I know the pile on has already stared in response to this take, so my goal is not to dunk. But it’s worth pointing out that dialogue here isn't just challenging because "people are angry" or because "the Tatmadaw is bad and irrational" 🧵 1/11

So far, there has been no indication that the Tatmadaw is interested in dialogue. But even if it were, the coup created a rupture that itself undermined the potential for future negotiations 2/11
Successful dialogue requires all parties to be able to *credibly commit* to a negotiated settlement. That is, to be able to convince the other side that they will follow through on promises they make at the negotiating table 3/11
Academic literature demonstrates that credible commitments are particularly hard to achieve in the context of civil conflict, where settlements require demobilization that leaves parties vulnerable annualreviews.org/doi/full/10.11… 4/11
But in #Myanmar, the coup supercharged this challenge. The NLD and many ethnic armed groups had spent the last decade cautiously embracing dialogue and compromise - and achieved something of a miraculous equilibrium 5/11
In many ways, it actually defied expectations, given the Tatmadaw’s brutal history and pattern of reneging on its commitments 6/11
But the coup undermined all that. It reinforced that: 1) Nothing the Tatmadaw commits to — even it’s own constitution — can be trusted; and 2) Internal issues (ex: Min Aung Hlaing’s personal ambitions) mean that the Tatmadaw as an institution can’t follow through on its word 7/11
One of the ways around this challenge is for the international community to help enforce agreements - see, for ex: cambridge.org/core/journals/… 8/11
But the international community has demonstrated little willingness to intervene in this case. Hence why it’s particularly cruel to see international representatives’ empty calls for dialogue, as if there’s nothing else that they could contribute 9/11
The desire for a quick end to conflict and avoidance of future bloodshed is understandable. That’s what most people want! In that context, it’s tempting to see resistance to negotiation as "irrational" 10/11
But there are reasons why calls for dialogue haven’t worked, and those reasons are based on entirely *rational* calculations by the forces opposed to military rule 11/11


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