Sunday, February 23, 2020
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Trump as “Bull” in the American Foreign Policy “China Shop”

This piece -- written before Hillary Clinton's excellent critique of Trump's suitability to be in charge of American foreign policy -- has run in...

Korea Simplified

What we have there is a counterproductive cold war paradigm client state face-off. For decades, when cast as a confrontation between east and west, tension between north and south had a basis. There is no natural division between the Siamese-twin Koreas; neither physical, tribal, linguistic, nor spiritual.

Those with experience on the Korean peninsula have perspectives shaped by their own when and why. Though there are still times of acute tension, the level of chronic anxiety has diminished with the changes in the relationships between the sponsor states. For some time, the sponsors (except for a brief and short-sighted thrust by Bush II) have considered the breaches of peace irritatingly counterproductive. In the big scheme of things, there is nothing in Korea to justify the sponsors expending national treasure and blood. For the Koreans, it is not much of a different story, though those south of the DMZ stand to lose more.  

The Koreans understand this. They and their sponsors have written a variety of mutating scripts for the violent resumption of hostilities. The plans for the fighting remain variations on similar themes. The plans for intrigue are much more revealing. On both sides, there is a civil affairs design that works whether implemented as a result of war or of internal collapse. It is the more important plan.