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  1. GA Anderson profile image83
    GA Andersonposted 2 years ago

    Are secret back channel communications between government leaders dishonest or deceptive to their citizens?

    For instance; two international leaders, (think China and the U.S, and trade agreements), want to pursue a solution that in reality is in the best interests of both counties, but is currently completely unpalatable to both their domestic and political interests, (think citizens and politicians) Are their back-channel, non-public discussions dishonest?

    Remember, it is the right solution for the problem, just the wrong time to go public with it.

    GA

    1. rhamson profile image76
      rhamsonposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      It is the way a republic works. We elect proxies to look out for our best interests in all that they do. Whether of not they indeed do that is the question.

      1. wilderness profile image94
        wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Exactly so, and (IMO) a very large percentage of the US citizenry has decided that the answer is "No" to that question.

    2. Credence2 profile image87
      Credence2posted 2 years ago in reply to this

      We have 'secret' 'top secret' and FOUO designations for documents and materials.

      There are times when secrecy is appropriate, but not abused to cover that that is being protected for the wrong reasons. In a democracy, that sort of thing eventually finds itself facing the light of day.

      When the 'solution' is made public through the executive or legislative process, we can all decide if it was the right one.

      1. GA Anderson profile image83
        GA Andersonposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        My point wasn't about documents or levels of secrecy designations. My point was about process.

        In this "back-channel" example, a solution that would be equitable to both parties is not one that is palatable to the political or domestic mood of one or both countries at the time.

        Consider two countries in a trade dispute. Both feel aggrieved. The political and domestic mood of one country is crying for an Isolationist solution. So any formal, official, and publicly acknowledged discussions that included compromise would be deemed unacceptable.

        The perceived wrong nation feels they did nothing wrong. So any formal, official, and publicly acknowledged discussions that included any type of concessions would be unacceptable to that nation.

        But there is a possible realistic solution - if the leaders of the two nations can just hold discussions about it.

        What to do... hold unofficial back-channel communications that help pave the way for a formal, official, and publicly acknowledged discussions that may lead to a political and domestically acceptable solution.

        So... would those back-channel unofficial communications be wrong and deceiving? Would the citizen's of either nation be harmed or deceived?

        GA

        1. Credence2 profile image87
          Credence2posted 2 years ago in reply to this

          So... would those back-channel unofficial communications be wrong and deceiving? Would the citizen's of either nation be harmed or deceived?

          You know, GA, I would not think so. I am sure that FDR and Churchill were speaking about the future in private when they contemplated the Lend Lease idea. America in 1940 was isolationist and not particularly interested in getting involved in another major entanglement since the Great War. There are times that we have to let our leaders do their job, which includes discretion and judgment. Roosevelt obviously saw something waiting in the wings that American people as a whole were not aware of, that is job, to have foresight and be prescient about matters relating to his job.  These leaders will be held accountable by future history as to whether or not they are to be vindicated for the unoffiial communication. There is always room to talk, turning talk into tangible policy initiative is another matter. In a democracy, the skill of the leader can make all the difference as to that outcome, FDR, REagan. In a society without a democratic tradition, I guess that it would not matter. At the basic communication level, the citizen or either nation should not be harmed.

  2. ahorseback profile image47
    ahorsebackposted 2 years ago

    One must believe that of course there are constant back door dealings between all governments  , behind the closed doors , away from prying eyes of its citizens .  And that  just has to be that happening as well . Why should any people be privy to  all diplomatic conversations , it's naive to think they should be .

 
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