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:

  1. someone – let’s call him “Ted” – wants something someone else (let’s call him “Raool”) has.

  2. 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.


11 Responses to “WINNING THE AFGHAN WAR”

  1. Oh this global warming issue is bad but I must say there is plenty of correlation with the energy of the sun. Remember the 80’s when the campaign was to stop global cooling? Once again, the sun is the factor. I am all for cleaning up the planet however. Stuff we humans do to our environment is disgusting.

    Back to your point…

    I have to agree with you.

    Cheers buddy,


  2. Yes. I agree – which is what makes the deal so appealing; we get something for nothing.


  3. You’re kidding, aren’t you?
    This article is just a big joke right?


  4. ced – I am NOT going to reassure you that this is a piece of satire (I mean, come on: “give us troops and money or we won’t save the earth”?) because, in addition to satire and parody I adore dramatic irony, and your uncertainty is the best thing that’s happened to me thus far today. I’m sorry. But I write this stuff to amuse myself and that sort of thing does it for me.




  6. What does Raool ALWAYS want? Loose women, that’s what.


  7. and we go back to the previous tenant analogy….


  8. Ha ha very funny.


  9. So the best negotiator is one that can get something for nothing.

    I missed that we were getting something for nothing. I thought we were getting help appeasing the local war mongers and, as many of them are part of the bunch bashing those concerned with the planet, at least getting them on board cleaning things up. Of course, in the end we loose ’cause there’s nothing like war to destroy a nice planet.


  10. OMG

    thats a great/scary idea.

    Your intellect terrifies me, and if you chose to use your powers for evil rather than good I fear the world would fall to Supervillinesqueness within a month.


  11. “What does Raool ALWAYS want? Loose women, that’s what.

    don’t we all.


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