Wednesday, March 11, 2009
As I noted in a response to his post, we should be skeptical of a belief that simply negotiating leads to positive results--or to negotiations designed to produce a CNN moment.
I do think that his use of the democratic/authoritarian split is overblown, however, in terms of assessing where negotiations are likely to work.
These negotiations will bear no fruit because the US foreign policy elite still believe that the USG are in a position to dictate terms, and therefore believe that they do not have to take the views and interests of their negotiating partners seriously.
In this, as in many other things, the US foreign policy elite are, of course, gravely mistaken.
North Koreans claim that the United Stated, under Clinton, deliberately dragged her feet in the implementation of the terms of the Agreed Framework. That US indeed was hoping for a North Korean state collapse which would obviate the need for any payment on any agreement.
The North Koreans further would argue that the existence of their state was threatened by US under George Bush, leaving them no option but withdrawal from NPT and construction of nuclear weapon.
Indeed, the USG has been a rogue government whose word has been utterly unreliable for the better part 20 years. And Mr. Bolton has been one of the most vocal advocates of that rogue policy. Due in no small part to Mr. Bolton's efforts, other governments are well aware of this, which is why Secretary Clinton will find relations with Russia, for instance, very heavy going.