Two deals in a day

In my opinion, neither will stick, and from surface indications neither arrangement sounds very effective.  But probably both have to be tried.  One deal opens the way for true Grexit, if the deal fails.  The U.S.-Iran agreement opens the way for an actual attack on Iran, or some other non-constructive form of engagement (in a proxy war?), if the deal fails.  These deals thus each contain a very real streak of danger.

I give each deal about a 30-40% chance of succeeding.  Above all, these deals show the limits of what is possible, and not possible, in international affairs where there is not an obvious concordance of self-interest.

You will read much about whether these are good or bad deals.  But sometimes the positive perspective is more illuminating than the normative.  In both cases, the relevant participants still “have a deal in their system,” and so we will be working through the logic of these agreements, for better or worse.

Keep your fingers crossed.  In the meantime, even if you think, as I do, that both of these deals will fail, these are still — stochastically speaking — big wins for Obama.  Let’s just call July “Obama’s month.”


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