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Conflict Resolution Commandos?

by Jeff Thompson
July 2011

From Jeff Thompson's Enjoy Mediation Blog

Jeff Thompson

Conflict Resolution Commandos?
I thought the following would be of interest to the readers of this blog. Good points are raised, and although I might not agree with all of it the points and suggestions, the value is in, at the very least, the discussion of creating such a unit of commandos as part of the military.

The proposed unit reminds me of how it would be similar work to what I do with the NYPD as part of the Community Affairs Bureau- communication and community specialists using communication to resolve issues and disputes.

Conflict Resolution Commandos: A Response to the Flotilla

Roi Ben-Yehuda

* The following article was co-written with Andrea Bartoli and set to be published in the next issue of Unrest Magazine.
This month a new flotilla is scheduled to set sail to Gaza. As will be recalled, in May 2010 a violent confrontation at sea between Israeli naval forces and pro-Palestinian activists led to the death of nine people and many more injured; before a Turkish vessel aiming at breaking the Israeli blockade of Gaza was escorted to a port....
As scholars of conflict resolution, we believe that such situations call for constructive adaptation on the part of those involved. To that end we propose the IDF take initiative and create the first ever Conflict Resolution Commando unit.
Imagine back in 2010 if instead of masked men with guns, trained for intense warfare at sea, boarding a ship in the dead of night, the IDF had dispatched an elite unit of conflict resolution specialists. Could the tragedy at sea been averted? Could it be that new tools must be designed to maximize the possibility of non-destructive outcome to occur? Could it be that a fundamental reframing to many situations could be offered by people willing to die for a cause but not willing to kill for it?
The fundamental idea is that military units are more and more specialized. Comprised of highly skilled individuals trained in conflict resolution, effective communication, negotiation, dialogue, participatory processes, the Conflict Resolution Commandos (CRC) will be part of the military...

[Read the rest of this article at the Huffington Post HERE]

Biography


Jeff Thompson, Ph.D., is a professor at Lipscomb University, researcher, mediator, and trainer. He is also involved in crisis and hostage negotiation as well as a law enforcement detective. His research includes law enforcement crisis and hostage negotiation in terrorist incidents. He received his doctorate from Griffith University Law School having researched the impact nonverbal communication has in conflict situations with respect to developing rapport, building trust, and displaying professionalism.

Dr. Thompson has presented and trained on the topic of conflict, mediation, (crisis and hostage) negotiation, communication and nonverbal communication internationally for a variety of audiences including police personnel, government officials, judges, attorneys, physicians, sales people, business professionals, and both graduate and undergraduate students. He has also been published in numerous professional and academic publications.

He is the co-chair of ACR's national Crisis Negotiation Section, and he is an ad-hoc reviewer for multiple academic journals. He received his MS in Negotiation and Dispute Resolution from the Werner Institute, Creighton University School of Law.

(All posts by Jeff Thompson represent his personal reflections and opinions and not that of any organization.)



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