for settlement of any subject of disagreement. It is accompanied by an intimation as to how refusal will be regarded. English diplomacy has devised the adroit reservation that refusal will be regarded as an "unfriendly act", a phrase which serves as a warning that the consequences of the rupture of negotiations will be considered from the point of view of forcing a settlement. This opens up a variety of possibilities, such as good offices, mediation, the appointment of a commission of inquiry, arbitration, reprisals, pacific blockade and war.

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Unlike the circumstances of an ultimatum, the scenario of deterrence is not bound by specific constraints of time, place, or action, and though a threat may be present, there is no formal guarantee of it being acted out. The scenario of nuclear deterrence (particularly the United States and the Soviet Union in the Cold War) is a good example of this concept: while both nations maintained a sizeable stockpile of nuclear weapons aimed at each other, the intent was to prevent open conflict (closed loop), and that no formal condition for initiating conflict was ever established, except in retaliation for the other side initiating an attack. In an ultimatum situation, such as during the Cuban Missile Crisis, either nation would threaten the use of nuclear weapons if certain demands/constraints were not met independent of that retaliatory capability that would have a fixed point of no return—compliance or warfare.

An ultimatum may also serve to provide legitimacy for military action.

The Hague Convention relative to the Opening of Hostilities of 18 October 1907, provides as follows:

"Considering that it is important, in order to ensure the maintenances of pacific relations, that hostilities should not commence without previous warning," it is agreed by the Contracting Powers to "recognize that hostilities between them must not commence without a previous and explicit warning in the form of either a declaration of war, giving reasons, or an ultimatum with a conditional declaration of war."

As reasons for a declaration of war are necessarily in the nature of an ultimatum, the ultimatum may now be regarded as an indispensable formality precedent to the outbreak of hostilities.

Another Hague convention of the same date respecting the limitation of the employment of force for the recovery of contract debts provides as follows:

"Being desirous of preventing between nations armed conflicts originating in a pecuniary dispute respecting contract debts claimed from the government of one country by the government of another country as due to its subjects or citizens," the Contracting Powers agree "not to have recourse to armed force for the recovery of contract debts claimed from the government of one country by the government of another country as being due to its subjects or citizens."

This undertaking, however, is not applicable when the debtor state refuses or neglects to reply to an offer of arbitration or, "after accepting the offer, renders the settlement of the compromis impossible, or, after the arbitration, fails to comply with the award."

Under this convention, in the cases to which it relates, the alternative of the ultimatum is ipso facto arbitration, and it is only when the conditions of the convention have been set at naught that other measures may be employed.

Subsequent to the United Nations Charter

The United Nations Charter prohibits not only the use of force but also the threat of such use of force, but there is discussion on whether this prohibition applies only to (militarily) credible threats, whether (or when) the threat of the use of force in self-defence is permitted, and what actions (not necessarily accompanied by a verbal threat) can be considered a threat. The International Court of Justice has provided guidance on the legality of the use of threats: generally, if the use of force would be lawful, the threat of such use of force is also legal, and if the actual use of force is later found lawful, then the prior threat is also deemed lawful.

The actor that presents the other side with an ultimatum should be prepared to make good on the threat, for instance, initiate military action, if the other side does not comply with its demands. There are dangers if the threatened actor decides not to comply. On the one hand, if the actor presenting the ultimatum is not willing to go through with the threatened action, the other actor may "call their bluff" presenting a choice between a humiliating climb-down and an unwanted result (such as war). On the other hand, the opponent may take the ultimatum seriously and take pre-emptive action. The ultimatum may encourage the opponent to remain firm so as not to be seen as weak.

One danger here is that the opponent may profess to accept the ultimatum, possibly with conditions, thus weakening the credibility of the issuer of the ultimatum.

Another danger is that the issuer may keep negotiating with the opponent when the requested period of time ends, further weakening the issuer's position.

