Saturday, April 04, 2009

Rules of Negotiation

In light of the Obama's missteps in discussing missile defense with the Russians early last month - in which President Obama essentially offered to give up the European component of missile defense in exchange for "help" with Iran - Jules Crittenden came up with this advice:

1. Don’t trust Russians.

2. Don’t write when you can speak.

3. Don’t speak when you can nod.

4. Don’t nod when you can wink.

5. Don’t wink if you don’t have to.

6. Don’t trust Russians.

7. Don’t try to haggle in matters of vital national security.

8. Consider how far you can throw your Russian counterpart. Don’t trust him that far.

9. Never offer everything as your opening position. Also:
9.A. Don’t trust Russians.

9.B. Never offer anything that is worth more than whatever it is they don’t intend to give you anyway.

9.C. Don’t trust Russians.
10. And finally, don’t trust Russians.

It's good advice.