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Why Don't We Just Invade North Korea?

Jamie Fly talks North Korea at The Corner: "As long as the current despotic regime remains in place, these incidents will continue to occur and the threat of nuclear-weapons proliferation (either to other rogue regimes or to terrorists) will loom large in the fears of Western policymakers. Forcing the current regime from power is the only way to resolve the security and proliferation challenges posed by Pyongyang."

Oh, is that all it takes? Knocking a government out that's been in power for 60 years? That has a huge army and tons of artillery aimed at the capital of a U.S. ally? And replacing it with the government of our choice? No problem! Why didn't anyone think of that sooner? Let's get right on it.

I'm no fan of the North Korean regime -- in fact, I'll go ahead and join George W. Bush in professing my loathing of the government there. It's awful. But the lesson of the last decade should be this: We can't magically make the world the way we want it by knocking over odious regimes. In fact, we can often make things worse! We don't possess the resources to do all the stuff that would remake North Korea to our liking, and history should tell us that neighboring China might not stand for it anyway. If North Korea mounts an invasion, then let's go to war. Short of that, we're going to have to figure out how to manage the situation instead of eliminate it -- and, perhaps, by playing for time, the North Korean regime will collapse from it's own ricketyness, like the Soviet Union did. Chest-beating proclamations like Fly's won't lead to a solution, and in fact actively obscure the path to problem-solving.


Anonymous said…
It's time to invade. Their provocation is actually a face-saving method to ask for our invasion. They will collapse just like Saddam. Then they can get out of their awful dying regime. What are we waiting for?

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