May 05, 2005

Clueless Kaplan or Patronizing Kaplan

In a stunning bit of projection, supposed realist Fred Kaplan believes the PRC has no ability to overthrow N. Korea. Only the US, in his world view, has the ability to act regarding N. Korea.

In one sense, President Bush was right at his press conference: It is better to have several voices sending the same message to Kim Jong-il. But these voices don't matter if the one voice among them that can do somethingóthat can turn the message into policy and actionóchooses to do nothing.

This is nonsense. If the PRC/N. Korea border was shut down and nothing crossed, N. Korea would quickly collapse. In the real world, the PRC has much more leverage on N. Korea than the United States if it chooses to exercise it.

Kaplan derides President Bush in this article that he doesn't understand power. Heaven help us if "understanding power" means adopting a patronizing attitude that belittles a rising power like the PRC and does not recognize that, in their neighborhood, they are capable of taking decisive action. Insulting the PRC in that fashion is a good way to keep them on the side of N. Korea. How realist is that?

Posted by TMLutas at May 5, 2005 10:32 AM