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personalities who collectively comprise its working apparatus. Its action is the product of their interaction. They bargain not at random but according to the processes, conforming to the perquisites, responsive to the pressures of their own political system.

It follows that relationships between allies are something like relationships between two great American departments, say Defense and State-except that there is no supreme court like the White House to adjudicate their differences or overcome them. These are relationships of vast machines with different histories, routines, preoccupations, prospects. Each machine is worked by men with different personalities, skills, drives, responsibilities. Each set of men, quite naturally, would rather do his work in independence of the other set. They, overcome that preference when they find the others useful or essential in their business. The impulse to collaborate is not a law of nature. It emerges from within, arising on the job, expressive of a need for someone else's aid or service.

From this, two things follow:

First, if one government would influence the actions of another, it must find means to convince enough men and the right men on the other side that what it wants is what they need for their own purposes, in their own jobs, comporting with their own internally inspired hopes and fears, so that they will pursue it for themselves in their own bargaining arena. This is what we did, with Stalin's help—and economic crisis—in Europe nearly 20 years ago. This is what we failed to do, without that help, on the European Defense Community, when it ran the gauntlet of the French Assembly 11 years ago.

And second, if one wants to tie the policies of governments together, over time, one seeks joint ventures or concerns which link the daily doings of key men on either side, making them dependent on each other in their work, giving them concrete incentives to collaborate.

Before NATO, the most intimate, sustained peacetime alliance between major powers in the modern world was that of Germany and Austria-Hungary, from 1879 to 1914. Save for some joint meetings between military staffs, this alliance lacked machinery such as we associate with NATO. But what it had instead was great weight in the public politics and also in the bureaucratic politics of both regimes, together with the sanction of a powerful tradition: except for 13 years after the Austro-Prussian War (and a decade in Napoleon's time), the two countries had always been mixed up with one another.

Short of such pervasive links in politics, particular joint ventures often have contributed to binding an alliance. Until the missile age, for instance, 'while the bomber still gave SAC its strength, the shorter flying time of Britain's Bomber Command made English capabilities count heavily with us.

In the deterrent business we, of course, were senior partner, but the British saved us trouble, also money, and indeed provided something irreplaceable, what we used to call an "unsinkable carrier.” American defense officials, therefore, had to think about the British every time they thought about themselves. That is a very binding tie between two governments.

The common status of the dollar and the pound as reserve currencies for the free world becomes another tie of roughly the same sort, and one which still is very much at work between these governments. As Eisenhower found in 1956 when he decided to change British policy on Suez, there is a lot of leverage in this relationship. But as we have seen recently there also is a lot of common ground because of it.


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Ventures or concerns in common of these sorts give men inside each government a hand-hold on the hopes and fears of men inside the other as they do their work, pursue their needs, in their arena, day by day. For a peacetime alliance, lacking Stalin or his like, few things can help more to keep two governments together.

(From Arms and Influence by Thomas C. Schelling, Yale University Press,

New Haven, 1966]


By Thomas C. Schelling There seems to be a widespread belief that "negotiation," or "bargaining," is essentially a verbal activity, even a formal one, and that there is no negotiation unless the parties are in direct verbal contact, even face to face. According to this definition there was no visible “negotiation” between the American government and the Vietcong or the North Vietnamese in the spring of 1965, and no “negotiation” between Khrushchev and Eisenhower in Paris in 1960, in the wake of the U-2 incident, when the summit conference did not quite occur. By the same definition a strike is not part of an industrial negotiation but rather an object of it; to sulk, to walk out, to bang one's shoe on the table, to overturn strikebreakers' automobiles, to concentrate marines in the Caribbean, or to bomb targets in North Vietnam is not only not negotiation, according to this definition, but a denial of negotiationthe thing that negotiation is a proper substitute for. For legal or tactical purposes, this is often a good definition; etiquette is worth something, and when the National Labor Relations Act adjures disputants "to bargain in good faith,” meaning to sit down and talk responsively, this highly restrictive definition of bargaining serves a purpose, that of imposing some civilized and conservative rules on the conduct of bargaining. Analytically, though, the essence of bargaining is the communication of intent, the perception of intent, the manipulation of expectations about what one will accept or refuse, the issuance of threats, offers, and assurances, the display of resolve and evidence of capabilities, the communication of constraints on what one can do, the search for compromise and jointly desirable exchanges, the creation of sanctions to enforce understandings and agreements, genuine efforts to persuade and inform, and the creation of hostility, friendliness, mutual respect, or rules of etiquette. The actual talk, especially the formal talk, is only a part of this, often a small part, and since talk is cheap it is often deeds and displays that matter most. Wars, strikes, tantrums, and tailgating can be "bargaining” as much as talk can be. Sometimes they are not, when they become disconnected from any conscious process of coercion, persuasion, or communication of intent; but, then, formal diplomatic talk can also cease to be meaningful negotiation.

