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No More “Mr. Nice Guy”

August 8, 2017

The word “Balance” in the term “balance of power” was a common aspect of the 18th century Enlightenment ‘s “mechanistic” view of human action. So, the Federalist papers clearly saw that a “balance” of power within the branches of the proposed Constitution would deter usurpation of power by one branch over others.

A better way to describe our relations with other nations is “advantage” or “disadvantage.”  If actions are disadvantageous to us, we respond critically and vice versa. One aspect of diplomacy should be to define what advantage has been gained and advantage that may be lost.

Today the North Korean government is acting in a manner that threatens the United States by deploying nuclear missiles .

This is disadvantageous to the United States and the People’s Republic of China. We should make clear that we understand that the PRC does not want to lose advantage it has gained over many years by cultivating its influence.

Threatened actions by North Korea that may risk an attack by the United States are not in the PRC’s interest.

In fact, the People’s Republic has been doing very nicely by softening up the resistance of the government of the Republic of China on Taiwan, claiming that the South China Sea is PRC territory, expanding its influence in Africa and appeasing its long suffering people by growing the PRC’s economy.

In that context, we should make clear that we view North Korea as the PRC’s problem. The PRC cannot permit North Korea to disturb the current advantages that the PRC has gained.  The Trump Administration should tell the PRC that, if North Korea persists, we must begin a reassessment of US/PRC relations that will include a review of the “One China” policy accepted by previous U.S. Administrations and heightened naval activity in the South China Sea.

The United States should add that it has no intention of engaging in a land war in Asia, but our Allies in the region will be given the resources they need to defend themselves.

A similar approach should be taken with Russia by clearly stating our intentions to support our NATO allies and every satellite of the former Soviet Union, starting with Poland, Ukraine and Georgia, that desires to remain free and independent.

No more Mr. Nice Guy.


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