Tuesday, October 10, 2006
People are going to do what they want unless there is sufficient motivation to restrain their personal desires. Granted, nations do not operate exactly analogous to individuals, but in the case of totalitarian regimes like DPRK and Saddam's Iraq it is about as close as you can come to the actions of a nation reflecting the personal desires and motives of an individual. The greater and more noble motivator is, of course, just reward for desired behavior. When that fails, though, there must be suitable and sufficient punishment for undesired behavior. For some, the positive motivation is more of an incentive to deceive, receiving bounty without having to sacrifice. As it was with Saddam, this too is the oft demonstrated pattern we see with Kim Jong Il and DPRK. It is apparent, too, that our punishments were woefully inadequate to achieve the desired goal. When I was a child I famously told my mother to go ahead and spank me twice, as the promised punishment was worth the personal reward of the soon-to-be repeated offense, so I fully understand how an individual can make such a trade. Moving forward, we must ask what is the behavior we desire from DPRK and what are suitable punishments to achieve this behavior.
Of course, if we could waive our magic wands and sprinkle Kim with fairy dust we'd have him completely and verifiably destroy all existing weapons and dismantle the production capability. This is an important goal, but we must understand that absent the tools mentioned above the likelihood of such occurring is very slight. At a minimum, though, we must strive to ensure that neither nuclear materials nor knowledge is exported from DPRK. The question is what, short of intrusive military action, will accomplish this goal. Allow me to offer the following for consideration:
- Expulsion from the UN. This is unlikely to happen, as China will most certainly veto the action, but I still think from demonstrating the resolve of the US we should make the proposal, push hard for it and demand a vote of record on the action. It will in all likelihood never pass, but we need to be on record saying "willful violation of the NPT will exclude you from the world community."
- Increased Surveillance. Increase surveillance and intercept of DPRK communications, including physical intercept of communications and overflight of key locations and facilities. The latter poses potential risk, but if done infrequently, with little warning to various sites using appropriate platforms we should be able to do so successfully.
- Require Inspection of All Exports. If it's done my an international team with the blessings of the UNSC, fine as long as US agents are part of the team. If not blessed by the UN, then intercept, board and inspect shipping in international waters. After all, we are still officially at war on the peninsula. More difficult will be what to do in the face of trans-shipments through an enabler, such as China. Perhaps the answer is to monitor the shipment until inspection can be more easily performed. I admit that this latter possibility poses a problem, but as a rule I am for intercept and inspection to the greatest extent possible.
- Prohibit Missile Launches. Publicly and openly declare that the launch of any missile outside DPRK territorial waters will be construed as a possible nuclear launch. As such, the missile, launch site and support sites would all be subject to immediate destruction without further notice. Aegis cruisers supporting the inspection mission would be able to monitor for such launches as well as coordinate cruise missile strikes of launch sites. We must then be ready to follow through when they test our resolve.
- Public Support for Japan. Openly offer support for Japan, making clear that the US would have no objections should Japan feel it needs to ammend its Constitution to allow it to develop a nuclear deterrence capability. This is singularly significant since we had a pivotal role in the constitutional restrictions on Japanese military power. This would also have the effect of motivating China to further pressure DPRK, as the last thing they want is to face two nuclear competitors in the Pacific.