The North Korea flap seems to be calming down, so here I reprint my original essay from the Diplomat a few weeks ago on the crisis, plus a follow-up ‘response to my critics’ essay from the China Policy Institute Blog of the University of Nottingham and e-IR. Together, I think they make a nice whole, although it’s a little long for a blog-post. I would like to thank Harry Kazianas of the Diplomat, John Sullivan of Nottingham, and Max Nurnus of e-IR for soliciting me.
“North Korea is the ‘Boy who Cried Wolf’: There will be No War” (first essay, from April 10)
There’s a new finger on the trigger, but the AP reports that Pakistan is still unhappy about U.S. missile strikes inside its territory:
Pakistan urged President Barack Obama to halt U.S. missile strikes on al-Qaida strongholds near the Afghan border, saying Saturday that civilians were killed the previous day in the first attacks since Obama’s inauguration.
Pakistani security officials said eight suspected foreign militants, including an Egyptian al-Qaida operative, were among 22 people killed in Friday’s twin strikes in the Waziristan region.
But the Foreign Ministry said that the attacks by unmanned aircraft also killed an unspecified number of civilians and that it had informed U.S. officials of its “great concern.”
Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry says “We maintain that these attacks are counterproductive and should be discontinued.”
The U.S. has apparently made over 30 missile strikes since August. The Obama White House was presumably briefed about the latest attacks, though the U.S. doesn’t even formally acknowledge them. Obama had commented as a candidate.
I’m working on Obama and the Bush Doctrine and hope to have a more complete post soon.