Wednesday, January 14, 2004

How to Handle a Rouge Country

This above quote is from an article detailing Dean’s foreign policy. At the end of the article it talks about Clark. Clark says this:

Clark reiterated his campaign's themes: the need for a "new Atlantic Charter" to guide NATO and other allies as they face rogue states and nuclear threats; the idea of using the Cold War approach the United States and Europe used against the former Soviet Union as a blueprint for the Middle East; and the need for the United States to cooperate with other countries by rejoining efforts to create an International Criminal Court and joining the Kyoto agreement or its equivalent.

The part that I want to concentrate on is this.

the idea of using the Cold War approach the United States and Europe used against the former Soviet Union as a blueprint for the Middle East

I thought Clark was better than a one size fits all strategy for dealing with rouge countries. A simple strategy that does not take into account the complexities which have emerged after the fall of communism is doomed to fail.

The approach we took with the USSR was one of containment. From what I understand the Korean War and Vietnam were apart of this. The second part of the approach (which is as important as the first part) we engaged the USSR in an arms race they had no chance of winning because of the structure of their society. We basically out produced them.

I agree with Clark on the point of containing rouge states, they should not be allowed to spread their power. Gulf War 1 is a good example of stopping that kind of activity. This is basically a defensive approach, which will keep the status quo, but will not make the world a better place. We can contain the cancer all you want, but if you never remove the cancer, it still has the chance spreading.

The second phase of dealing with rouge states has to be drastically different than the second phase of dealing with the USSR, because of the amount of change that has happened in the world in the past 14 years.

With rouge states it does not matter if our economy is better than theirs, because theirs is most likely very bad anyways. Additionally, they are not competing with us on very many levels economically.

The fact that we can out produce a small, rouge, centrally planned county is obvious and does us no good.

Also, we can't just leave the rouge country alone, we have to engage it somehow, either economically, politically, or using the military. A policy of just containment is postponing the eventual chaos (Eventually the leader will die, and chaos will ensue. Just watch what happens in Cuba when Castro dies. I doubt it will be peaceful). The engagement principle is well noted, we did not just contain the USSR, we engaged them in a cold war and in an arms build up that they could not win.

You have to take each county and do an analysis of it, and decide a course of action tailored for that rouge state.
One rouge state may get international pressure, another economic sanctions, and another military action. There should be some general guidelines so that our policy makers have a playbook of what to do with a rouge country. The ones that pose the biggest threat should be treated differently than the ones that just causing the deaths of thousands of people though negligence. New and creative ideas should be tried on the ones that are a lesser threat, along with large amount of specific intelligence gathering on the ones that pose a greater threat.

In short:
Containing then ignoring, will only allow them to get a greater hold on their county and the region. You must contain and then engage the country (though as many avenues as possible).


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