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TPM on North Korea's bomb: "a strategic failure of the first order"

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Bucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 06:23 AM
Original message
TPM on North Korea's bomb: "a strategic failure of the first order"
Do you notice now?

All diplomatic niceties aside, President Bush's idea was that the North Koreans would respond better to threats than Clinton's mix of carrots and sticks.

Then in the winter of 2002-3, the US prepared the invade Iraq, the North called Bush's bluff. And the president folded. Abjectly, utterly, even hilariously if the consequences weren't so grave and vast.

Threats are a potent force if you're willing to follow through on them. But he wasn't. The plutonium production plant, which had been shuttered since 1994, got unshuttered. And the bomb that exploded tonight was, if I understand this correctly, almost certainly the product of that plutonium uncorked almost four years ago.

So the President talked a good game, the North Koreans called his bluff and he folded. And since then, for all intents and purposes, and all the atmospherics to the contrary, he and his administration have done essentially nothing.

Indeed, from the moment of the initial cave, the White House began acting as though North Korea was already a nuclear power (something that was then not at all clear) to obscure the fact that the White House had chosen to twiddle its thumbs and look the other way as North Korea became a nuclear power. Like in Bush in Iraq and Hastert and Foley, the problem was left to smolder in cover-up and denial. Until now.

more
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whistle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 06:33 AM
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1. My question is does North Korea have enough nuclear material
...enriched uranium, to make additional bombs sufficient to establish a nuclear arsenal large enough to pose an immediate nuclear threat in the region? Can U.S. intelligence accurately answer that?
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Kagemusha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 06:42 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Probably fairly well, actually
Quite likely it all comes down to how you define a threat to the region. The intelligence on how many bombs N. Korea can realistically make is pretty well established by all reliable accounts.
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sweetheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 06:46 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. It begs a question of military intelligence
Do you believe that North Korea is going to attack somebody? For all the rhetoric
of the article, the US has been a much more heinous terrorist proliferator for the
past 50 years, and really, the pots and kettles around here are just all the same,
cultic nation states of true believers who wage war on those who don't believe.

North Korea has shown no beligerrence to war, in half a century, and for all the
testing of explosives, the real issue here is the hurt ego of 'americana' over
losing the korean war... that's the real issue, bush want's to excite the confict
so he can go back in there and 'win' a korean war. The domino theory never died,
he'll toss us a domino on his way to war.
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orwell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 11:05 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Nice post...n/t
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bhikkhu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 11:58 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. define "nuclear threat"
probably they can blow some things up, some fairly large and significant things, and threaten population centers with massive casualties. Where these centers might be depends upon estimates of missile technology.

But what would be the point? For a tiny country with no significant resources, such an attack would be suicide. Recall that they are not an extremist group, but a nation of people. Offensive actions are highly unlikely.

The big issue to "el diablo" seems to be that NK now has the capacity to make any attack against it extremely expensive to the attacker. So much so that they no longer need fear or care whether we talk nice or rattle sabers. Essentially, US policy becomes irrelevant, as it should be. Leave them alone strategically and economically and in twenty years they may be a country like any other.
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