Nayan Chanda at PostGlobal

Nayan Chanda

New Haven, Conn., United States

Nayan Chanda is the Director of Publications and the Editor of YaleGlobal Online Magazine at the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization. For nearly thirty years before he joined Yale University, Chanda was with the Hong Kong-based magazine the Far Eastern Economic Review as its editor, editor-at-large and correspondent. Close.

Nayan Chanda

New Haven, Conn., United States

Nayan Chanda is the Director of Publications and the Editor of YaleGlobal Online Magazine at the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization. more »

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Don't Blow Up a Scarecrow

Connecticut, USA -- Sending US cruise missiles to destroy a crude North Korean scarecrow is a bad idea. Blowing up Taepodong on the launch pad would set off a fireworks display that may be emotionally satisfying but will not deprive...

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All Comments (4)

RSM:

Mario,

No, they've actually been learning. See Bush's recent admission that "mistakes were made" in Iraq. Though probably the understatement of the year, it's a rather big step for him and his administration. Evidently dire straits will make anyone do anything.

Robin Sloan:

David, your comments about the NK elite are interesting -- I hadn't heard/read anything about the power structure there any more complicated than 'It's crazy, Kim Jong Il owns everything,' etc.

Can you recommend any books/sources for further reading? I would love to learn more.

David Todd:

The North Korean elite have the mentality of gangsters. They are a very rough group of men. Kim Jong Il cannot lead them by being a nice fellow. He has to keep impressing them with audacity and harshness--real audacity and harshness. In that context you cannot fake it and survive. But also members of the North Korean elite understand that their regime is not stable. It has to be kept alive artificially, through savage repression, censorship and infusions from abroad of aid and profits from weapons trafficking and drug smuggling.

The combination of these two things--the need to impress and the instability--produces the erratic behavior which is typical of them. It is key to understanding their behavior.

Mario:

"Of course, Messrs Carter and Perry may just be playing the bad cop to Bush administration's good cop, for a change."

That would require this administration to have some kind of a functional brain, which it has evidentely lacked so far.

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