Trumpian Diplomacy in the Middle East

Is the way forward one of truly preserving options? Not according to Dana Allin and Steven Simon, whose analysis of the punitive approach taken by the Trump Administration explains its errors.

In this way, Mr. Trump’s advisers are not checking but clarifying and amplifying the president’s radically misguided approach to diplomacy: that it is about sticks and rarely carrots, that every negotiation is zero sum and that trust is dangerously naïve. (Of course, the administration is not applying sticks to everyone — by stacking the deck in Israel’s favor, it is making sure that the Palestinians have no choice but to accept an outcome determined by Jerusalem.)

This theory of diplomacy-as-coercion is clear enough and probably has its appeal for people unversed in the intricacies of international peace negotiations. But problems will arise when the Palestinians do not react in the docile manner that administration officials somehow expect

Via “Coercion is not Diplomacy

Behavioral Economics Research Insights that Can Make Diplomacy Better

As Jason Zweig writes, self-deception is a barrier to good investing. We can learn a few things from his summary of 20 years of reading the research, including the following:

  • How conformation bias leads us to find supporting evidence, not contrary views
  • The tendency to not look historically or long-term
  • On hidden biases we all possess, as well as “status quo,” “blind spot,” and “anchoring”
  • Overconfidence in rating our own abilities and judgements.

One takeaway? We aren’t as rational as we think–and need to do more hard thinking to understand ourselves and those with whom we negotiate.

Via “That Cocky Voice in Your Head Is Wrong – WSJ