With the third world war looming in the air by predictions at all corners, there requires a strategy to avoid the post war effects as well as avoiding the wars altogether. Use of violent war actions has continued to bleed many nations and lives of innocent citizens going to waste due to war. The question lies to the warlords and the initiates of the war; is attacking their only option or don’t they have a better diplomatic and humane way of implementing their demands? Wars have occurred in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and so many other countries, and day in day out the innocent souls are bleeding, the US government has been mainly known for its diplomatic skill but they are still accused to initiate these wars (Millett, & Murray, 1988 p. 34). The new way suggested for diplomacy is not to use guns and ammunitions, but to go to the negotiation table and share the problem and solutions. Peace is the new act that should be preached to all nations despite the perception by some that war is the methods to prove supremacy or to be a world superpower. Even Einstein Albert says in his proverb “Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding” (Negotiation Techniques in Multilateral Diplomacy, 2009), achieving peace in the entire world will enhance proper development economically, socially and environmentally.
The military has been used time and time again in peace-keeping stability and support missions, counterinsurgency and nation building and it is the high time they employ the power of negotiation to their operations so that they can yield peaceful results, for as Pandit Lakshimi Vijaya says in his proverb “The less we sweat in peace the more we bleed in war.” Persuasive means should be used in the negotiations to create social influence which will guide people towards adopting an idea, attitude or action through logical and peaceful means. According to Nobel, Wortinger, and Hannah (2007 p. 1) the military in Iraq are already employing negotiation skills with the locals to come up with peaceful lasting solutions for the locals. This paper will give the importance of not only acting past the development of awareness of culture, but on negotiations skills that are needed to solve conflicts and develop agreements that will be working to foster collaboration with local civilians during complex situations. These require soldiers to employ a wide range of responses.
Negotiation is the process of searching for an agreement which satisfies both parties. It can also be described as the effort to resolve a conflict of interest by means of conversation. The negotiation process may take any means as long as both warring parties are ready and willing to negotiate. The negotiation may be a barter or real negotiation. In barter one party who owns the power wins or left in the upper hand and the other party is forced to accept the verdict or settle for something less this is also referred to as the distributive framework and is best in use where time and resources are limited, while in a real negotiation both parties settle at a win-win situation where they both achieve their goals, this is also referred to as interactive bargaining and maximizes he benefits of the parties involved (Nobel, et al, 2007, p. 3)
The second is the best way though there is no situation that will occur in real sense where both parties agree totally; there must be some sacrifices involved in the process. The best place to apply negotiations is where both parties need to reach an agreement on the way to work, the procedures, the functions, the responsibilities and the targets in the end. In this case the Iraqis and the US military want to quench the war between them without combating each other. One can describe successful negotiations where both parties find common ground and agreement through a process of exchanges and consensus building through searching new better alternatives of solving the conflict (CoESPU Workshops on Negotiation and Mediation for Police in Peacekeeping Environments, 2009).
Role of Negotiation in Our Lives
Negotiations aim at bringing unity and understanding between warring parties. Negotiations takes center stage in most countries affected by war, especially recently where wars have been the order of the day, from the Middle East (Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel, Palestine) to Africa (Somalia, Sudan). Most of these wars are wars which are being fought to control either natural resource or for supremacy; this can be reversed in order to bring peace in the countries where they can concentrate on economic growth.
The best role of negotiation is to bring reconciliation to the wounded people during the wars and to calm the injustices through repentance and forgiveness. Bringing peace and maintaining it is the role of negotiations since each party should stick to its promises in the understanding. It also aims at finding lasting solutions to long term problems that are facing people either culturally or socially through the creation of order and stability hence win the support of and build long lasting alliances with members of the local communities; in this case the US has started gaining support of the local communities (Millett & Murray,1988).
Sources of Power in Negotiation
Power is in the hands of the warring parties, and they decide whether to gather at the negotiating table depending on the terms and conditions or to stay away and continue with the mayhem and violence. The US military and the Iraqis have the power to the negotiating table. The Iraqis populations included in the negotiations include; the civilians, the neighborhood and institutional improvement projects owners.
