Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Debating the Structure of the Alliance is Good

US Ambassador Vershbow has some well timed words regarding the ROK plans to gain self-reliant defence capability saying that it will bolster the alliance. Contrary to popular belief these two aims are mutually reinforcing.

It makes sense for Korea to gain greater control in watching and deterring North Korea. The shift also benefits the US leaving them better positioned to be able to credibly deter other global trouble spots. Despite the too-public bickering among South Korea officials and military (retired and current) the Alliance is not in such a state that we need think it is imminently about to collapse. Nor, indeed, that the democratic process in Korea is about to be waylaid by a "c" word! I have not studied the nature of coups or the indicators for predicting imminent social upheaval, but I am pretty sure that 'disgruntled former holders of powers speaking out against the current administration' is more indicative of a strong democracy in which people know they can utilise their freedom of speech. The rumblings in the Alliances are controversial and important. The amount of public debate is a good sign, not a bad one.

Currently reading:

"Hell" by Yasutaka Tsutsui