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The Inter-Korean Summit Declaration of April 27, 2018: a review in detail

(PDF version) by Charles Knight, Center for International Policy, 01 May 2018.

Inter-Korean summit: the context is important by Anastasia O. Barannikova, in Russian, includes a version of the Knight review translated into Russian, 03 May 2018.

The April 27, 2018 Inter-Korean Summit was a visibly cordial, even happy, event. At its conclusion, North and South Korea released a “Declaration of Peace, Prosperity and Unification.” This paper reviews a selection of key sections and phrases in “The Declaration” with attention to understanding their implications for the goal declared by both parties of ending “division and confrontation” on the peninsula and for addressing the overhanging issue of denuclearization. Notably, both parties strongly assert their rights as Koreans to take leadership in this task before them. Among the issues this review examines are the implications of various provisions in The Declaration for two great powers with long-standing interests in and influence on the Korean peninsula: China and the United States.

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What Will Success at the Inter-Korean Summit Look Like?

(HTML version) by Anastasia O. Barannikova, English edits by Charles Knight, The Diplomat, 24 April 2018.

“Much will depend on U.S. readiness to negotiate and its willingness to adapt to the changing international conditions in northeast Asia. With an improvement of U.S.-North Korea relations, tensions in the region will not disappear, but instability will be more manageable and there will be less risk of a war engulfing Korea and beyond.”

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A Russian Perspective On Korean Denuclearization

(HTML version) an interview with Anastasia O. Barannikova by Charles Knight, Lobe Log, 18 March 2018.

“In the past periods of temporary normalization of relations, the two Koreas separately and jointly tried to promote denuclearization initiatives. Many people across the globe have mistakenly thought about denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula as only pertaining to nuclear disarmament of North Korea. But what about U.S. tactical nuclear weapons in South Korea [withdrawn in 1991], the inclusion of nuclear weapons in joint exercises, and the nuclear umbrella guarantee extended to South Korea by the U.S. ever since the Korean War? A nation that enjoys (or suffers from) such nuclear-umbrella guarantees does not qualify as “non-nuclear.” From this perspective, South Korea has long been nuclear, and it was the U.S. that first made the Korean peninsula nuclear.”

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Reality Check on North Korea. How can the U.S. stop this march to war with North Korea? Open our eyes.

(HTML) by Charles Knight, U.S.News & World Report, 20 February 2018.

“North Korea is most likely to agree to verifiable arms limitations if there is a credible path for them to significantly improve their national security, end sanctions and achieve international political normalcy, including ultimately diplomatic recognition from the U.S. This is a rare moment in international relations when the U.S., Russia, China, Japan and South Korea have a common interest in limiting the further development of North Korea’s nuclear force. Every reasonable avenue should be explored for making common cause to prevent war while also achieving a realistic degree of limitations on North Korea’s nuclear and missile arms.”

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8 Key findings regarding the Korea nuclear arms crisis from recent discussions with experts in China, Russia and Korea

(PDF) by Charles Knight, Center for International Policy, 02 February 2018.

“Most interlocutors thought that there is almost no chance that the presently stringent sanctions can force the DPRK to agree to disarm. The Chinese and the Russians generally believe that the maximal concession that sanctions can win from the DPRK is an agreement to freeze their warhead and missile development — particularly inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) development — in return for some combination of confidence-building measures, security guarantees, and progress toward political normalization. The North Koreans will not give up the nuclear weapons they already have… at least not until there is a permanent peace on the peninsula and the US is no longer understood to be an enemy.”

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Win-Win Steps to Prevent a New Korean War

(HTML version) by Charles Knight, U.S. News and World Report, 06 April 2017.

“[T]he basis of regional cooperation that can make North Korean denuclearization possible… is the interest shared by the United States and China in a stable peaceful Korean Peninsula and in halting and then reversing North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. With the stakes for millions of people in the region so extraordinarily high, our leaders and our diplomats must be prepared to work with keen will and open minds to identify the paths to peace and mutual security – and then leaders must boldly walk them.”

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Choosing war & decline … or not

(HTML version) by Charles Knight, Huffington Post, 03 February 2106.

“A cold war framework for our relations with China, Russia and any other powers that might eventually align with them will almost certainly result in the addition of $200 to 300 billion in annual U.S. security expenditures. It would also very significantly divert the energies of Americans from many social and environmental goals. The U.S. will end up deferring domestic investments needed to sustain its economic strength.”

