Across the world governments proclaim they will never "negotiate with evil". And yet they always have done and always will. Why then do we ignore the lessons of this history of clandestine communication, often with devastating consequences? Jonathan Powell has spent nearly two decades mediating between governments and terrorist organisations. Here he argues that with attention to the lessons of the past, patience, and above all political leadership, these conflicts can be solved.
"Enlightening but long winded"
The next president of the United States will need to be an extremely effective negotiator. Armed conflict, political deadlock, and diplomatic crises abound. The president will be called upon to resolve the war in Syria, manage complex relationships with Russia and Iran, handle hot spots such as North Korea, Libya, and Ukraine, navigate competitive tensions with China, and revive a modicum of bipartisanship in Congress.