WINNING THE AFGHAN WAR
I am a negotiator by profession. I lecture and write on the subject.
Don’t be too impressed. It isn’t complex. The basis for all negotiations is:
someone – let’s call him “Ted” – wants something someone else (let’s call him “Raool”) has.
In order to persuade Raool to give Ted what Raool has but Ted wants, Ted has to do one of two things:
A. offer Raool something Raool knows Raool wants; or
B. educate Raool that Raool wants/needs something Ted has that Raool didn’t realize Raool wants or needs.
If you have these things, you end up with a successful negotiation that results in a deal.
It is the same whether you are looking at negotiations between individuals, groups, businesses or nations.
And that’s what bothers me about the Afghan War. To me it is inconceivable that the United States is fighting this war virtually alone when it could very easily negotiate a deal with lots of other countries to help finance and even fight that war.
Let me show you how easy it should be. Many, many nations want to begin a process that will reduce global consumption of fossil fuels and maybe –just maybe – help avoid aggravating the affects of global climate change.
I am not interested in debating whether or not humans are responsible for climate change or even if it is happening at all. What matters is that lots of countries – especially the ones prone to flooding if sea levels rise, or the ones prone to famine from loss of rainfall due to shifting weather patterns – really, really want the United States to cooperate with efforts to cut back on greenhouse gases. That’s what they want – and they want it bad.
So, it looks like a deal can be made. They want something that they can’t get done without US cooperation (movement towards a global effort to limit greenhouse gases) and the US wants something (troops and money for Afghanistan).
So why is the United States making noises like it is going to cooperate with an international plan to begin to address the climate change issue without an agreement for troops and/or cash for Afghanistan from the countries that most want and need the US to cooperate in an international effort to combat climate change?
It simply makes no sense. To me.
But it isn’t too late. President Obama, listen to Professor Boylan: don’t give anything away without getting something back for it. And do not agree to anything on climate change treaties or legislation without getting troops and money to help fight and finance the Afghan war.