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April 06, 2009

North Korea Fear Mongering
Posted by Ilan Goldenberg

Politico has a headline about a Rasmussen poll that shows that 57% of voters back a military response to North Korea.  I wonder if the answer would have been a little bit different if the question had been asked like this:  "Do you support getting entangled in a potential third land war in Asia that would likely dwarf Afghanistan or Iraq?"  Somehow I don't think 57% of voters would have supported that option.

Here is the problem.  Just about anyone from across the political spectrum, who has seriously looked at this issue, has come to the conclusion that the military option is an awful one.  We could bomb a bunch of nuclear sites in North Korea but we likely wouldn't get everything and they would double their efforts.  Who knows how the North Koreans would respond, but they could decide to incinerate Seoul with conventional weapons perfectly capable of reaching across the 38th parallel.  Who knows how many would be killed, but we would be talking about a human catastrophe. At that point, the whole thing could degenerate into a land war on the Korean peninsula.  And at that point, with all this happening right near the Chinese, the possibility of it creating a potential U.S.-China military confrontation would be quite real.

So here is my question for the folks at Rasmussen and Politico, who choose to poll this silly question and then write about it.  What is your proposed "military response" for North Korea that could actually be effective?  I'm sure there are a lot of people at the Pentagon, State Department, and White House who would be very interested to hear it.


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Thank you, Ilan. Now if this sort of pacific thinking could be extended to other theaters it would be a better world.

Thank you, Ilan. Now if this sort of pacific thinking could be extended to other theaters it would be a better world

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Thank you, Ilan. Now if this sort of pacific thinking could be extended to other theaters it would be a better world

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China is North Korea’s biggest trading partner, a key aid donor and a longtime ally dating to the 1950-53 Korean War. Its influence is seen as crucial in gettingthe North to return to the disarmament talks.

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