Bruce PattonTwo-team, ten-party international crisis negotiation between U.S. and "Kaotian" military and security officials to address Kaotian seizure of an American vessel and the ensuing military crisis
This case is modeled on the Cambodian seizure of the Mayaguez in 1975. The American-registry merchant container ship Youraguez has been seized five miles off the coast of an uninhabited island claimed by both Kaotia and Dominia. Kaotia has seized and released 23 other vessels in these waters in the last five years; only one American. The situation is complicated, however, by the bitter civil war in Dominia. Kaotia, which favors Eastern Dominia, has publicly accused the U.S. at the U.N. of basing CIA operatives in remote Kaotian mountain sites, but has presented no proof. Western Dominia, supported by the U.S., is unexpectedly facing military collapse and catastrophe. The U.S. is using all available means to evacuate personnel and equipment before the end; the Youraguez undoubtedly contains military equipment from the evacuation. The crew is en route to the mainland, with no allied forces close enough to reach the scene (except jet fighters). An update further complicates the situation and the potential consequences of action.
The exercise is usually conducted with American and Kaotian teams of 5 or more players each. Typically each team has 1 hour to analyze the situation and formulate an approach, including any message they want to communicate to the other side. At the end of the hour, the instructor simultaneously passes these messages and delivers the factual update that moves the time frame forward 12 hours. Usually the exercise continues with a 45-minute period to formulate a second “move,” including any further message, followed by a final 30-minute period with one or more final messages. Alternatively, the free movement of messages (still delivered by the instructor, however) can commence immediately after the first hour. Additional time can easily be accommodated ; the exercise could be run over several weekly classes, if necessary, but it might lose its sense of immediacy.
- This case highlights how easy, but counterproductive, it can be to react without careful analysis to a seeming provocation.
- Also illustrated is the importance of formulating an objective and analyzing whether it can be achieved by self-help or whether it requires a decision or change of attitude by the other side. If self-help is unrealistic, then an effective action plan should be developed and judged in terms of its effect on the other side’s perceptions.
- The large teams inevitably make group process a major issue in debriefing the case. How should a group organize itself to avoid group-think and stil achieve quality analysis efficiently?
- Effective analysis can produce dramatically superior results in this case for either party. When more than one set of teams play, comparisons are illuminating.
For Kaotian team:
- Memo to file of the Kaotian Central Security Committee
- Update to Kaotian Central Security Committee
- Confidential instructions for Kaotian team members:
Confidential Instructions for the Kaotian team members:
- Representative of Kaotian Ministry of Internal Security
- Representative of Kaotian Foreign Ministry
- Representative of Kaotian Military
- Representative of Kaotian Communist Party
- Representative of Kaotian Intelligence Agency
For U.S. team:
- Meme to file of the U.S. National Security Committee
- Update to U.S. National Security Committee
Confidential Instructions for U.S. team members:
- Representative of U.S. State Department, Legal Advisor’s Office
- Representative of U.S. State Department, Political-Military Affairs
- Representative of U.S. Chief of Staff
- Representative of U.S. Defense Department
- Representative of U.S. Central Intelligence Agency
Teacher’s package includes:
- All of the above
- Teaching notes
BATNA; Communication; Communication, public v. private; Compliance; Credibility; Currently perceived choice analysis; Education, as a means; Force; Group process; Group-think; Interest analysis; Issue control; Linkage; Meaning of “success”; Media; Meeting design; Message analysis; Partisan perceptions; Precedents; Self-help; Threats; Yesable propositions
Kaotian Crisis Attributes
- Time required:
- 2-3 hours
- Number of participants:
- Teams involved:
- Agent present:
- Neutral third party present:
- Teaching notes available:
PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center
Soft copy vs. hard copy
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Ordering a single copy for review
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Ordering copies for multiple participants
To order multiple copies of a role simulation for use in a course or workshop, simply enter the total number of participants in the box next to “Quantity.” There is no need to calculate how many of each role is required.
If you are ordering hard copies, the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center will calculate the appropriate numbers of each role to provide, based on the total number of participants. For example, if you wish to order a 2-party role simulation for use with a class of 30 students, you would enter “30” in the box next to “Quantity.” You then would receive 15 copies of one role and 15 copies of the other role, for use with your 30 participants. As another example, if you ordered 30 participant copies of a 6-party role simulation, you would receive 5 copies of each role.
In the event that the number of participant copies you order is not evenly divisible by the number of roles in the simulation, you will receive extra copies of one or more roles. Participants receiving the extra roles may partner with other participants playing the same role, thus negotiating as a team. So, for instance, if you ordered 31 copies of a 2-party role simulation, you would receive 15 copies of the first role and 16 copies of the second role. One of the participants playing the second role would partner with another participant playing that same role, and the two would negotiate as a team.