Certainly some interesting solutions. A very hard line on north Korea. I do not recall reading anything in the main stream media (I think US News and World Report is still mainstream) that is this hard line toward the north.
North Korea: The spotlight of the international community and the United States are on North Korea's illegal and immoral nuclear weapons program. However, sunlight must be placed on the North Korean gulag. Pivotal to American strategy and inherent to American values is the destruction of these camps by covert and overt means. The United States must make a permanent and declared policy that seeks to remove the North Korean totalitarian regime; declare that any further missile tests will be treated as an aggressive act; stop, by any means necessary, its nuclear program; assist elements in South and North Korea that seek liberation; and prepare concrete plans to assist South Korea in eventual reunification in an effort to avoid one of the potentially worst humanitarian disasters with refugees ever seen. If there are regimes and leaders that are diametrically opposed to American values and interests, these would be Iran and North Korea. We have been in a state of war with both, and it is time that our grand strategy reflects that fact. This war may never require the use of American ground troops.
Solutions to U.S. Security Threats in 2013
Dr. Lamont Colucci is an associate professor of politics at Ripon College, recent Fulbright Scholar to the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, and author of The National Security Doctrines of the American Presidency: How they Shape our Present and Future,among other books. You can find out more at lamontcolucci.com.
Last week this column addressed the threats to the Republic for 2013 with a promise to address solutions to those threats this week. This week's column should not be read in a vacuum as the detailed aspects of threats were illustrated in last week's commentary. Based on a two volume book I recently authored on national security doctrines, the solutions to these threats must be tackled from both a historical and contemporary lens; these solutions must fundamentally serve American grand strategy.
1. Al Qaeda and terrorism. A national security doctrine that does not attempt to gain victory at a strategic level, well beyond the tactics of counterterrorism, is doomed to failure. The strategy must be one that uses the full power of the U.S. military, intelligence services, covert operations, and the soft power of democracy-building, economic aid, and a massive effort to counter the hate-driven propaganda. The debate over whether enemy combatants should be a designation should also end, as these terrorists are neither criminals nor prisoners of war and must be dealt with using military tribunals. The United States should push the United Nations to adopt this policy as part of international law, codifying international norms that clearly state that terrorists and pirates do not receive the treatments of prisoners of war or criminals. Further, the United States should have a declared policy that any nation linked to providing any aspect of weapons of mass destruction to a terrorist group will be treated as an act of war. In the end, any future president must treat this as a real war, and not a conflict or a law enforcement exercise.
2. Iraq and Afghanistan. Iraq, whose geostrategic value is immeasurable, can and must be one of the linchpins in any future U.S. Middle East policy. There must be a permanent and lasting commitment to the Iraqi people that demonstrates that the United States will not tolerate Sunni terrorists, Shiite militias, or the machinations of Iran. Obama's strategy in Afghanistan was predicated on greater European involvement, but the Europeans are extremely suspicious of this and have already followed the leader in announcing troop withdrawals in Afghanistan. The American surge was followed by the declaration of withdrawal. The United States, in classic Nixonian fashion, is ready to abandon another ally and let another region succumb to terror in order to satisfy a lack of geostrategic and historical understanding. The long-term strategic goal of the United States must be to destroy the Taliban, establish law and order, and bring stability to Afghanistan. This will be the only way to ensure that American credibility is respected, and the al Qaeda-Taliban axis cannot use Afghanistan as a terrorist haven.
3. The Arab Spring. The United States must take the strategic lead and be seen to be the greatest supporter of these people. The "leading from behind" mentality of watching from the sidelines with hopefulness has been an abject failure. The United States risks a worse world than the dictators if it fails to lead forcefully.
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