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A New Cold War: a costly, unnecessary, and dangerous construct

printable PDF transcript of a panel presentation by Charles Knight sponsored by the Economists for Peace and Security at the Allied Social Sciences Association conference in Boston, MA, 04 January 2015. Full transcipt and video of panel presentations by Richard Kaufman, Robert Skidelsky, Allen Sinai, Stephen Walt, Charles Knight and James Carroll.
knight at podium EPS
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Not a common global home, but a fine mess

transcript of presentation by Carl Conetta on the “World Security Situation – Russia, Iraq and Syria, and Beyond” panel of the Economists for Peace and Security conference in Washington, DC, 17 November 2014. Full transcipt and video of panel presentations by Richard Kaufman, Carl Conetta, Bill Hartung, Heather Hurlburt and others at the Economic and Security Future Conference.

panel one EPS 1114

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Something in the Air: ‘Isolationism,’ Defense Spending, and the US Public Mood

(printable PDF full version) (printable PDF executive summary) (HTML full version) (HTML executive summary) by Carl Conetta, Project on Defense Alternatives, Center for International Policy, 14 October 2014.
Something Report-Cover Is “neo-isolationism” captivating the American public? Or is interventionism back? Will the public continue to support reductions in defense spending? The report offers a comprehensive and critical analysis of current and historical US public opinion polls on global engagement, military intervention, and defense spending. Significant fluctuation in public sentiments is evident. So is an enduring divide between elite opinion and the general public. The report assesses these in light of changes in US policy, strategic conditions, and the economy. It also examines the effect of partisan political dynamics on public debate and opinion. Seven tables and graphs.
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Asia Pivot and Air-Sea Battle: Precipitating Military Competition with China?

(HTML version) by Carl Conetta, Reset Defense Bulletin, 03 March 2014. Will China come to pose a peer military threat to the United States?  The Obama administration’s 2012 Strategic Defense Review and the 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) turn on this eventuality. Both the so-called “Asia pivot” and the evolving Air-Sea Battle (ASB) operational concept are meant to preclude it. But they may serve to precipitate it, instead.
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Reasonable Defense: A Sustainable Approach to Securing the Nation

(printable PDF version) (summary) (appendix of tables and charts) by Carl Conetta, PDA Briefing Report #21, 14 November 2012.  Argues for a new balance among the various instruments of  national power reflecting today’s strategic conditions.  Taking a realistic view of security needs, the report advocates a military 20% smaller than today’s.   It advances a “discriminate defense” strategy that would focus the military on cost-effective missions and save $550 billion more than official plans over the next decade.   Main report includes 9 tables.  Appendix has 18 additional tables and charts addressing personnel, force structure, and budgets.
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USA and Allies Outspend Potential Rivals on Military by Four-to-One; America Carries Much of the Defense Burden for its Allies

(printable PDF version) by Carl Conetta, Project on Defense Alternatives, 17 July 2012.
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Four Decades of US Defense Spending

(graph) PDA Data Summary, 25 January 2012. One page review and assessment of the change in US defense spending over 40 years. One graph.
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A Short Tour of Pentagon Financial Mismanagement, Waste, Fraud, and Abuse

(HTML version) by Ethan Rosenkranz and Carl Conetta, PDA Resource Compilation, 20 November 2011.
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Strategic Adjustment to Sustain the Force: A Survey of Current Proposals

(printable PDF version) by Charles Knight, PDA Briefing Memo #51, 25 October 2011. A survey of five proposals by independent experts for adjusting US global strategy to new fiscal realities in ways that enhance security while avoiding ‘hollowing’ of the forces.
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Debt, Deficits, and Defense: A Way Forward

(printable PDF version) (summary) Report of the Sustainable Defense Task Force, 11 June 2010. The report presents options for reducing DoD’s budget — in sum saving nearly $1 trillion over the next decade.
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An Undisciplined Defense: Understanding the $2 Trillion Surge in US Defense Spending

(printable PDF version) (summary) by Carl Conetta, PDA Briefing Report #20, 18 January 2010. Analyzes the steep rise in defense spending since 1998. 21 charts and tables.
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Forceful Engagement: Rethinking the Role of Military Power in US Global Policy

(printable PDF version) (HTML version) (summary) by Carl Conetta, PDA Briefing Report #22, 01 December 2008. The US has been using its armed forces beyond the limit of their utility. The result is not just diminishing returns, but negative ones.
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Dissuading China and Fighting the ‘Long War’

(printable PDF version) by Carl Conetta, World Policy Journal, 01 July 2006. The 2006 US Defense Review advanced two new strategic vectors for the US armed forces – one targets a putative “global Islamic insurgency”; the other puts America on a collison course with China. 

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