Rewarding Bad Behavior

We are about to see a familiar pattern play itself out, yet again.  North Korea misbehaves, ratchets up global tension with their crazy antics and then demands a series of talks that yields tangible economic benefits for them to prop up their murderous, lunacy fueled regime.  To kick off that cycle, South Korea today agreed to hold a series of high level military talks with the hermit kingdom to the north.

I have to say, I’m disappointed.  This is take four or five of this pattern of behavior that we’re about to go through, and I have no expectation that the results it will yield will be any different from the past.  The talks will proceed, we’ll have a breakthrough that’s fueled by promises of some form of food or economic aid, hopes will rise, and then the North Koreans will pitch a hissy fit over some idiotic bit of minutiae.

So what should we do?  I think we should withdraw all of our troops from Japan and South Korea and have the two countries start their own nuclear programs.  What would ensue would be a diplomatic and military response from China so swift, so decisive and so overwhelming that the North Koreans would have no choice but to back down and behave in a somewhat sane and rational fashion (not selling nuclear technology to anyone that drops by, sinking sovereign naval vessels, etc.).  The upside?  That policy would be cheaper than what we’re currently spending keeping tens of thousands of troops stationed in east Asia.

So what’s stopping us?  I have no idea.

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