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(From How Nations Negotiate by Fred Charles Iklé, Frederick A. Praeger, New

York, 1967)


By Fred Charles Iklé


There is no simple rule as to when negotiation is needed, and when tacit bargaining or even less conscious confrontations are more effective to restructure international relations. For certain arrangements negotiation clearly cannot be dispensed with; for others it is optional; and there are some issues which are better settled without it.

Negotiation is necessary for any arrangement that establishes complicated forms of collaboration, such as a joint war effort or Britain's attempted entry into the Common Market. (In contrast, the entry of, say, the Ivory Coast into the United Nations did not require significant negotiations.) Negotiation is needed for most exchanges, such as exchanges of prisoners or the granting of mutual consular facilities, and for all transactions involving monetary compensation, as in the payment of oil royalties or the leasing of air bases. Negotiation is, of course, necessary for the setting up of formal international institutions and for any arrangement where an explicit agreement is essential, such as a peace treaty or an alliance system.

On the other hand, certain undertakings are arrived at in such a delicate way that explicit proposals might interfere with the process. The mutually observed restrictions in the Korean War (for instance, no attacks on the supply lines leading into North and South Korea) is an example of arrangements that would not have been facilitated or might even have been upset by negotiation. The very uncertainties of a tacit understanding may have made these restrictions more stable, because both sides were unwilling to probe and push toward the limits of the "bargain,” lest it all be upset. The negotiation of an explicit quid pro quo might have given rise to new demands and invited more haggling and tugging than the arrangement which the parties never discussed and never explicitly settled. Furthermore, while soldiers were being killed fighting the enemy, negotiations to establish rules and restraints for the battle or on the interdiction of supplies would have clashed with domestic opinion and perhaps adversely affected the morale of the troops.

Likewise, if there is a deep-seated hostility between the populations of two countries, governments may be unable to negotiate because of public opposition but may work out some arrangements of mutual interest through tacit bargaining. The relationship between Jordan and Israel is an example.

In the field of arms control and disarmament, where we have become so accustomed to large and formal conferences, important understandings can at times be arrived at without negotiation. Formal talks might, in fact, make it more difficult to harmonize some arms policies insofar as they inevitably introduce political issues or questions of prestige and legal precedents.


Nations closely linked in a common effort sometimes develop a highly accommodating negotiating style, which resembles the decisionmaking process within an intra-governmental committee rather than the usual mode of bargaining between governments. The cooperation between the United States and Great Britain during World War II was conducted in this fashion, particularly on the highest level between Roosevelt and Churchill. More recently, the advocates of closer integration in the European Communities have been promoting such an accommodating style. In the negotiations among the six member states and within the Community organs, the participants are reminded regularly to act in accordance with the "community spirit,” l'esprit communautaire as it is called in Brussels.

Back in 1950, when Jean Monnet chaired the negotiations for the formation of the Coal and Steel Community, he first taught his conegotiators to see their task in the "community spirit.” He wanted them to focus on the common interest, rather than on trades between conflicting interests, and to maximize the advantages of their joint undertaking, rather than to exchange separate gains and losses with each other. He discouraged compromises in which a party would barter a concession on one issue against some advantage on an entirely different issue. He felt logrolling or heterogeneous package deals would not be conducive to a constructive, joint effort in behalf of the common objectives. Monnet conducted the initial meetings, where the principles of the Coal and Steel Community were first discussed, without any verbatim records. The negotiators were not allowed to hold anyone else to his opinions or statements from earlier meetings. This facilitated the formation of a common view, based on a single conception of the joint undertaking, rather than on bartered .compromises. Thus, in this setting a procedure proved fruitful which was the exact opposite of the rule that partial agreements should be adhered to.

