Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Fascinating Foreign Policy Advice for the GOP

This is one of the best think-pieces I have seen on what the GOP needs to do once they win in November when it comes to foreign policy. It critiques how GOP stalwarts like Teddy Roosevelt and Reagen got things right when it comes to foreign policy and how George W. Bush went wrong. This part of the 10 Commandments of the so-called Conservative Realism jumped off the page:

Sixth, recognize that deterrence and containment are not entirely outmoded as strategic options in the 21st century. Certainly, suicide bombers cannot be deterred. But the governing elites of Tehran and Pyongyang, however despicable, hope for survival and not for death. The distinction is crucial. It is the reason why deterrence can still work in relation to existing rogue states such as North Korea and Iran. The U.S. can exhaust, contain, and wear down these regimes. They will break down before the United States does.

The Chinese seem to understand this. They fight the long fight while we hope for the quick regime change. Deterring and containing Iran and North Korea would go much farther then some bombing mission would. You negotiate from strength with clearly defined consequences if there is non-compliance. At the same time you are backing the student protesters against the regime because that is what is morally right from the US point of view. If the regime strikes back and slaughters them they become a pariah to the world if they succeed you have won the long war.

In the meantime you are ratcheting up the pressure and hit them in their weak points. North Korea is weak when it comes to foreign aid while Iran has a barely functioning economy. If you hit them there their regime will eventually fall. 200% inflation and gas lines will beat fleets of bombers in this case.

The GOP needs to keep in mind that the US has far more resources then anyone and all they lack is the patience to slowly but surely ratchet up the pressure. Iran will become Democratic as soon as the Mullahs die and North Korea probably won't survive many years past that doof, Kim Jong Un if the US applies any kind of economic pressure.

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