Vietnam, Kissinger, and Mediation/Martin Rosenfeld, JD

Posted on October 10, 2015


A new book on Henry Kissinger was penned by Niall Feguson. According to this book, Mr. Kissinger had concluded as early as 1965 that a war in Vietnam was unwinnable. The best solution would only come about if the VietCong was given some role in a new government after a negotiation with all sides.

The rationale for the Kissinger conclusion is best left to the reader’s research. However the conclusion that all the players need to be part of a negotiation is very sound advice. What does this mean for mediations and negotiations? Simply stated, you need to have all the players at the table and engaged in meaningful discussion. Can you do this through litigation? Eventually it will prove possible but much energy and good will will be dissipated before that happens. And that assumes you will get to resolution, which is not a guaranteed outcome. What is the alternative to litigation? It is achieving Win-Win through mediation. Mr. Kissinger’s political worldview may not be your own. But his conclusion that brute force may well fall short when resolution is sought, is rock-solid. Mediate don’t litigate.