Should Governments Negotiate with Terrorists
The answer to this question most of the time will be a resounding NO. Since terrorists can see only their agenda and negotiations will do little or nothing to resolve the situation. Terrorists will not be satisfied with one demand fulfilled and the hostage may not be released. Trying to make terrorists understand through human emotions is difficult if not impossible. The answer to this question has two sides, if you are an individual whose family member has been taken hostage, you will want the government to negotiate, but if you are not, then your answer is NO. But the truth is in the middle path. If we completely do everything the terrorists want, we run the risk of them taking advantage and just asking for more. However, if we do nothing then we risk innocent people getting hurt.
Governments in democracy may have a No negotiation policy with the terrorists, but what the governments say and do is a little different. Negotiations open the door to communication and the better our communication, the better our chances of exerting influence. A refusal to negotiate indicates rejection of the other side, and rejection creates serious physical and psychological obstacles to problem solving, because it prevents clear communication from taking place, and it guarantees defensiveness and resistance to change. We simply need to make it clear that a decision to negotiate does f mean acceptance of the other side’s behavior, ethics or conduct.
The key objective for any government thinking of negotiating with terrorists is not simply to end violence and the violent situation but to do so in a way that minimizes such incidents from taking place in future.