Eenie Meenie

2010 May 31
by Dave

What to worry about this week? So many choices. I think I will go with North Korean instability. This week’s Economist has three articles covering both the South Korean response to clear proof that it’s warship, the Cheonan, was sunk by a North Korean Submarine and the global risks and responsibilities that arise from this situation.

One of the many disturbing possibilities raised is that the whole situation was intentionally created by the North in order to provide a credible threat of military action to rally popular support for the regime. Other fun images are of an uncoordinated rush by both US and Chinese special forces to secure nuclear facilities in the event of the government’s collapse, a vast flood of refugees, and the nightmare scenario of someone in North Korea deciding to go out with a blaze of glory and pulling the trigger on the vast array of conventional artillery aimed at Seoul along with a nuclear missile for Japan.

Where do we go from there? Where do we go from here? I hope somebody knows. I’m afraid that no one does. One thing has become crystal clear though. Paying more ransom to roll the problem down the road is no longer a way forward. All the reactive scenarios that I can think of for dealing with a future crisis point are untenable.

Hoping that a crisis point is never reached is deeply irresponsible so we are in desperate need of proactive measures. That requires China to act like a geopolitical grown up and realize that its own best interests are served by working for global stability. As Dumas wrote, some things are out of our hands and all we can do is hope and wait.

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