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Russian spy swap illustrates a great way to handle disputes

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.
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