June 12 2014 image description
by: jmhumire 0 Comments

The Swap is a Dream Come True for the Taliban

Was the Bowe Bergdahl swap a good idea? For the Taliban, it’s a dream come true. For the United States, a nightmare.

An American president knowingly released five of his nation’s highest ranking enemies in return for one young soldier during wartime. And not just any soldier, one who apparently walked off post after e-mailing his parents that America was “disgusting” and mailing home his uniforms and books.

Such a wartime decision is unprecedented, and has brought American power to a new low.

 … (more…)
October 23 2013 image description
by: jmhumire 0 Comments

Is Iran Killing the U.S. With Kindness?

Obama shouldn’t be fooled by the Iranian president’s charm offensive

One negotiating tactic for prying desired results from important yet reluctant people is the time-tested principle of “killing them with kindness.” Charming others to your side is generally well received, and can produce win-win scenarios. 

Though what if one side only wants to trick the other into lowering its guard so it can achieve goals at the other’s expense?  In the business world, it happens often. Like buying a lemon from a used car salesman – the guy who was so incredibly nice! But nations also play this game. Japanese diplomats infamously delivered a memo to the State Department in Washington on the afternoon of Dec. 7, 1941 stating that Tokyo was breaking off negotiations. Too bad it came an hour after Pacific Fleet battleships were being sunk at Pearl Harbor.

Fast forward to 2013.

Iran has suddenly taken a kinder, gentler approach to the West. Newly elected President Hasan Rouhani is communicating directly with President Barack Obama. He’s signaled compromise over Tehran’s nuclear program, freed political prisoners and replaced the military with the foreign ministry to lead nuclear negotiations. His boss, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, even saluted Jews worldwide by tweeting Rosh Hashanah well wishes. 

But is it all for show?  

(more…)