You know, it’s almost like there’s a paradox of statecraft or something
In the past 24 hours, there’s been some interesting stuff coming out on both North Korea and Israel. On the North Korea issue, Bob Gates’ chat with an FT reporter is worth reading just to savor the man’s obvious efforts to signal to the North Koreans that they can’t control the agenda. However, Mark Landler ...
In the past 24 hours, there's been some interesting stuff coming out on both North Korea and Israel.
In the past 24 hours, there’s been some interesting stuff coming out on both North Korea and Israel.
On the North Korea issue, Bob Gates’ chat with an FT reporter is worth reading just to savor the man’s obvious efforts to signal to the North Koreans that they can’t control the agenda. However, Mark Landler and David Sanger’s New York Times story today suggests that China is thinking about putting the economic and financial hurt on North Korea.
Meanwhile, the United States and Israel appear to be at loggerheads on the question of West Bank settlements. This is particularly interesting:
[T]he tenor of Mrs. Clinton’s comments Wednesday indicated to some analysts that the Obama administration was unlikely to budge from its position, even at the risk of putting Mr. Netanyahu’s government into jeopardy.
“She is stripping away whatever nuance, or whatever fig leaf, that would have allowed a deeply ideological government to make a settlement deal that is politically acceptable at home,” said Aaron David Miller, a public policy analyst at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. “They’ve concluded, ‘We’re going to force a change in behavior.’”
Within the Israeli government, however, there is a consensus that the ever-growing settler population must be accommodated.
No one is talking about sanctions just yet on Israel, but the historical precedent here is telling. The last time the U.S. sanctioned Israel was in 1991 on the question of housing settlements. The eventual result was the fall of the Yitzhak Shamir government.
So China is contemplating sanctions against North Korea, and the United States a step away from doing the same thing vis-a-vis Israel. This highlights a cruel irony when it comes to the use of economic pressure — it works on your friends a lot better than it does against your foes.
[I see where this is going. Stop it!–ed.] Of course, countries are understandably more reluctant to pressure their allies than their adversaries. [I’m warning you!–ed.] Why, it’s almost like there’s a paradox when it comes to economic sanctions. [All right, that’s it, this ridiculously self-promotional blog post is over!!–ed.]
UPDATE: Ed Morse and Michael Makovsky have an excellent essay in The New Republic on the prospects of sanctioning Iran.
Daniel W. Drezner is a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and co-host of the Space the Nation podcast. Twitter: @dandrezner
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