Of course, not all negotiations in the history of European integration were conducted in this harmonious fashion. One of the most jarring departures from the esprit communautaire was De Gaulle's sudden and unilateral decision to veto Britain's application for membership in the Common Market. .

What helps to preserve the "community spirit” is the interest of each partner in reciprocation. When nations are engaged in a longterm common effort, each government needs the future collaboration of its partners and remains dependent on their good will. This makes it possible to regard an act of generosity today as establishing a credit for tomorrow. And it makes it safe for negotiators to accept an agreement in principle-provided all partners have the same understanding of it-and to leave the details to the experts or technicians. The "community spirit” permits the negotiators to dispense with some of the more rigid rules of accommodation that may seem necessary between less friendly nations, such as the pettifogging concern about agendas, the objections to a revision of partial agreements, the one-toone reciprocation of concessions, and the stickling equality of negotiating languages. Instead, there is a strong emphasis on the common objectives, there are no important hidden motives, and the discourse is free from the wasted verbiage to which the world has become so accustomed in East-West conferences or in the United Nations General Assembly. .


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To keep the opponent interested in negotiating, diplomats often formulate their proposals in a flexible fashion. The marked preference for flexibility among many Western diplomats results, in part, from the fear that the opponent might suddenly choose no-agreement if faced with a firm position. In part, Western diplomats keep their proposals flexible because they feel that this is the proper way to negotiate.

But this tactic is self-defeating if the diplomats on the opponent's side want to prove their mettle by showing that they pushed you as far as possible. They cannot satisfy themselves (or their government) that they have reached the limit as long as you offer them a menu of choices, particularly if the menu keeps changing. This is the reason why Westerners have been warned against trying out many variant proposals in negotiating with the Russians. Occasionally, though, a variant proposal may have helped to get a satisfactory agreement with the Soviet Union, for instance the Western proposal for a partial test ban.

However, if your opponent is under domestic pressure to reach agreement and to demonstrate his own flexibility, your flexibility can be used to hasten agreement. You may ensnare him into accepting one of your proposals by putting many alternatives before him.

Tacit bargaining moves may add firmness to negotiations that are otherwise conducted in a flexible manner. The reason is that the opponent usually cannot tell how flexible or firm a tacit move is meant to be as long as it does not become the subject of explicit negotiation. Statesmen who feel constrained by tradition or by domestic opinion to maintain an appearance of flexibility, therefore, can profit from tacit moves that they link to, but do not mention in, their proposals. Also, whereas rigid explicit proposals might antagonize the opponent and cause him to break off negotiations, tacit moves might be tolerated by him because he does not know whether the lack of flexibility is intentional or not.

Such effects of tacit moves may have helped to resolve the Cuba crisis in 1962. Many observers feel that what really compelled Khrushchev to withdraw his missiles was the intelligence he received of American military preparations suggesting that an air strike against his Cuban bases was imminent. Since this threat was tacit (as far as can be judged from the published exhange between Khrushchev and Kennedy), it gave Khrushchev no hint as to how firm or flexible it was. Therefore, it endowed the key American demand for the withdrawal of missiles (which was, of course, explicit) with particular firmness. All the other explicit positions—both the American and the Soviet ones turned out to be so flexible that they practically melted away. Take the American demand for United Nations inspection. After being exposed to U Thant's mediation, Castro's haggling, and Khrushchev's counteroffer for Red Cross inspection, it finally led to the curious agreement for distant and discreet observation of Soviet ships by the U.S. Navy. Likewise, Khrushchev's demand for the withdrawal of American missiles from Turkey was quietly abandoned. And his demand for an American pledge not to invade or interfere with Cuba became lost in the shuffle, when the UN inspection (on which American negotiators made such a pledge conditional) never materialized. .

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