Parent Trap: Do Diplomats Engage in this?

As a father of two kids I noticed my sons will engage one parent against the other to obtain concessions. We’ve all done this growing up. I know I have. You essentially ask one parent to buy you say Doritos and your father says “ask your mother.” Your mother says she will buy it if your father says “ok.” By the time the parents arrive at the cash register they look perplexed. The bag of chips is there and no one said “yes.” The parents think it is cute for a little kid to engage in childish deception but soon discover they need to have a talk to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Does this happen in the international arena where one ally tries to leverage her ties with another to obtain multiple concessions? Absolutely. Does it work? Sometimes it does, sometimes it does not. The difference in diplomacy versus business is a business can find another supplier to sell a product whereas nation states are irreplaceable. The long game is therefore that much more important. Hence, there will always be a need and market for diplomats. Only instead of negotiating for a bag of chips, the stakes are exponentially higher.

Posted by reimanko

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