What if the "no negotiation with terrorists" policy does not work?

If a terrorist has the capability to destroy the world with a single weapon unless the US accepts a negotiation in their favour, will the US still stubbornly reject?


I was inspired by an episode of 24.

Update 2:

This is not fantasy thinking - it can happen, the only fantasy thinking is if it won't.

Update 3:

There are some people who believe deeply in a certain way of life or an ideal, and they believe that in sacrificing themselves (in their way of thinking, sacrifice means to give themselves to a greater cause) they will attain this ideal. This is a fact with terrorists, they are willing to submit themselves regardless of what happens, in order to attain this ideal - they believe that this is greater than what they are.

If accepting a negotiation can save the lives of hundreds or thousands or millions, or the world, even temporarily until we stop them, it may be sometimes the wisest thing to do.

Update 4:


To somerandomdude:

You seem to be really upset about something, seemingly that I've hit a nerve with you, and that you have to come raging onto my Yahoo question with an insecure vengeance to prove something. Using derogatory terms in your sentences is a very immature thing to do.

If an individual or a group commits to a cause and does not care whether they live or die, then they we have a psychotic problem to deal with. To ignore this problem by putting a mental wall up on the world - by deciding for the world or a country that we will not deal with it makes it a bigger problem. The problem does not go away if we ignore it - the end result? The world goes boom. But if we deal with it at the moment and succumb to the demands of a terrorist, we are playing strategic, we are offering them a cosolidation, a temporary one, to buy us time to stop them.

Are you really sure you want to blow us up without thought?

Update 5:


On a further thought, think of it this way. We are playing a game of chess, the members on our battlefield represent our country or out world, the opposition (the black pieces) represent the problem, or the terrorists or whatever you wish to know as an enemy. If the goal is to live, or to win, or to merely stay alive, we must do so with wit and strategy. If the black piece moves his knight and does so with the intent that his next move, whatever it may be will definitely checkmate your King, you need to now think wisely. To kill that knight now or to allow it to kill your King - in result? The game ends, and in this analogy - life ends, they win.

Update 6:


Hi new posters,

The question is "What if the "no negotiation with terrorists" policy does not work?", more precisely, will the "no negotiation" with terrorists policy always work? The question means if we can always say "No" to terrorist negotiations, and I have submitted an example of one worst case scenario where a terrorist has the ability to detonate and cause significant damage to the human population, e.g. the deaths of millions of people, so the question is, do we still say "No"?

15 Answers

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Unfortunately, those who answered the question with few exceptions have no idea what they're talking about.

    The moment you denounce negotiation you invite fanaticism-for what other method do they have?

    I also dealt with the issue of Neville Chamberlain in another question-


    The reality is that the term "Terrorist" has been applied to any who oppose us.

    By doing so all one has to do is convince the masses that Terrorists deserve everything we do to them. Insurgents, Guerrillas, ect. are all therefore lumped into the same category.

    An ultimate free hand.

    The next step is to impose a culture of fear. Terror alerts, constant reporting of "terrorist" activities and the like all help to create in us a deep rooted fear and paranoia for which we're ready to give the government unlimited power to stop.

    We don't negotiate and when we do catch them we'll probably torture them.



    With that reality facing you-what would YOU do if you there was a high possibility that you were captured?

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  • 10 years ago

    You got to be joking. Governments make deals with terrorists all the time. Because you don't hear about it in the mainstream media doesn't mean it does not happen. The West are a bunch of hypocrites and by the West I mean mainly the US and UK. The biggest lie was about the US arming the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan who then became a bunch of ******** bandits. The Taliban was another group who got a load of money from the US. People complain all the time about the Middle Eastern groups, the Pakistanis, the Iraqi's, The Iranians and multo multo more groups who are changing allegiance and how partisan they are. Nobody wants to admit that the US and UK make smoke screens to hide illegal deals with today's insurgents and tomorrows terrorists.

    Your classic example is Saddam Hussein, flavour of the month sometimes, evil incarnate at others.

    Terrorism and not negotiating are pretty much words not to be used in the same sentence until you know what the agenda is in the US and UK. Politicians lie, period, and the higher you get in politics the more likely you are to be allowed admittance to the international porkies club.

    24 is TV show. Haven't you noticed how our Jack always gets what he wants from torture before he has to pull out every fingernail and fry both testicles? I rant but it is a TV show!!!!

    Chess is a game for people who have learned the moves. Neither the US or UK have "learned the moves" and every time they screw with another country they open the general public up to more threat. Yes, it's government policy the "terrorists" hate but how many government personnel died on 9/11? Did they get anyone "big" at the Pentagon? Coincidence?

