Blake Hounshell over at FP Passport makes an interesting and logical point about the way that the U.S. sometimes uses its military. How, precisely, is a missile destroyer off the Lebanese coast supposed to bolster the current government? Hounshell notes that all the move is likely to do is remind the Lebanese of U.S. sea-to-land shelling during the 1980s (I actually had a Lebanese professor in college, one of whose earliest memories was the sound of American shells shrieking overhead into the mountains), ratcheting up tensions rather than calming them. I'm not a military man. Perhaps the ship has some political or strategic value that I just don't see. Still, while gunboat diplomacy can be useful in certain circumstances (I at least understand, for example, sending more U.S. ships into the Gulf to send a message to Iran), it doesn't seem to hold much potential to improve things in Lebanon.