Defense Strategy Essay 1

1642 Words Jun 26th, 2014 7 Pages
Defense Strategy Course
Section Two, Essay One

Supportability from a strategy formulation perspective of United States policy options for North Korean nuclear and strategic missile capabilities

16 February 2014

Benjamin J. McClellan
CPT, USAR

North Korea’s nuclear and strategic missile capabilities present grave challenges to regional security. Pyongyang’s propensity to export its weapons also threatens the global non-proliferation regime. Despite economic impoverishment and an inability to feed its people, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea remains heavily armed and ready to fire first. Its recent and continued military provocations demonstrate the potential for resumed conflict on the Korean Peninsula. Policymakers must
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Containment
Containment is a policy of restricting the territorial growth or ideological influence of another, especially a hostile, nation. In regards to North Korea, the plan involves utilizing diplomatic means, partnering with allies, in an effort to prevent the expansion of the Korean threat. The eventual capitulation of Korea, as it is starved of resources, would be the measure of success.
The means (and the associated ways) necessary to pursue a policy of containment are minimal. Sanctions are the status quo for US - North Korea relations. The United States has maintained an uninterrupted regimen of economic, financial, and diplomatic sanctions against North Korea since three days after the Korean War began in June 1950. Further, the international community – namely the United Nations Security council, has a desire and options for further sanctions restrictions. The issue with Containment, however, is a question of end and risk.
Containment (alone) cannot achieve the desired end. Containment suggests that the United States and the international community are powerless to destroy the Korean nuclear capability, and have instead opted for a course of action which only seeks to minimize the impact of a nuclear North Korea. Containment is not suitable. If containment is achievable and occurred, Korea would still possess nuclear weapons, and still
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