K.C. COLE, professor of journalism, USC Annenberg.
This op-ed originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times on Sept. 23.
A mathematical solution in Syria? That’s not as crazy as it sounds. In fact, the working compromise is a classic case of the power of game theory, a branch of mathematics that analyzes the best possible outcomes in conflicts where neither side knows what the other will do. It’s not about winning as much as it is finding the least worst option, which is precisely what Presidents Obama, Vladimir Putin, Bashar Assad and company have done.
No one gets exactly what he wants. But no one loses everything either.