Author Topic: Thoughts on N.Korea not being commonly discussed?  (Read 4267 times)

boilermaker75

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Re: Thoughts on N.Korea not being commonly discussed?
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2017, 06:32:51 AM »
It may be really hard to apply games theory even if the framework is based on the assumption of intelligent and rational players.

I visited the historic Pearl Harbor site a few weeks ago. Exhibits to learn and remember.

The Japanese army understood that it was a suicidal attack. Leading naval strategist, Admiral Yamamoto, among others, knew that Japan was doomed.

Very intelligent people.

There was a choice between suicide and humiliation.
Sometimes, people cannot reconcile the latter.

Rational?

Yes often people will not do what is in their best interests, they can't help themselves.


GregS

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Re: Thoughts on N.Korea not being commonly discussed?
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2017, 10:12:49 AM »
It may be really hard to apply games theory even if the framework is based on the assumption of intelligent and rational players.

I visited the historic Pearl Harbor site a few weeks ago. Exhibits to learn and remember.

The Japanese army understood that it was a suicidal attack. Leading naval strategist, Admiral Yamamoto, among others, knew that Japan was doomed.

Very intelligent people.

There was a choice between suicide and humiliation.
Sometimes, people cannot reconcile the latter.

Rational?

Fair points, but the outcome of WWII was far from certain, and Japan was fighting for more than pride.  Their interests were fundamentally threatened by US naval activity in the Pacific, and while some didn't like the odds, other decision makers did.

Here's why gaming this out is important:  Many people (including some of those advising the President) argue that we have to take action against N. Korea now because otherwise a nuke will get sold to terrorists.  I think these people are grossly overstating that threat for the reasons I've given, while advocating for a path that is MORE likely to bring about the exact thing they seek to prevent (nuclear attack).  IMO, the uneasy detente we have with North Korea is the best path, much like in the Cold War, and I think the risk of acting on pride and avoiding humiliation is on the US side at the moment.

rkbabang

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Re: Thoughts on N.Korea not being commonly discussed?
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2017, 10:53:15 AM »
It may be really hard to apply games theory even if the framework is based on the assumption of intelligent and rational players.

I visited the historic Pearl Harbor site a few weeks ago. Exhibits to learn and remember.

The Japanese army understood that it was a suicidal attack. Leading naval strategist, Admiral Yamamoto, among others, knew that Japan was doomed.

Very intelligent people.

There was a choice between suicide and humiliation.
Sometimes, people cannot reconcile the latter.

Rational?

Fair points, but the outcome of WWII was far from certain, and Japan was fighting for more than pride.  Their interests were fundamentally threatened by US naval activity in the Pacific, and while some didn't like the odds, other decision makers did.

Here's why gaming this out is important:  Many people (including some of those advising the President) argue that we have to take action against N. Korea now because otherwise a nuke will get sold to terrorists.  I think these people are grossly overstating that threat for the reasons I've given, while advocating for a path that is MORE likely to bring about the exact thing they seek to prevent (nuclear attack).  IMO, the uneasy detente we have with North Korea is the best path, much like in the Cold War, and I think the risk of acting on pride and avoiding humiliation is on the US side at the moment.

I agree.  NK knows it can't win in any type of war, but especially not if it goes nuclear.  The greatest danger is that the US acts preemptively and NK gets off one ICBM launched at a US city in response.  Sure NK will be annihilated and the US will "only" lose one city, but that will be a devastating disaster on all sides.

I think the US's confidence that it will win is more dangerous than NK's confidence that it can do some damage to the US.   It is pretty obvious to me (I'm 90% sure anyway) that Kim Jong-un wants nukes to prevent becoming the next Gaddafi or Saddam Hussein, not to start a suicidal war he can't win.  He views the US as a threat and he is right to do so.

Cigarbutt

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Re: Thoughts on N.Korea not being commonly discussed?
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2017, 11:11:56 AM »
The Cold War dynamics rested on the relative balance of equals and MAD.
I don't know even the beginning of answers but feel that an "uneasy détente" may become more and more uneasy.
The situation is dynamic but continuing to apply the same model which has failed so far may lead to a more adverse gamble.

This sounds like armchair advice but you may be right about the uneasy détente part if you include China in the picture.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-05/as-world-watches-kim-china-quietly-builds-south-china-sea-clout

Then, there may be a way to squeeze the Eternal Defender into a new adapted order.
It's just too bad that this process is occurring near the barrier of nuclear threshold.


rkbabang

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Re: Thoughts on N.Korea not being commonly discussed?
« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2017, 11:17:11 AM »
Even in the early days of the cold war (late 1950s/early 1960s) there were people in the US who thought the US should launch a preemptive first strike.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2001/10/jfks-first-strike-plan/376432/

All you need for disaster is one side thinking it can win.