Negotiating the Non-Negotiable: National Security & Negotiation

by Joshua C. Fiveson*

It requires little reflection to recognize that the word “terror” has saturated popular and academic discourse. This newly prominent yet age-old form of warfare has redefined the modern legal landscape on a domestic and international level, while simultaneously striking fear in the hearts of millions. And despite the multiplicity of working definitions for what constitutes as terrorism, one thing remains constant: at its most fundamental level, terrorism involves Actors with Interests. Unfortunately, this relatively simple realization is lost to the strong positional interests and calcified dogmas of American national security policy. The United States’ current approach imprudently shifts the treatment of terrorism away from the political realm and restricts the resolution of these issues to reciprocal demonstrations of force. But terrorism is inexorably political, and political problems require political solutions. This article seeks to address the inherent inadequacy of this policy and in doing so, expose how foresight can often times be quite short sighted. Read more here.

*Joshua C. Fiveson is an officer in the U.S. Navy, a graduate of Harvard Law School, and a former Harvard Graduate Student Leadership Institute Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership. 

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