The Obama administration’s handling of the Russian spy swap was a pretty impressive display of competent dispute management. See the Times wrap-up story, which reports that officials:
- compiled a detailed presentation of incriminating evidence;
- avoided chest-beating that could have provoked a like reaction and made a resolution that much more difficult;
- swiftly let the Russians know what evidence they had, showing enough of their cards to quickly convince them their spies had been caught dead to rights;
- knew what they wanted to achieve, namely a prisoner swap.