Negotiating with Evil: When to Talk to Terrorists

TUE, DEC 7, 2010 (1:02:24)

When, how, and under what conditions should governments talk to terrorists? Can opening a dialogue bring conflicts to a faster resolution? Mitchell B. Reiss is internationally recognized for his negotiation efforts to forge peace in Northern Ireland and to stem the nuclear crisis in North Korea.

+ BIO: Mitchell Reiss

Mitchell B. Reiss is an American diplomat and president of Washington College, MD. From 2003 to 2007, Reiss served as President George Bush’s special envoy for the Northern Ireland peace process, the role in which he attained the rank of ambassador. For his service, the State Department honored him with its Foreign Affairs Award for Public Service. He has also served the U.S. Department of State as director of policy planning, where he reported to Secretary of State Colin Powell and helped develop U.S. foreign policy, with special emphasis on Iraq, North Korea, China, Iran and the Arab-Israeli conflict. Earlier in his career, Reiss helped manage the start-up and operations of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO), a multinational organization designed to end North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, he was also KEDO’s chief negotiator with the North Koreans. Reiss was a Guest Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C., where he started the Center’s nonproliferation and counterproliferation programs. Reiss has authored three books: Negotiating with Evil: When to Talk to Terrorists; Bridled Ambition: Why Countries Contain Their Nuclear Capabilities; and Without The Bomb: The Politics of Nuclear Nonproliferation. He has served as a co-editor and as a contributing author for more than 20 books, and is published frequently in leading academic and foreign policy journals and in the news media.

Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs
Keeping It Civil Series