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  • A threat of force to defeat the opponent or deny him his objectives quickly with little cost.
  • A deadline for compliance.
  • An assurance to the adversary against future demands.
  • An offer of inducements for compliance.
  1. To these may be added a new unofficial method devised by the Turks in connexion with the Austro-Turkish difficulty over the annexation of Bosnia-Herzegovina, viz. the boycotting of the goods and ships of the natives of the state against which the grievance exists. This is a method open to weaker as against more powerful states, which can have serious coercive and even complicated consequences under the influence of democratic institutions.
  1. James L. Richardson (1994), "The Crimean War Crisis, 1853-1854", Crisis Diplomacy, Cambridge University Press, pp. 69–105, ISBN 9780521459877
  2. Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911)."Ultimatum" . Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  3. Article 2(4)
  4. Grimal 2012, Introduction.
  5. George 2003, p. xi.
  6. George 2003, pp. xi–xii.
  7. TAIPEI-MANILA ROW: Premier ‘sorry’ over delayed measures May 16, 2013
  • The dictionary definition of ultimatum at Wiktionary

Ultimatum Article Talk Language Watch Edit For other uses see Ultimatum disambiguation An ultimatum ˌ ʌ l t ɪ ˈ m eɪ t em Latin for the last one is a demand whose fulfillment is requested in a specified period of time and which is backed up by a threat to be followed through in case of noncompliance open loop An ultimatum is generally the final demand in a series of requests As such the time allotted is usually short and the request is understood not to be open to further negotiation The threat which backs up the ultimatum can vary depending on the demand in question and on the other circumstances citation needed The 1853 negotiations between Russian envoy Prince Menshikov and the Turkish Sultan about the protection of Orthodox Christians in the Ottoman Empire involved a series of ultimata On 31 May Russia threatened that the vassal states of Moldavia and Wallachia would be occupied if Menshikov s note was not accepted within seven days This Punch cartoon satirises rejection of the ultimatum 1 The word is used in diplomacy to signify the final terms submitted by one of the parties in negotiation for settlement of any subject of disagreement It is accompanied by an intimation as to how refusal will be regarded English diplomacy has devised the adroit reservation that refusal will be regarded as an unfriendly act a phrase which serves as a warning that the consequences of the rupture of negotiations will be considered from the point of view of forcing a settlement This opens up a variety of possibilities such as good offices mediation the appointment of a commission of inquiry arbitration reprisals pacific blockade and war a Contents 1 Deterrence 2 Requirement for military action 3 International law 3 1 Subsequent to the United Nations Charter 4 Advantages and disadvantages 5 Theory and strategy behind coercive diplomacy 6 Tactics and requirements for success 7 See also 8 Notes 9 References 10 Sources 11 External linksDeterrence EditUnlike the circumstances of an ultimatum the scenario of deterrence is not bound by specific constraints of time place or action and though a threat may be present there is no formal guarantee of it being acted out The scenario of nuclear deterrence particularly the United States and the Soviet Union in the Cold War is a good example of this concept while both nations maintained a sizeable stockpile of nuclear weapons aimed at each other the intent was to prevent open conflict closed loop and that no formal condition for initiating conflict was ever established except in retaliation for the other side initiating an attack In an ultimatum situation such as during the Cuban Missile Crisis either nation would threaten the use of nuclear weapons if certain demands constraints were not met independent of that retaliatory capability that would have a fixed point of no return compliance or warfare Requirement for military action EditAn ultimatum may also serve to provide legitimacy for military action International law EditThe Hague Convention relative to the Opening of Hostilities of 18 October 1907 provides as follows Considering that it is important in order to ensure the maintenances of pacific relations that hostilities should not commence without previous warning it is agreed by the Contracting Powers to recognize that hostilities between them must not commence without a previous and explicit warning in the form of either a declaration of war giving reasons or an ultimatum with a conditional declaration of war As reasons for a declaration of war are necessarily in the nature of an ultimatum the ultimatum may now be regarded as an indispensable formality precedent to the outbreak of hostilities Another Hague convention of the same date respecting the limitation of the employment of force for the recovery of contract debts provides as follows Being desirous of preventing between nations armed conflicts originating in a pecuniary dispute respecting contract debts claimed from the government of one country by the government of another country as due to its subjects or citizens the Contracting Powers agree not to have recourse to armed force for the recovery of contract debts claimed from the government of one country by the government of another country as being due to its subjects or citizens This undertaking however is not applicable when the debtor state refuses or neglects to reply to an offer of arbitration or after accepting the offer renders the settlement of the compromis impossible or after the arbitration fails to comply with the award Under this convention in the cases