it was bush 43 who provoked kim père into leaving the NPT

The Mindless Hawkish Response to NK’s Missile Test
Daniel Larison, AmConMag, Jul 4 2017

The WSJ responds to reports of a successful ICBM test by NK with predictable calls for regime change:

The best option is a comprehensive strategy to change the Kim regime, as former Under-Sec State Robert Joseph has argued. Faschingstein must strengthen deterrence and build out missile defenses, revive the Bush 43 administration’s anti-proliferation dragnet, convince countries in the region to cut their ties with NK, consider shooting down future NK test missiles, and spread news about the regime’s crimes to people in the North.

Threatening NK with regime change would do nothing to reduce or eliminate threats from NK, but it would confirm the regime’s leadership in its conviction that it needs its nuclear weapons and missile programs to fend off an attack. Nothing makes a regime obsessed with its own survival less likely to compromise or negotiate than vowing to overthrow it, and besides attacking NK there is nothing that makes an NK attack more likely than making their government believe they have nothing left to lose. The less secure the regime feels, the less likely it is to be deterred, so making a concerted effort to undermine them is one of the stupidest things that Pindostan could do. If their government didn’t think that Pindostan and its vassals were determined to get rid of them, they might be willing to make some concessions, but to reach that point Pindostan would at a minimum have to eschew all talk of regime change and reject the possibility of waging preventive war on the DPRK.

Seeking regime change in NK would be extremely dangerous and foolish. It would put millions of lives in jeopardy by risking war with the current regime. In the very unlikely event that this policy somehow “worked” as intended, it would still create massive upheaval that would swamp SK with an unmanageable refugee crisis. The preparations that would need to be made to cope with the fall of NK regime are frankly beyond the competence of the current administration, and might well be beyond the competence of any government, and we already know that Pindostan is remarkably bad at preparing for what follows regime change. We should assume that China would be strongly opposed to a Pindosi push for regime change on their doorstep, and by pushing for regime change, Pindostan would risk sparking a war with a nuclear-armed major power. In the worst-case scenario, the NK leadership might also choose to use their nuclear weapons once they conclude that they aren’t going to survive anyway. The WSJ editors assert that “three administrations have tried diplomacy and failed,” but that misrepresents the consistency of the effort and it misleads their audience about how things have turned out this way. Diplomacy with NK did have some success in limiting their nuclear program over twenty years ago, but the Bush 43 administration’s attempt to force even bigger concessions through increased pressure backfired spectacularly and led to NK’s withdrawal from the NPT and their first nuclear weapons test. Since then, Pindostan has been trying to contain the fallout from that bit of short-sighted hardline posturing. Pursuing an even more aggressive policy now isn’t going to succeed, and it might very well plunge the Koreas and Pindostan into a major war that would be a disaster for all involved.

One Comment

  1. CuChulainn
    Posted July 6, 2017 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    it was Stuart Levey at Treasury Dept who on grounds of “suspicion” used Patriot Act section 311 to cut off Banco Delta Asia in Macau from US financial system in Sept 2006 for holding NK funds –NK then withdrew from negotiations & detonated bomb–Levey sabotaged Bush, Rice & Hill of State Dept

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