Following the news that 57% of Americans are in support of sending ground troops to flight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, it appears that the UK are following suit with one in three voters backing the idea as well.
Speaking on Friday the Prime Minister said ‘I’m not going to talk about specific individuals and specific cases. But… when there are people anywhere in the world who commit appalling and heinous crimes against British citizens, we will do everything we can with the police, with the security services, with all that we have at our disposal to find these people and put them out of action.
So what does he mean by this? Is he pro troops? Hoping to go in all guns blazing (literally) and follow the words of Dick Cheney when he said ‘“we don’t negotiate with evil; we defeat it”? Or is he more of a Hugh Gaitskell when he brashly stated “All terrorists, at the invitation of the government, end up with drinks in the Dorchester?”
It is a fact that terrorism can not be beaten by military actions alone, but how do you go about talking to deadly radicals? Surely it is evident that traditional negotiation theories struggle to hold any weight in modern times, after all how many reasonable terrorist have you come across? However, by following Robbins (2005) 5 step negotiation process (as pictured below) you do begin to gain a framework that could be used as a basis when negotiating with terrorists. After all, negotiation deals aren’t completely unheard of in British political history, it is just the question of how successful they actually are in the long run.
After famously declaring that the British Government would never talk to ‘murder gangs,’ in 1920, Prime Minister David Llloyd Jones began negotiations for a ceasefire with the IRA after admitting a military victory was unobtainable and a final yet flawed treaty was signed a year later in 1921, lasting under a year. Although negotiating with terrorists seems to lead to temporary fixes, it is the prevention of war that saves lives until a permanent solution is found .
Some people would say negotiating with terrorists shows signs of weakness and nothing adventitious can be gained from it, but what would be an effective and enduring alternative?
Let me know what your opinions through the poll and comment box below