to which it relates the alternative of the ultimatum is ipso facto arbitration and it is only when the conditions of the convention have been set at naught that other measures may be employed 2 Subsequent to the United Nations Charter Edit The United Nations Charter 3 prohibits not only the use of force but also the threat of such use of force but there is discussion on whether this prohibition applies only to militarily credible threats whether or when the threat of the use of force in self defence is permitted and what actions not necessarily accompanied by a verbal threat can be considered a threat 4 The International Court of Justice has provided guidance on the legality of the use of threats generally if the use of force would be lawful the threat of such use of force is also legal and if the actual use of force is later found lawful then the prior threat is also deemed lawful 4 Advantages and disadvantages EditThe actor that presents the other side with an ultimatum should be prepared to make good on the threat for instance initiate military action if the other side does not comply with its demands 5 There are dangers if the threatened actor decides not to comply On the one hand if the actor presenting the ultimatum is not willing to go through with the threatened action the other actor may call their bluff presenting a choice between a humiliating climb down and an unwanted result such as war On the other hand the opponent may take the ultimatum seriously and take pre emptive action 6 The ultimatum may encourage the opponent to remain firm so as not to be seen as weak 6 One danger here is that the opponent may profess to accept the ultimatum possibly with conditions thus weakening the credibility of the issuer of the ultimatum 6 Another danger is that the issuer may keep negotiating with the opponent when the requested period of time ends further weakening the issuer s position 7 Theory and strategy behind coercive diplomacy EditThis section is empty You can help by adding to it April 2013 Tactics and requirements for success EditThis section has multiple issues Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page Learn how and when to remove these template messages This section does not cite any sources Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources Unsourced material may be challenged and removed April 2013 Learn how and when to remove this template message This section needs expansion You can help by adding to it April 2013 Learn how and when to remove this template message A threat of force to defeat the opponent or deny him his objectives quickly with little cost A deadline for compliance An assurance to the adversary against future demands An offer of inducements for compliance See also EditBoulwarism Hobson s choiceNotes Edit To these may be added a new unofficial method devised by the Turks in connexion with the Austro Turkish difficulty over the annexation of Bosnia Herzegovina viz the boycotting of the goods and ships of the natives of the state against which the grievance exists This is a method open to weaker as against more powerful states which can have serious coercive and even complicated consequences under the influence of democratic institutions References Edit James L Richardson 1994 The Crimean War Crisis 1853 1854 Crisis Diplomacy Cambridge University Press pp 69 105 ISBN 9780521459877 Chisholm Hugh ed 1911 Ultimatum Encyclopaedia Britannica 11th ed Cambridge University Press Article 2 4 a b Grimal 2012 Introduction George 2003 p xi a b c George 2003 pp xi xii TAIPEI MANILA ROW Premier sorry over delayed measures May 16 2013Sources EditByman Daniel Waxman Matthew 2002 The Dynamics of Coercion American Foreign Policy and the Limits of Military Might Cambridge University Press ISBN 978 052100780 1 George Alexander L 1991 Art Robert J Cronin Patrick M eds Forceful Persuasion Coercive Diplomacy as an Alternative to War US Institute of Peace Press ISBN 978 187837914 6 George Alexander L 2003 Foreword In Art Robert J Cronin Patrick M eds The United States and coercive diplomacy US Institute of Peace Press pp i xiii ISBN 978 192922345 9 Grimal Francis 2012 Threats of Force International Law and Strategy Routledge ISBN 0415609852 Levy Jack S 2008 Deterrence and Coercive Diplomacy The Contributions of Alexander George PDF Political Psychology 29 4 537 552 doi 10 1111 j 1467 9221 2008 00648 x Archived from the original PDF on 20 July 2011 Nemeth Major Lisa 2009 The Use of Pauses in Coercion An Explanation in Theory pdf School of Advanced Military Studies United States Army Command and General Staff College Fort Leavenworth Kansas Archived from the original on 4 June 2011 a href wiki Template Cite journal title Template Cite journal cite journal a Cite journal requires journal help Tanous Lieutenant Colonel Stephen M 7 April 2003 Building a Psychological Strategy for the U S Leveraging the Informational Element of National Power PDF USAWC STRATEGY RESEARCH PROJECT U S Army War College Carlisle Barracks Pennsylvania Archived PDF from the original on 2 November 2009 a href wiki Template Cite journal title Template Cite journal cite journal a Cite journal requires journal help Art Robert J Waltz Kenneth Neal eds 2004 The Use of Force Military Power and International Politics Rowman amp Littlefield ISBN 978 074252557 3 Hill Norman Was There an Ultimatum Before Pearl Harbour American Journal of International Law Vol 42 No 2 Apr 1948 p 335 JSTOR Lauren Paul Gorden Ultimata and Coercive Diplomacy International Studies Quarterly Vol 16 No 2 Jun 1972 p 131 JSTOR External links Edit The dictionary definition of ultimatum at Wiktionary Retrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title Ultimatum amp oldid 1091157771, wikipedia, wiki, book,

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