In this article for the July/August issue of Foreign Affairs, Richard Haass, author of The Opportunity, argues that the US should change course in its approach to North Korea and Iran.
A foreign policy that chooses to integrate, not isolate, despotic regimes can be the Trojan horse that moderates their behavior in the short run and their nature in the long run. It is time Washington put this thinking to the test, toward what remains of the axis of evil. Delay is no longer an option, and drift is not a strategy.
Haass also talked about his new book in an interview with Fareed Zakaria on May 31. (The interview is also available as an MP3.)
Haass's argument here works in concert with a recent essay by Robert McNamara, who argues that "It is time -- well past time, in my view -- for the United States to cease its Cold War-style reliance on nuclear weapons as a foreign-policy tool."
Zakaria has picked up Haass's meme. In his Newsweek column for June 27, "How To Change Ugly Regimes", he compares and contrasts the US approach to Iran, Libya, Cuba, Vietnam, China, and more. Zakaria writes:
What about Mao's China at the height of the Cultural Revolution? Nixon and Kissinger opened relations with what was arguably the most brutal regime in the world at the time. And as a consequence of that opening, China today is far more free -- economically and socially -- than it has ever been. If we were trying to help the Chinese people, would isolation have been a better policy?
Today's lesson is:
It's the memes, stupid.
Regime Change and Its Limits