June 09, 2003

Can't We All Just Get

Can't We All Just Get Along?

Chet Crocker says it's time for a rapprochment with Libya:

"The policy of isolation, containment and unilateral sanctions has served its purpose. We owe it to ourselves not to pass up the opening created by the post-September 11 2001 environment and Mr Gadaffi's own state of mind. The US needs to acknowledge his moves and remove Libya from the list of state sponsors of terrorism, once the Pan Am 103 agreement is confirmed.

The point is to encourage Libya and others to graduate from the US terrorism list. The way to do that is to reward positive behaviour, signalling that we know how to take Yes for an answer. In close co-ordination with the British, Italian and German governments, the US needs prudently to engage the regime and probe its interest in further progress. If Mr Gadaffi fails a genuine test of the diplomatic track, America's options remain open. By now, Libya's leader probably understands what that means."

I like this notion of "graduating" from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism. Bashar, are you watching (or reading the FT)? Note: He will like what he's reading in the Trib.

Meanwhile, NoKo and nukes? Don't get too stressed argue two Korea-watchers in Foreign Policy. UPDATE: Pyongyang is making particularly brazen public pronouncements of late. And is the U.S. administration coalescing around a naval blockade option?

Iran continues to cause increased concern in various quarters (but less so in others). Meanwhile, Anatole Lieven wants to go slow on Teheran:

"States that possess nuclear weapons can be deterred from using them or giving them to terrorists by the certainty of catastrophic retaliation. Suicidal terrorists cannot. Indeed, while terrorists desire such weapons in order to use them, states desire them not in order to use them but as a deterrent against attack. To destroy Moslem regimes may well therefore, far from contributing to the defeat of terrorist groups, actually strengthen them by spreading state arsenals into society."

Lieven's point is also made by the somewhat sanguine NoKo-observers in the link above. Is it just me or do others too not feel quite as comfy about such reasoning about "rational" state actors contra apocalpytic terror groups? Of course, I would be more concerned about al-Qaeda with some minituarized atomic weapon than, say, the Mullah's in Teheran gaining nuclear capacity. The prospects of a massive terror strike decapitating a city like NY or London is greater with the former than the latter, doubtless. Regimes want to stay in power--not commit suicide.

And yet. For me, particularly post 9/11, regimes that are proven proliferators and hungry for a buck like NoKo really do constitute a clear and present danger when (if) they develop greater delivery capacity and nuclear capability. I'm not arguing that the U.S. pour over the DMZ--but I think we have to keep the option of punitive air strikes on key nuclear facilities in our toolbox--at least to help focus Kim Jong II as he mulls whether he will agree to non-bilateral negotiation formats that involve other regional players like China.

Iran might be a tougher nut to crack. Ideally we would have a regional WMD-free zone. But Iran's a proud and geopolitically important country in the neighborhood. And India, Pakistan and Israel aren't giving up their nukes anytime soon. How to keep Iran from getting them, short of war, if she really desires to "graduate" to a different kind of club?

Posted by Gregory at June 9, 2003 11:11 PM

Inkjet Cartridges - Inkjet Cartridge

Posted by: Inkjet Cartridges at October 15, 2004 03:33 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink
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