Peeling the Onion: President Obama resolving his immediate Syrian dilemma: by means of Option Solving!

In the last blog, we contemplated what option President Obama and his team would pursue to punish Syria for its recent chemical weapons attack. At that time, he was suddenly presented with a fresh option requiring Syria to surrender and sequester all its chemical weapons. With pursuing that option, we gave his team the opportunity to Peel the Onion for determining what might be its best alternative for doing this successfully. As we have already acquainted them with the Option Solving technique, we can use their rational minds to create a question for their intuitive minds to answer. Intuition, based upon the best rationale, becomes the best judge.

Their proposed question was as follows: “What is President Obama’s best option for co-opting the international community to sequester Syria’s chemical weapons, considering the difficulties of implementation and verification, what countries can be trusted to take part, the preference for a political rather than a military solution, and getting the full support of the UN Security Council?” The second half of the question is devoted to the various considerations that the Obama team had to take into account. Although there were more than four, the four given here represent 50% of the most important ones of those listed.

He and his team then came up with two Yin and Yang “bookends” to frame their forthcoming more pertinent options. The reasons for not considering these “outliers” are shown in our Latest Example. Take a look at the two they prod-uced: “No international agreement,” at one end, with, “Ignore the existence of a CW stockpile” at the other. It’s clear why these weren’t considered, but they helped to stimulate six other more plausible options.

You can view Mr. Obama and his team’s six options, between the bookends, one of which was: “Allow the UN to take the lead on the CW sequester program”…option E. They decided to take some emotional distancing time overnight before reconvening by phone the following day to take a consensus decision. From there they put together an action plan to ensure the whole deal would come to pass.

If you have an example of your own, please share it with this blogger, through the COMMENTS area.
Thanks Option Solving. (NOTE: Next posting in 2 weeks: “A key executive is forced out of his position: what options does he have?” We’re always interested in your COMMENTS or go to to connect with the blogger.)


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