[eDebate] Korcok and 1% really
Fri Jul 7 16:26:13 CDT 2006
"and that is all Cheney's 1% doctrine is: if the US evaluates a threat in
the security domain as even 1%, it will respond as if it was a certainty.
that is a forceful move to convince potential competitors to make sure they
don't even think about doing something remotely threatening to the US. and
if it works then it might well make many threats evaporate as potential
competitors scramble to make sure they do NOTHING to anger the hegemon.
and that was sorta obvious in the book. here from p123 of Suskind's book:
"The primary impetus for invading Iraq, according to those attending NSC
briefings on the Gulf in this period, was to make an example of Hussein, to
create a demonstration model to guide the behavior of anyone with the
temerity to acquire destructive weapons or, in any way, flout the authority
of the United States."In Oval Office meetings, the President would often
call Iraq a "game changer." More specifically, the theory was the United
States- with a forceful action against Hussein- would change the rules of
geopolitical analysis and action for countless other countries."
and i have read not a single answer to THAT. just a bunch of blustering
nonsense treating the 1% doctrine out of context with a view to mock
1) Let's look at the "real" effect on the game. Of the other "axis of evil"
countries - how exactly has their behavior changed?
a) Iran: elected a hardline president in Ahmadinejad (sp?). Aggressively
expanded their nuclear program, publicly rejected international agreements
to restrain said nuclear program.
b) North Korea: Withdrew from 6 party talks. Tested missiles with the
theoretical capacity to deliver a warhead to the US mainland. Demanded a
non-aggression agreement with the US bilaterally, using missile tests and
their actual WMD program as leverage.
c) You can bluster all you want about Libya, but the reality is that they
did not have a credible nuclear weapons program.
2) So what can we surmise the lessons of the Iraq invasion were on the
calculus of other countries?
a) Strategic ambiguity fails: Hussein's fatal mistake was that he tried to
simultaneously satisfy the weapons inspectors while leaving enough doubt of
his WMD capacity to deter a potential attack. As we now know, he didn't have
a credible WMD deterrent, something that would have been exposed if Hans
Blix, et al, would have documented if given the time. I'd argue that the
quick trigger on the invasion was for the very purpose of denying the
inspectors the chance to rebut the US claims of mobile CW factories, etc,
since that would have made the stated causus belli moot. But Hussein picked
the worst possible strategy, playing both sides of the fence.
b) Therefore the Iran / NK strategy: It's become obvious that an actual WMD
capacity has the potential to deter the US while an ambiguous/possible WMD
capacity does not. Sure, we've changed the strategic rules - now the rules
are that you announce and aggressively develop WMD capacity, since that
means you are a more challenging target. All the Iraq war has done is
UNDERSCORE the value of possessing a nuke or two and the means to deliver
it, since it proved that half-measures toward that end fail.
3) And let's be clear, it's a helluva lot more likely than 1% that NK poses
a threat to US/allied interests and has the means to deliver a nuke to at
least Japan. But when we deal with NK we push multilateralism and the UN
process that we mocked in the runup to the Iraq war. This 1% thing is true,
but not in the sense that defenders of the Bush admin want. As long as it's
a longshot that there a credible asymmetrical threat we can be bold and
unilateral and bluster all we want. When it comes to opponents who actually
have that capability we don't have any illusions about the ability of
military force to win a conflict without unacceptable losses. It's a
perverse lesson that will play out over the next 5-10 years as we realize
that the changing rules actually spur the development of WMD capactiy
instead of forestalling it.
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