By Plato, Benjamin Jewett (transl.)
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Once the deadline approaches, the perpetrators have only two options: let the deadline pass or carry out their threat and kill hostages. But in the traditional sense, this is essentially a “no-win” situation, as passing of the deadline weakens the perpetrators’ leverage by exposing their possible reluctance to kill, while killing of hostages is likely to trigger a forceful resolution of the incident. The fact that the negotiator operates from the position of strength, due to being backed by security forces, is one of the key factors that make the current practice of crisis negotiations work.
While the perceived position of power allows them to dictate demands and deadlines, very few tools are at hand for the hostage takers to enforce their prompt fulfillment. Once the deadline approaches, the perpetrators have only two options: let the deadline pass or carry out their threat and kill hostages. But in the traditional sense, this is essentially a “no-win” situation, as passing of the deadline weakens the perpetrators’ leverage by exposing their possible reluctance to kill, while killing of hostages is likely to trigger a forceful resolution of the incident.
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