As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Monday, April 06, 2009

Derision Diplomacy

This is the kind of rhetoric I wanted to see from the Pentagon about North Korea's failed missile launch:

But the U.S. decision to withhold unilateral action may be a solution in itself. Gen. James E. Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said North Korea continues to make its own stability more precarious by launching these rockets.

"If they spark an arms race on the part of their neighbors because they feel threatened, then I would submit that their security has not been improved but has diminished. And I think that is an aspect of this that they ought to think very carefully about," he said, adding that buyers of North Korean products may want to think twice.

"On the idea of proliferation, would you buy from somebody that had failed three times in a row and never been successful?" Cartwright asked, receiving laughs in response.

North Korea wants to be noticed and respected. Selling their weapons technology is an additional concern and hope of theirs. Denigrating their capability, which is totally valid, makes sense in this context. The security threat from the DPRK really doesn't merit much of a response beyond this, and it will signal to the North Koreans that their strategy failed. Overall, I'm far more worried what they'll do to the two female American journalists they have in custody than whether their bumbling scientists will be able to carry a nuclear payload. Obviously we can afford some engagement in the long term, but in the short term you need to disconnect this cycle of North Korea shooting something into the air and everybody paying attention to them for a few days.

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