Strategic Perspectives 7
Korean Futures: Challenges to U.S. Diplomacy of North Korean Regime Collapse
By Ferial Ara Saeed and James J. Przystup
There is no shortage of plausible scenarios describing North Korean regime collapse or how the United States and North Korea’s neighbors might respond to such a challenge. Yet comparatively little attention has been paid to the strategic considerations that may shape the responses of the United States, the Republic of Korea (ROK), Japan, China, and Russia to a North Korean crisis. These states are most likely to take action of some kind in the event the North Korean regime collapses. For the ROK (South Korea), North Korean regime collapse presents the opportunity for Korean reunification. For the other states, the outcome in North Korea will affect their influence on the peninsula and their relative weight in Asia. This study identifies the interests and objectives of these principal state actors with respect to the Korean Peninsula. Applying their interests and objectives to a generic scenario of North Korean regime collapse, the study considers possible policies that the principal state actors might use to cope with such a crisis.
The goal of this study is to motivate policymakers to consider how the United States would respond to regime collapse, not to identify the most plausible scenario. It is the precrisis planning process that is necessary in order to develop a comprehensive understanding of the issues, choices, and priorities that will challenge U.S. diplomacy in the event of North Korean regime collapse. In particular, Washington must plan for the likelihood that while the United States and South Korea will seek to be the primary actors in a crisis induced by North Korean regime collapse, the actions of China and North Korea will profoundly influence U.S. decisions and room to maneuver. The United States will also need to gain the cooperation of Japan and Russia, as well as the support of the United Nations, to achieve politically acceptable outcomes.
Countering The Lord’s Resistance Army in Central Africa
Strategic Forum #270 Dr. Andre Le Sage
The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) is one of Africa’s most brutal militia forces. It has plagued Central Africa, particularly northern Uganda, for over two decades. The group’s tactics provide textbook examples of war crimes and crimes against humanity. When attacking civilians, the LRA instills fear by selecting random individuals for brutal executions. Children are abducted to serve as porters, sex slaves, and new militia. In order to indoctrinate child soldiers, young abductees are routinely forced to kill their own family members and other children, or be murdered themselves. Anyone caught trying to escape from the LRA is summarily executed.
By contrast with other African rebel groups, which occasionally adopt such brutal tactics, the LRA has conducted such atrocities on a systematic and prolonged basis.
On November 24, 2010, President Obama delivered his administration’s counter-LRA strategic plan to Congress. The four highlighted objectives are to “(a) increase protection of civilians; (b) apprehend or remove from the battlefield Joseph Kony and senior commanders; (c) promote the defection, disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration of remaining LRA fighters; and (d) increase humanitarian access and provide continued relief to affected communities.”
This strategy is in line with a strong international consensus on the way forward to counter the LRA. While the United States is not committing its own forces to attack the LRA directly, and identifying resources to implement the strategy is an ongoing challenge, the extent to which the Obama strategy will improve anti-LRA efforts on the ground is not yet clear.
“Joint Interagency Task Force-South: The Best Known, Least Understood, Interagency Success.”
by Evan Munsing and Christopher J. Lamb
A new study from the Center for Strategic Research finally reveals how the highly-regarded but widely misunderstood Joint Interagency Task Force–South (JIATF–South) accomplishes its mission to disrupt illicit trafficking. JIATF-South is widely applauded within the national security establishment for its amazing productivity. For example, it has accounted for more than 80 percent of all cocaine disruption by local, state and federal government entities in recent years, and it has done so using a wide array of interagency and international partners. With such a record it is not surprising that the organization is often cited as an interagency model to be emulated.
- How JIATF-South now keeps pace with ruthless, elusive, well-funded and adaptable drug traffickers, driving up their costs, cutting their profits, raising their risk of prosecution and incarceration, and forcing them to divert their trade to less costly destinations;
- Why JIATF-South succeeds whereas other JIATF’s created at the same time do not;
- Why a unique mission, environment, or other circumstances do not explain JIATF-South’s strong performance.
- Why there is reason to believe the JIATF-South success can be replicated, and more quickly than often supposed;
- Why the JIATF–South model cannot be applied uncritically, and why attempts by Special Operations Forces to emulate JIATF-South faired well while other such efforts have gone awry;
- And, finally, the most important “do’s and don’ts” learned from the JIATF–South experience.