Gunboat diplomacy was the essence of military power projection for centuries. Want to coerce a country? Sail a aircraft carrier battle group into their national waters.
However, carrier battlegroups are hideously expensive, increasingly vulnerable to low cost attack, and less lethal than they appear (most of the weapons systems are used for self-defense).
What are nation-states replacing them with? Drones. You can already see it in action across the world as drone staging areas are replacing traditional military bases/entanglements. Further, drones already account for the vast majority of people killed by US forces.
Of course, the reason for this is clear. Drones are relatively cheap, don’t require many people to deploy/operate, don’t put personnel directly at risk, can be easily outsourced, can be micromanaged from Washington, and are very effective at blowing things up.
The final benefit of Drone Diplomacy: drones make it possible to apply coercion at the individual or small group level in a way that a blunt instrument like a carrier battle group can’t.