    The Iran hostage situation was ended by "negotiating" with terrorists too. Money talks.

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  • 10 years ago

    Are you serious? Can you really be that dumb?

    Ok, I'll play your game. Some terrorist acquires a giant super weapon, and holds the world hostage unless the US agrees to negotiate. So, the US negotiates and gives said terrorist what he wants. Does the terrorist then say, "great, thanks!" and take his super weapon toys and leave the sandbox, leaving the rest of the world to live happily ever after unmolested? I think even the average 3rd grader can deduce that giving in to the bully only sets you up to keep on giving in to the bully, at steeper and steeper prices, until you no longer have anything the bully wants. (read: no more reason for the bully not to stomp you anyway.)

    The plain truth is, and this is elementary school level information here, the ONLY way to get the bully to leave you alone is to establish the "do not cross" line; then be ready and willing to lay said bully out flat when they cross it. That's it. All this Ghandi, peace, love, embrace, butterflies crap will just get you hurt. The same applies with terrorists, who are nothing more than international bullies.

    ** edit **

    LOL, the only nerve you've hit is reinforcing my original realization that the stupid are multiplying. I am not angry in any way. I just can't believe there are that many out there, who can't remember a simple schoolyard lesson.

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  • LeAnne
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    No one ever said the war on terror has any easy solutions.

    There are no simple answers here..........

    Consider, if we cave into any organization that uses terror for leverage, indiscriminately bombs crowded public venues and essentially causes chaos and mayhem to achieve their goals and objectives - where would it end? If these tactics are successful, wouldn't any group of disgruntled, brain washed individuals quickly pick up on it? And do we once again negotiate with this new group of psychopaths?

    I cannot for the life of me think of any grievance, perceived problem or ideology that justifies indiscriminately killing and maiming innocent men, women and children to try and achieve their goals - regardless of what they may be.

    My opinion?

    Let's send a loud and crystal clear message to any group that even ponders the thought that terror is a viable means to an end.

    The message is simple - that end will not be their objective but rather will be a total annihilation of their cause.

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  • hog b
    Lv 6
    10 years ago

    Mostly they would be talking to themselves, for it has been shown that historically most "terrorist" attacks are false flag operations.

    It is a very successful tactic, and it is even laid out in field manuals for senior officers

    -fake an attack on your own side, and use it as an excuse to attack those allegedly associated.

    or as in Iraq-fake attacks on Sunnis and blame Shias and vice versa-they were even caught doing it.

    -divide and conquer.

    Of course there are genuine terrorists, but they usually identify themselves and have a stated agenda, and demands (unlike al Qaeda).

    An example is the IRA in Ireland, and the only way that got sorted out was by talking and negotiation.

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  • 10 years ago

    The only "terrorists" that have ever used a weapon of mass distruction is the US. So we already know that there is no negotiating with the US military. Remember that the Taliban had offered to hand over Osama bin Laden if the US would offer some proof the bin Laden's involment in the crime.

    But there was no negotiations with the US so the US just went and started bombing Afghanistan. Then for an encore, the US went and destroyed Iraq, on the basis of imaginary weapons of mass destruction.

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  • Gadfly
    Lv 6
    10 years ago

    I'm too tired for an appropriate response. I'll just throw a few of semi relevant quotes at you for your amusement.

    “Diplomacy is the art of saying "Nice doggie" until you can find a rock.”

    Will Rogers

    “To say nothing, especially when speaking, is half the art of diplomacy.”

    Will Durant

    A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.

    Mark Twain

    An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile - hoping it will eat him last.

    Winston Churchill

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  • justa
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    Get out of fantasy-land thinking please.

    In a lesser sense the policy has failed on occasion and the hostage was killed.

    Your scenario is definitely made-for-TV and not for reality.

    There is only so far in dreaming up a hypothetical answer to your question. Even so, you would characterized the no negotiations policy as stubborn on the part of the US.

    Well, lets say they stuck to it, and this single man had a capability to destroy the world, well then....boom and no one wins.

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  • blu
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    Negotiators take an iron clad stance until they or their families lives are at stake. How many senators voted for war that have a child in a position to fight in it?

    I highly suspect that if GW had a son or daughter that was positioned to sacrifice their life in Iraq/Afghan that he would have at least had an exit plan before he pushed his agenda.

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  • 10 years ago

    I'm more into the "bombing the ever-loving crap out of countries with terrorists in them that the local governments refuse to turn over" policy. That seems to work amazingly well.

    oh and btw obamawitz, if the taliban wanted proof that bin laden was involved, maybe they should've watched the video where he claimed responsibility for it. wow, what a revelation.

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