2002 October 03 Thursday
Condoleezza Rice: Promoting the National Interest

Condoleezza Rice wrote this article for January/February 2000 issue of Foreign Affairs in order to present the Bush position on foreign affairs for the 2000 US Presidential election campaign. Its fairly long and covers many foreign policy topics. Here's an excerpt about Iraq and North Korea that illustrates that while 9/11 may have accelerated Bush Administration foreign policy plans it has not changed their direction as much as many observers believe:

As history marches toward markets and democracy, some states have been left by the side of the road. Iraq is the prototype. Saddam Hussein's regime is isolated, his conventional military power has been severely weakened, his people live in poverty and terror, and he has no useful place in international politics. He is therefore determined to develop WMD. Nothing will change until Saddam is gone, so the United States must mobilize whatever resources it can, including support from his opposition, to remove him.

The regime of Kim Jong Il is so opaque that it is difficult to know its motivations, other than that they are malign. But North Korea also lives outside of the international system. Like East Germany, North Korea is the evil twin of a successful regime just across its border. It must fear its eventual demise from the sheer power and pull of South Korea. Pyongyang, too, has little to gain and everything to lose from engagement in the international economy. The development of WMD thus provides the destructive way out for Kim Jong Il.

President Kim Dae Jung of South Korea is attempting to find a peaceful resolution with the north through engagement. Any U.S. policy toward the north should depend heavily on coordination with Seoul and Tokyo. In that context, the 1994 framework agreement that attempted to bribe North Korea into forsaking nuclear weapons cannot easily be set aside. Still, there is a trap inherent in this approach: sooner or later Pyongyang will threaten to test a missile one too many times, and the United States will not respond with further benefits. Then what will Kim Jong Il do? The possibility for miscalculation is very high.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2002 October 03 10:45 PM  US Foreign Preemption, Deterrence, Containment

Andy (AKA: The Yangban) said at November 15, 2004 7:55 PM:

I just used the link in a piece I wrote. Thanks.

Ralph said at November 22, 2004 5:20 PM:

Condi Rice points out this early article in Foreign Affairs, that Kim Jong-il, the loathsome "little pygmy" in George W Bush's description, is isolated in the international system. My what a long way we have come since then. After a year and a half of occupation, it seems to me looking out at "the international system" that the US has itself worked its way into an isolated cul-de-sac of its own in Iraq.

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