Syria thoughts: Linus Pauling famously said, “The best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas.”
Last night I was thinking about the Syria situation and the limited range of options the US is considering. To improve one’s negotiating position, it’s very good to develop a range of options, and also to see what can be done to improve our best alternative to a negotiated agreement (the BATNA that Fisher and Ury discussion in Getting to Yes). It struck me at the time that Congres and the White House should be developing lists of various alternatives and options and sharing those with the American public. The public must pay the price, so bring the public into the information circle. Enough of this secrecy: as we’ve seen repeatedly, highly secret operations tend to fail because not enough people reviewed and critiqued the plans. (Great example: the Bay of Pigs Invasion of Cuba.)
And now James Fallows has a post with a guy who knows a lot more than do I but who is also suggesting that the US has not delineated a sufficient variety of options.