Negotiation techniques and diplomatic relations in the Military
The major issues to be ironed out during the negotiations are the ones that bring the techniques to negotiate, but before one goes to the table, the principles of negotiations must be upheld and followed to the letter. They include; reciprocation where on is supposed to return one favor for another, commitment and consistency, social proof, liking, authority and scarcity (Persuasive sales negotiations, n.d). The negotiation issues related to neighborhood and institution improvement projects were setting improvement priorities, selecting and managing contractors and allocation of funds and resources and resolving disagreements concerning sticking to standards and compliance with negotiated issues.
Security is also negotiated in the Iraq negotiations which include; setting improvement priorities, green zones through traffic controls. Identification documentation to cross restricted areas, addressing humanitarian needs, personal protection for advisory council leaders, permits to weapons possessed, security for local religious leaders and Sheiks, compensations or benefits for given information, among others. The civil affairs issues included obtaining information about detainees, the management of these detainees, compensations for life, loss of residents or commercial property (Nobel, et al., 2007 p. 14). Planning the strategy and choosing among the following techniques makes it easier; spiraling arrangements involves reaching minimum agreements and building every bit at a time. Secondly, changing positions involves changing proposals but does not affect the expected outcome. Gathering information; involves; enquiring about the position of the negotiator. Making the bigger cake involves offering alternatives agreeable to the other party without changing terms. Finally, commitment involves formalizing the agreement before ending the negotiation (Negotiation Techniques in Multilateral Diplomacy, 2009).
Challenges of the negotiations
The challenges were categorized into five main areas: negotiations and mediation in face of ethnicity, ethical judgment due to conflicting cultural values and practices; negotiating work arrangements in the light of diverse culture and practices; negotiating in the face of threat and volatility and balancing the use of power and collaborative gestures; and finally personal self regulation and adaptability during the negotiations.
Negotiating and mediation in the face of ethnic strife involved facilitation and mediation between rival or competing neighborhood leaders of the clans. Military officers employed negotiating tactics to bridge conflicting demands of leaders and promote a larger integrated community. The lack of unity among the Iraqi clans or sects made the American officers to have a ground in the negotiations. In training and development area, the officers learned and obtained information and continually updated themselves with the information of key interests and the prime interests and the relationships between dominant groups and their leaders. Officers had several ethic dilemmas on the use of resources by the local leaders e.g. use of power and resources from us forces (Nobel, et al., 2007 p. 16).
Iraqis also used their strategy in the negotiating table, which included; cultural practices or distributive negotiation maneuvers, emphasis on personal status, power and influence within the community, appeal for favorable response emotionally, strong and persisting demands combined with dismissal of previously offer assistance, expanding the agenda and giving unexpected requests, being secretive, ambiguous and furthering multiple agendas. Expressing anger and frustrations indirectly, collaborating with American officers through the exchange of offers such as; money, job, letters of recommendation, influence over project assignment to contractors, permits for weapons, and medical care, Implicit treats and early meeting with officer to sell of other competitive groups. The Iraqis were favored by the fact that they had a home advantage over the American officers (Blechman, & Kaplan, 1978, p. 56)
The results of such research are conclusive and recommend the training of officers in the areas of negotiation and shifting from arms and weapons that normally show a sign of war which residents must respond to. With increased tactics in negotiation, the efforts are going to bear fruits in rebuilding a new Iraq for the benefit of its citizens and the entire world. Days are gone where violence and blood sheds were regarded as jihad and the residents of Iraq are ready to come to the negotiating table and implement major changes. Governments all over the world are generally adopting military diplomacy which will alleviate the huge budgets used to arm the military and militia by the warlords to a more peaceful and interactive way, negotiation. The methods applied by the officers in Iraq seem not to be formal but they work. That gives us a challenge to throw away every weapon and to embrace the spirit of negotiation which will bring peace and stability in the world. Therefore negotiation knowledge and skills should be taught to the military at all costs; their leaders must also offer guidance on issues that will be subject to negotiations and the modes of handling violations of army rules when faced with cross-cultural differences. The persuasive skills of diplomacy go beyond the bullets and bombs that terminate innocent lives and destroy billions of property. Given the case study, the conclusion lies in the masters of the game, i.e. the heads of states and the warring factions to either give peace a chance or let political supremacy ruin the nations. Negotiation is an art so no games should be played by either party, each should hold to his end of the bargain.