The Art Of The Deal, by The Zman

The U.S. and Europe could have gotten a much better deal from Russia without waging their proxy war in Ukraine than what they’re going to get when the war finally ends. From The Zman at thezman.com:

In the business world, all negotiations start with a central question. Is there a deal to be made that both sides will accept? There is no point in negotiating if one or both sides is not willing to strike a deal. Salesmen are trained to think about this question whenever they engage with a prospective client. Unless they can show that a sale is possible, they should not waste their time. In order for negotiations to make sense, both sides have to want to make a deal and think a deal is possible.

Related to the primary questions are the questions about the shape of the deal, as in what will both sides accept and what will they never accept. Negotiations are often about both sides coming to accept that they will have to take less than what they initially wanted in the deal in order to get the deal done. The two questions that loom over negotiations are “what would we like?” and “what will we accept?” The latter becomes the starting point of an agreement.

War is a form of negotiation. In almost all cases, the attacking side would prefer a negotiated settlement, but they determined that the other side was not prepared to do what was required to make a deal possible. One or both sides is unrealistic about what they can get and what they will accept. The war resets the negotiations. If one side wins convincingly, then they can dictate the terms of the final deal. The important thing about wars is they always end in a settlement.

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