Why Are We Still on the DMZ?

North Korea has just pulled off an impressive dual feat — the successful test both of an intercontinental ballistic missile and an atom bomb in the 6-kiloton range. Pyongyang’s ruler, 30-year-old Kim Jong Un, said the tests are aimed at the United States. So it would seem. One does not build an ICBM to hit … Continue reading “Why Are We Still on the DMZ?”

Save Money by Ending Costly Alliances

Continued U.S. economic sluggishness, induced by a massive national debt in excess of $15 trillion, should be causing soul-searching in the American foreign policy community about which unnecessary alliance commitments can be shed to save money. Yet, predictably, interest groups supporting empire continue to tout “American leadership” in “strategic” regions of the world. For example, … Continue reading “Save Money by Ending Costly Alliances”

Obama Out of Okinawa

In a momentous about-face, Japan has revamped her defense strategy to address Chinese threats to Japan’s southern islands rather than Russian threats to Japan’s northernmost islands. The change comes as tensions between North and South Korea have caused Prime Minister Naoto Kan to patch strained relations between Japan and South Korea and to align Japanese … Continue reading “Obama Out of Okinawa”

US Policy Toward the Koreas Is Unrealistic

Why does the U.S. government’s foreign policy often hinge on the naïve and moralistic expectation that other countries should act against their own interests? Wouldn’t a more realistic U.S. foreign policy be better for everyone concerned? Let’s take an example. North Korea is a mostly isolated, totalitarian, unpredictable, and downright weird regime. Its only “friend” … Continue reading “US Policy Toward the Koreas Is Unrealistic”

Hawks, Doves Aflutter Over Pyongyang’s Latest Moves

Given all the other foreign policy challenges he is dealing with, the last thing U.S. President Barack Obama needed three weeks after Republicans swept mid-term elections was the outbreak of a major new crisis on the Korean Peninsula. Yet the revelation that North Korea has succeeded in building a state-of-the-art facility capable of enriching uranium … Continue reading “Hawks, Doves Aflutter Over Pyongyang’s Latest Moves”

Korean Conundrum: Is There a Way Out?

Initial reports were unequivocal: those crazy North Koreans had once again broken the longstanding ceasefire and attacked the South, this time at Yeonpyeong Island, shelling civilian quarters, and killing two South Korean marines. A few hours later, however, a more nuanced story came out: it seems the South Koreans were conducting military “exercises” near the … Continue reading “Korean Conundrum: Is There a Way Out?”

Those ‘Crazy’ North Koreans

With apologies to my readers, there is no column from me today. I’ve got to go to a Major Medical Appointment — heart stress test, prostate stuff, etc. — and there’s just no way I can continue to avoid and/or delay it, in spite of my strenuous attempts to do so. Yes, old age is … Continue reading “Those ‘Crazy’ North Koreans”

End the Korean War

We’re at war – old news, you say? Well you don’t know how old – because I’m not talking about our eternal "war on terrorism," but the Korean war. Yes, in case you didn’t know, it’s still on, at least in the formal sense: a truce was signed, on July 27, 1953, but the war … Continue reading “End the Korean War”