The Opening of the North Korean Mind
Pyongyang Versus the Digital Underground
Advice for Young Muslims
How to Survive in an Age of Extremism and Islamophobia
The Jacksonian Revolt
American Populism and the Liberal Order
How America Lost Faith in Expertise
And Why That's a Giant Problem
Asia's Other Revisionist Power
Why U.S. Grand Strategy Unnerves China
A Vision of Trump at War
How the President Could Stumble Into Conflict
Intelligence and the Presidency
How to Get It Right
Where to Go From Here
Rebooting American Foreign Policy
The Korean Missile Crisis
Why Deterrence Is Still the Best Option
When Stalin Faced Hitler
Who Fooled Whom?
How to Counter Fake News
Technology Can Help Distinguish Fact From Fiction
Trump Takes Aim at the European Union
Why the EU Won't Unify In Response
Good Foreign Policy Is Invisible
Why Boring Is Better
The Coming Islamic Culture War
What the Middle East's Internet Boom Means for Gay Rights, and More
The Women Who Escaped ISIS
From Abused to Accused
Who Is Narendra Modi?
The Two Sides of India's Prime Minister
Democracy Is Not Dying
Seeing Through the Doom and Gloom
How a Nazi Massacre Came to Be Remembered as Its Opposite
Is Putin Losing Control of Russia's Conservative Nationalists?
What the Matilda Controversy Reveals About His Rule
China's Return to Strongman Rule
The Meaning of Xi Jinping's Power Grab
Every new U.S. administration takes several months to staff itself properly, master new and often unfamiliar responsibilities, and develop a comprehensive strategy for American foreign policy. The Trump administration’s start has been especially rocky. But the administration has already executed a noticeable course shift on foreign policy and international affairs, exchanging some of its early outsider rhetoric and personnel for more conventional choices. If it can continue to elaborate and professionalize its new approach, it could achieve a number of successes. But for that to happen, the administration will have to act with considerably greater discipline and work to frame its policies toward regional and global issues as part of a coherent, strategic approach to international relations that benefits the United States, its allies and partners, and the world at large.
THE CHALLENGE IN ASIA
President Donald Trump has properly concluded that the greatest threat to U.S. national security is North Korea’s accelerating nuclear and missile programs, which may give Pyongyang the ability to launch nuclear-tipped missiles at the continental United States in a matter of months or at most years. The president also seems to have concluded, correctly, that several decades of U.S. policy, mostly consisting of sanctions and on-again, off-again negotiations aimed at ridding North Korea of nuclear weapons, have failed. The challenge now is to choose among the three plausible alternative options for moving forward: acceptance, military intervention, or more creative diplomacy. A fourth possibility, that of regime change, does not qualify as a serious option, since it is impossible to assess its chances or consequences.
In theory, the United States and other powers could accept a North Korean nuclear capability and rely on deterrence to lower the risk of an attack and missile defenses to reduce the damage should one occur. The problem is that deterrence and defenses might not work perfectly—so the acceptance option means living with a perpetual risk of catastrophe. Moreover, even if Pyongyang were deterred from using
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