Successful negotiation boils down to three essential factors: agency, operation, and language. There has to be a drive by both sides to talk. Our readings this week have adequality shown when and where those meeting points transpire, of which they are rooted in the struggles for power and whichever side of the conflict is losing or winning, as well as the general population’s perspective on either group. That appears to be something akin to the proverb ‘it is what it is.’ What is entirely disheartening about that is the ‘is’ in this case is war and civilian death. However, it is legitimate to base an understanding of negotiation on the disparity between conflicting groups. Where I find a much greater need for agency and discourse on agency in negotiations would be the international response to intrastate conflict. There should always be a global initiative to apply heavy pressure to initiate negotiations well before the point either side would be willing to talk. While the dynamics of the disparity between groups is crucial, the civilian fallout of any conflict is much more critical. However, the global response to most intrastate conflict is entirely subjective and interest based.
There is a critical need for peacekeeping within any conflict negotiation. Something or someone has to administer, manage, monitor and produce the language and peace being negotiated. Talk is just talking without any action. I do not believe people are inherently ‘honest,’ I do believe we are inherently honest most of the time. However, when pressure is applied rationality might become a luxury. Sri Lanka gave us quite a compelling example of what conflicting parties will do in a cease-fire and to each other when the fighting is going on. Peacekeeping aside from the obvious civilian benefits also acts as an assurance towards compliance or a monitoring of non-compliance. I am, however, quite radical in beliefs regarding the legitimacy of a sovereign nation or rebel group being able to supply, control and administer a peacekeeping force. To that effect, I believe sovereignty is irrelevant to the critical need for any peacekeeping force being an international consensus and independent of the conflict at hand. Simply stated, I do not find it should be a right for a nation to refuse an international peacekeeping force.
Language cannot be overlooked in importance. The wording, the rhetoric, and the ideas behind both can almost be looked at as the most important factor. I do current believe the text between Taiwan, the US, and China is what has caused an absence of outright conflict between the three of us. Yes, economics is of crucial importance and our fates are tightly bound together. I, however, believe the reality of economics happened to be the catalyst or drive to ‘write it out’ in such a way that we could all walk away and ‘cool off’ for a later date. I believe that ‘resolving’ is on the way to a ‘resolution’ but the act of resolving might not mean an absolute decision has been made; the wording must be spot on if there is no complete resolution. Equally important to not forget is that negotiating resolutions are squarely rooted in a temporal environment and as such proper wording is imperative to maintain an understanding until further understandings occur. In Conclusion, maybe I am creating a contorted word-soup, but somewhere inside me, I think there might be a logic to it.