Tuesday, September 09, 2008
A recurring theme from the pacifist liberals is that we must talk to our enemies, talk some more, and then talk again. If that doesn't work, then we must talk some more. The usual quote is: Talk-Talk is better than War-War. We have been trying the Talk-Talk idea for many years to solve some knotty problems on the international scene, notably Iran and the NK and their nuclear ambitions, and Pakistan with its arsenal of nukes and turmoil in the government.
We have convened France, Germany, and Britain to go at Iran for over four years, with zip to report for progress, while the Iranians proceed with their development of nukes at a torrid pace.
We convened five nations--China, SK, Japan, Russia, and the US, to negotiate with the NK for them to halt their nuclear program. To date, the success of these talks has been abysmal, with the NK going ahead with their reactor program. this talk process has been going on since the Clinton Administration, with the only winner being the NK.
We have funneled billions of dollars to Pakistan to attempt to stabilize the government with a modicrum of democracy, and that nation is unravelling as we watch. Talks have not produced a single thing of importance, yet the danger of poorly guarded nuclear weapons in Pakistan is very clear. So is our supply line to Afghanistan across Pakistan in danger of being interdicted.
The time to talk has clearly passed for Iran. Their intrangency after these years of talking is well-documented. Iranian threats against the US and Israel are also well-documented. I had expected a more confrontational approach by Bush this year, but he seems to have backed off. The Israelis have been much more aggressive, but their current leadership is acting weak. Perhaps I am wrong, but it is my belief that after our election there will be a far greater pressure exerted on Iran to give up its nuclear weapons program, or else! They just might have two weeks to decide after November 2,, before we see hard action to deny them WMD.
There will be further negotiations with Pakistan in this period before the new president takes office in late January. If these talks do not succeed, there will be unilateral action by NATO and the US to 1) ensure our supply lines to Afghanistan; 2) to ensure that their nuclear weapons are under real security, and 3) to solve the AQ sanctuary problems and that our cross border attack rights into the tribal areas is approved. Again, with an "or else" attached, either directly or by strong implication.
The NK problem will most likely be left for the next president to work on.