MAKING SENSE OF THE RUMBLINGS ON THE KOREAN PENINSULA

The sparks that had defined the previous weeks promptly fizzled out. Two and a half years of relative tranquility on the Korean Peninsula was shattered in the month of June 2020. It began on the night of May 31, when South Korea-based North Korean defector groups floated balloons with anti-North Korean messages across the border. […]

SANCTIONS IN THE CYBER DOMAIN: OLD WAYS WON’T WIN TODAY’S WARS

Generals always fight the last war. Ever heard this saying? Turns out this adage, dating back to at least 1929, describes not only the famously disastrous French Maginot Line defenses in World War II, but it also refers to the contemporary use of antiquated policies in a rapidly changing world. In applying economic sanctions to […]

THE HIDDEN COMPLEXITIES OF U.S. DECISION-MAKING ON NORTH KOREA

Any U.S. pursuit of victory over North Korea could spark a corrosive, lethal, escalatory dynamic with Pyongyang, one from which Washington could draw no military advantage “The existence of ‘system’ in the world is at once obvious to every observer of nature, no matter whom….”   — Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, The Phenomenon of Man The […]

BRING A LONG SPOON: THE KOREAN DEAL

Reduced to its raw essence, foreign policy is still about the calculation of power. No more euphemisms. Blunt words backed by blunt power have to be the order of business from now until a real deal is reached. Historic, undoubtedly. Historical, undetermined. The April 27, 2018 summit between South Korean President Moon Jae In and North Korean […]

ART OF THE KOREAN DEAL: THREATS AND OPPORTUNITIES

So far, President Trump’s Korea strategy seems to be working: Kim Jong Un has moved from recalcitrance to a willingness to negotiate. When then-businessman Donald Trump released his 1987 book on negotiation, The Art of the Deal, he could not have foreseen that approximately 30 years later he would be leading a critical negotiation to […]

THE BEST BAD OPTION: NUCLEAR DETERRENCE & NORTH KOREA

While there are no easy choices for what to do about North Korea, a preventive attack is a very bad idea. Is a revival of the Korean War necessary? Senior U.S. leaders are considering military options for dealing with North Korea’s pursuit of an intercontinental nuclear capability. In response to North Korea’s most recent provocative […]

MILITARY OPTIONS FOR NORTH KOREA: A CASE FOR PREVENTATIVE WAR

The U.S. now finds itself in a position of accepting the North Korean nuclear threat or doing something dramatic to remove it. The U.S. has long held the position that a North Korean nuclear capability that threatens the U.S. homeland is unacceptable. Expert opinion is that North Korea either already has, or soon will have, […]