And This Actually Helps the Administration
It ought to be required that every national leader be conversant in game theory. A formal education in the subject, or an instinctive informal education in game theory is necessary for any leader to successfully negotiate a difficult situation.
President Obama lacked this skill, which is why the
now finds itself in a fiscal crisis. But
the President may have finally caught on, we will know as the budget/debt
ceiling fight plays out. And now there
is another place for the President to show his skills, United State Iran.
Apparently at long last the economic sanctions against
Iran are working. The nation itself has always been sort
friendly to the United
States even as the leadership was not. So there is tremendous support in Iran to end the confrontation with the U. S.
and to get back to normal relations. And
is making a move in that direction.
So what is needed by the President is some gesture towards
Iran. He needs to come up with some slight
concession, a concession that will not have a material impact, but will show
that the U. S. is willing to move and will also reward the politicians in Iran
who are moving towards less confrontation.
This is what basic game theory would say to do, if your opponents makes
a positive gesture, you do also; if they stop or reverse, you punish them.
Adding complexity to the issue is
. In fact the Israeli government wants the Israel U. S. to
move in a more hard line direction.
|Is this two canny leaders playing their roles as dictated by game theory?|
Maybe, and maybe they are doing it not knowing they are doing it.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pressed the U.S. for stronger sanctions on Iran even as it pursues nuclear talks, in an emerging conflict between the two allies amid a thaw between
Washington and . Tehran
Now in game theory world this is a good thing, in fact one hopes that it is an orchestrated thing. If Mr. Obama goes ahead and makes some small gesture towards Iran, not only will it be rewarding the potential allies in that country but it will also be seen as defying Israel, which will further reinforce the effectiveness of the gesture.
So maybe Mr. Netanyahu is in on the game, maybe he understands his role here and is playing it to perfection. Or maybe this could be a real and serious American/Israeli rift. It’s the
we don’t even know what we don’t know.